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Recap / The Nostalgia Critic S 6 E 15

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Release: September 3, 2013

Film: The Last Airbender

Tagline: "Only one can bring balance to the franchise!"

This review contains examples of: (Trivia tropes are here)

  • Accidental Misnaming: The Critic keeps calling Doug Platypus-Bunny even after he tells him his name is Doug.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The song at the beginning has the lines "Don't ask Zuko about his scar or Rufio."
    • As Zhao stares at the restored Moon, the Critic does his best Senior Correspondent Aasif Mandvi (Zhao's film actor) impression and reports:
      Aasif!Critic: I can hardly explain what I'm seeing Jon [Stewart], but the Moon just came back!
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  • Adaptational Jerkass: Show!Katara hated bloodbending and had outlawed it by the time Korra came around. Rachel!Katara is only too happy to use it casually on the Critic, even when he calls her out on it.
  • Affectionate Parody: Doug clearly loves Avatar, but that won't stop him from making jokes about it or recreating the opening and ending themes.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Critic absorbing the essence of the original show.
    Critic: Ingenious writing, brilliant characters, and a fanbase obsessing about name pronunciation rather than the meaning of each episode.
  • As You Know/Show, Don't Tell: The Critic rages against the movie's overuse of the former and lack of the latter.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Japanese text on the title card says "This movie sucks". However...
    • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Since Japanese doesn't have the same idiom of "sucks = bad", it reads more like "This movie inhales."
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  • Butt-Monkey: Critic and Doug, in different ways. Critic gets insulted by everyone and doesn't even try to live up to the heroism promised, and Doug is just there to be a made-up animal who gets his name ignored.
  • Call-Back: The Critic can still contact Doug Walker, and Doug is still bitter.
    Doug: Why did I write you so stupid?
  • Deus ex Machina: Invoked by the Critic. He has Aang abruptly appear and blow up Shyamal-Amon.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Shyamal-Amon hacks into the broadcast.
  • Dope Slap: Repeatedly administered to the Critic by Katara bloodbending him to slap himself.
  • Dull Surprise: Shyamal-Amon's power is talent-bending, the ability to remove the acting ability from good actors. After the Critic is "Shyamalized":
    Critic: Hi, guys. I just want to stand directly in the middle of the shot and stare blankly into the camera.
  • First Installment Wins/Tough Act to Follow: In-Universe, Doug tells the Critic that The Legend of Korra is "OK, but it's no Avatar".
  • Hypocritical Humor:
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    • The Critic lambasts the ethnicity issues in the film, while having Sokka and Katara being played by Malcolm Ray (African-American) and Rachel Tietz (Caucasian), respectively.
    • Hypocrisy Nod: Noting the film pronounces the names of the characters differently, followed by the Critic immediately lampshading that making fun of this would be hypocritical after Doug has mispronounced them throughout his vlogs.
  • Indecisive Parody: Switches back and forth between satirizing the original series and The Legend of Korra. Lampshaded repeatedly.
  • Previously On…: After the commercial break, there's a recap in the style of The Legend of Korra.
  • Race Lift: One of the Critic's In-Universe gripes about the film is the ethnic miscasting of several characters, most prominently Katara and Sokka, who look definitely Caucasian (despite the Water Tribe's established Inuit inspiration, which is actually played straighter by the extras), and the Fire Nation seemingly becoming Indians or Middle Easterners (in the original, they're more imperial Chinese/Japanese/Thai). The Critic lampshades that he doesn't want to make an unintentional racist comment, considering the film was made by an Indian-American, but the miscasting is still cause for concern.
    "But hey, if you can't see the OBVIOUS similarities between the movie's designs and the show's designs, clearly, you haven't drank enough cactus juice."
  • Rage Against the Author: Inverted. Because of the power dynamic change, all Doug can do is passively-aggressively bitch against Critic while Critic continuously gets his name wrong.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: The scene where seven Earthbenders had to do a lengthy bending sequence just to lift a chunk of rock and hurl it to a Firebender produces an equally lengthy roasting from the Critic.
  • Running Gag: Various memes from the series being utilized, the Foamy Mouth Guy and "My Cabbages!", as well as "What a Tweest!".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • After seeing Shyamal-Amon, the Critic tries to run but Katara bloodbends him into a dumpster.
    My cabbages!
    • Also during the intro, where Doug says "Oh, fuck this noise!" when he sees the poster for the movie.
  • Self-Deprecation: The review attacked itself so you didn't have to, everything from the lack of focus in the satire, how useless the reboot speeches are, Rachel!Katara's Adaptational Villainy, Critic's lack of talent, and lampshading how he has no room to talk on racism.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During the Critic's rant on the Cardboard Prison the earthbenders were put in, he asks Shyamalan, "What is your major malfunction?"
    • His first, failed attempt to fight Shyamal-Amon resembles Arnold Rimmer's attempt to attack Cat in the first episode of "Red Dwarf".
    • The chant of "Oh, we blow, we bloooow. Oh,we blow, we bloooow." from the Fire Nation's soldiers is a reference to a similar chant done by the soldiers of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.
  • Shown Their Work: Well, this sort of came with Doug having watched the entire series prior to his review of the movie...
  • Special Edition Title: Done in the style of the original ATLA series.
  • Stillborn Franchise: In-Universe, the Critic already considers all prospects for a film sequel (foreshadowed by Azula's cameo at the very end) practically dead.
  • Take That!
    • M. Night Shyamalan becomes Amon from The Legend of Korra.
    • Part of the opening song has these lines:
      "The best Avatar ain't that blue pussy turd."
    • Upon seeing Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone's wooden performances as Katara and Sokka, respectively...
      Critic: "Oh no. They've [Katara and Sokka] both succumbed to the dreaded Hayden Christensen syndrome!"
    • After the overly long tracking-shot fight scene between Aang and the Blue Spirit against Fire Nation Mooks...
      Critic: "Give [M. Night] a "Tediously Obnoxious Directing Award". I think that's the same one that went to this person just a few years earlier."
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Happens after Shyamal-Amon announces he has the ability to take any actor's talent away.
    Critic: He's bluffing. No director is that bad or powerful...
    Shyamal-Amon: And for those of you who don't think I'm that bad or powerful, just look at what I did to Mark Wahlberg in The Happening.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-Universe, the Critic acknowledges that among the cast, Dev Patel (Zuko), Shaun Tomb (Iroh) and Aasif Mandvi (Zhao) are perhaps the only actors who actually acted in this bomb of a film.
  • Unreadably Fast Text/Freeze-Frame Bonus: All the potential penis hair jokes when we see Yue's hair:
    Does that require a Blowdry or a Blowjob? Are haircuts known as circumcisions? I said 'Public Hair' not 'Pubic Hair'! Does this make Queen Amidala's hair look less vaginal or more vaginal? When you said your hair is a dick to comb, I didn't know you meant a DICK to comb. Does the rug match the prick shaped drapes? You might be the only female I can get away with calling dick head. So, when you say you're washing your hair tonight, does that technically count as masturbating? This is great, I can technically reach first AND second base both at the same time. You're making the Coneheads look modest. Is that a cock on your block or are you just happy to see me? Now I know why they call you 'Hard Head'. What does she use for a headband, a censor bar? Was your hooker name 'Tip of the Iceberg'? Well, two heads are better than one. Seeing how you're royalty, do they crown you with a cock ring? I'm gonna guess and say night caps and condoms are pretty much the same for you. Pardon me your highness, but your hair looks like a giant penis.
    • The writing on Shyamal-Amon's mask.
    I'm Angry! Cutting Edge. Water! Really! It's the Trees. He's the Supervillain. The Blue Spirit is Zuko. He's Really Dead. It's Modern Time. Do you like twists? I'm out of ideas. OSCAR NOMINATED WRITER.
    • A picture of Ma-ti captioned 'heart' at the beginning of the song.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Taking cues from The Ember Island Players, the Critic puts in a sketch interspersing clips from said episode and the film, such that the characters are watching themselves as they are portrayed in the film, down to their outright disgust for the way they are reinterpreted.

Are you the Ahvatar, Ahng?
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