There are many good reasons not to watch M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. For one thing, it’s terrible. For another, it took a very good animated series, ate it, crapped it out, and threw the crap at fans like a nasty, infectious monkey.
Most importantly, yellowface is racist and insulting, and it denies roles of color to talented actors of color. (The Racebending site has more information.)
So I boycotted. But I really like bad movies, and I wanted to see if it could possibly be as bad as I feared, so I watched the DVD at a friend’s (Snark of the Covenant’s) place last week as part of his Netflix membership, which I hope means M. Night didn’t get a tuppence from this viewing.
It was worse than I feared. This movie is awful. It’s not even easy to look at, because the crap 3D effects added at the last minute are on the disc. Ethnicities, characters, plot, tone and dialog have all been twisted out of recognition into outright ruination.
And then there’s Momo.
A digression: I don’t mind IRL lemurs. Lemurs, especially the black and white ruffed ones, are kinda cool. They have pointy faces, so they don’t set off my phobia. Momo, the flying lemur in the cartoon, never bothered me. (He should, because he has a flat face; but he doesn’t, even though some animated primates do.)
Movie Momo is straight-up nightmare fodder. He has PEOPLE FEET, and he flies around at random. I don’t even know why he’s there, because the other characters don’t interact with him…ever. He just appears, scares me, and goes away. There’s no predicting when this will happen, so he functions as a weapons grade cinematic Ambush Monkey.
Freaky, freaky Momo behind cut.