YMMV / The Last Airbender


  • Bile Fascination: Those who joined the Avatar fandom after the release of the movie can't help but be curious to know why it was panned to kingdom come.
  • Broken Base:
    • The debate over the movie casting was so intense that entire forums were divided over it, with those supporting the casting and those against it being banned for their opinions. Protesters considered those who supported the casting as blind and shrugging off a big issue, while those that eagerly anticipated the movie saw the protesters as not 'true' fans.
    • Firebending only being able to manipulate pre-existing flames (except in special circumstances). People tend to either be upset that it's not the same as in the show, or feel that it now fits with the other three bending types in that it doesn't create the bendable element.
      • And then there's those who feel that the decision justified the show's not having firebending work exactly like the others, as it made the other nations look like real wimps when they're not able to fight a nation whose bending relies on a gigantic weak point in the form of the exposed, easily extinguishable fire sources.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Francis Guinan as Pakku has been noted by several reviewers to be the one actor to escape the film with his dignity intact, putting real effort and emotion into his scant screen time in stark contrast to everyone else.
    • Seychelle Gabriel's performance as Yue also was moderately well received by fans, and Bryan and Mike would later cast her in The Legend of Korra.
    • Even though his portrayal may not have portrayed the character he was playing 100% accurately, Shaun Toub was also singled out for praise by the majority of critics as one of the few actors who put effort into their performance.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: The movie is this for fans of the original show. Half of the Avatar fanbase refuses to admit that this movie even exists.
  • Fan Nickname: The Pebble Dance for a particularly egregious case of Adaptational Wimp and Fight Scene Failure.
    • The Kat-tackle for when Katara shoves over a soldier... and then just stands there.
    • Racebending for the movie's really unfortunate case of Race Lift.
  • Fight Scene Failure: Viewers have criticized all of the fight scenes.
  • Ham and Cheese: Aasif Mandvi plays Zhao pretty similarly to how he always plays himself on The Daily Show, only, well, evil.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • "The Ember Island Players" episode, which came out at the time when this movie was in production. Needless to say, a lot of jokes were to be had using footage from that episode to showcase how bad the film was. The last line in the episode especially, which has the heroes say the show they just saw was awful but the effects were nice.
    • Seychelle Gabriel (movie Yue) voicing Asami in The Legend of Korra, a character first intended as a simple Romantic False Lead but was changed to become much more prominent when she became popular with the fans. The hilarity doesn't reach its peak until the end of the show, though, where Asami ended up becoming the titular Korra's final love interest.
  • Internet Backdraft: Online criticism of the film reached apoplectic levels. Luckily, capital letters and boldface are unlimited resources.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Zuko, when he's not yelling or being his general angry self.
  • Memetic Mutation: Many, mostly related to unintentionally hilarious moments.
    • Before the movie had even come out, early test screening reviews mentioned a scene that has turned the phrase "punching the fish" into a memenote .
    • "BRING ME... ALL YOUR ELDERLY!" (Zuko's line when he's searching for the Avatar in the Southern Water tribe makes it sound like he has a fetish for elderly people. He's more specific in the show.)
    • The pebble dance, the most notorious example of Fight Scene Failure mentioned abovenote .
    • Kat-tackle (Katara pushing over a random guard and then just standing there).
    • Zhao constantly mentioning the secret library.
    • Ozai's glowing ass (from a screenshot in which the source of light appears to be Ozai's rear end).
    • Yue's line about believing in beliefs, and her penis hair (how it looks like when viewed from the back.)
  • Mis-blamed: Some sources have redirected responsibility for many of the film's flaws from Shyamalan to Executive Meddling.
  • Narm: Has its own page.
  • Never Live It Down: Played straight with M. Night Shyamalan, who has yet to distance himself from the spectacular failure of this film on top of his previous three outings. Likewise, Nickelodeon and Paramount have not been allowed to forget their part in this film's creation.
  • The Scrappy: Live!Katara has far fewer fans than her cartoon counterpart, mainly for hardly being like Cartoon!Katara and her actress having a severe case of Dull Surprise. It also doesn't help that this script removed many of her strong Character Development moments and gave most of the rest to Aang. Plus, there are persistent rumors that Nicola Peltz's extremely rich father bought the role for her.
  • Ship Tease: The ending of the Oasis fight was significantly more... Zutara-ish.
  • Snark Bait: Oh, so very much. It's in reviews, it's in forums, and it's in TV Tropes, and it's all because the movie is so awful.
  • Signature Scene: The Earthbender prison, because it's a perfect showcase of the film's...problematic adaptation of the corresponding scene in the show. The Pebble Dance in particular has gone memetic.
  • So Bad, It's Good: For all the snark the movie earns, it's good for riffing on at least.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • The CGI animals.
    • At the beginning, Katara splashes an off-screen Sokka with water, but he is completely dry when he appears.
    • In what is purportedly an arctic area, you can't see anyone's breath.
    • At times, the waterbending is not even animated.
    • The firebending is pretty much nothing but poorly composed live-action fire elements with CG that even the film version of Spawn would reject.
    • The last-minute 3D conversion was universally panned.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Long before the movie was anything more than a casting list and a few trailers, fans were complaining about changes to the source material. One of the biggest examples from the movie once it finally came out was the pronunciation changes, which Shyamalan deliberately included to make the character names sound closer to their "correct" Asian pronunciations (even though most of the names were made up) than the Americanized pronunciations from the cartoon. Fans were not pleased.
  • They Just Didn't Care: Many of the show's fans conclude that it was M. Night Shyamalan who didn't care. However, this may not be true, as there are some sources that state that it was the producers of the film who didn't care, as they never bothered to watch the show, and the Executive Meddling that resulted led to the film bombing.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Shaun Toub and Dev Patel, though at least the latter was somewhat close to his character's original portrayal.
  • Uncanny Valley: Appa's face, in both the movie and the tie-in toys. Samples here.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Yue's hair style didn't fare well in the transition from cartoon to live action, as from the back many claim it resembles a penis.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • The Agony Booth objects to what its recapper considers a sexist tone in the film, pointing out that a number of important moments for female characters (Katara's speech to the imprisoned earthbenders, Yue realizing she can sacrifice herself to restore waterbending) are given to male characters instead.
    • Many fans of the show saw the decision to cast white performers in the leads as a Race Lift to exclude Asian actors from the roles. The casting call as for "Caucasian or any other ethnicity" suggested a preference for white actors, and it also suggested that people of Korean descent wear a kimono.
    • The movie's Race Lift makes all the heroes (including Katara and Sokka, who in the show are Ambiguously Brown) white, and all the villains dark-skinned.
    Honest Trailers: "Watch as the ethnically diverse heroes you know and love are brought to life as generic white guys, while the ethnically diverse villains... stay ethnically diverse."
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Aasif Mandvi as Zhao. Mandvi is a primarily comedic actor best known for his work on The Daily Show. Shockingly enough though, he end up being one of the most faithful characters to the source material.
    • Many fans of the original cartoon would have preferred Asian actors to play Katara and Sokka because although the characters have ambiguous racial features, their culture is based on Inuits. Caucasian actors Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone were cast instead but all the Waterbender extras were Asian or Inuit actors, so the main characters don't seem to belong to their own tribe.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Dreadlocks? On Iroh? Seriously?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheLastAirbender