Episode 16: [Sad Trombone Noise]

Yowzah! Seems like it’s always a wild time when we post a new episode, but guess that’s just the way it is in Unprecedented Times. We’re officially in year three of this podcast (!), so hope it continues to be a nice distraction in the meantime.

We’ve mentioned our love for Avatar: The Last Airbender before. Neither of us had seen the live action movie, but had heard all The Things about that movie, were fully aware the subsequent sequels were cancelled…and yet…with that 5% Rotten Tomatoes score, we were convinced it had to be So Bad It’s Good…right? Well, joke’s on us because sometimes a bad rating just means a bad movie.

Promotional poster for the Last Airbender in 3D featuring Aang removing his hood and revealing his glowing tattoo in the foreground; Zuko, Sokka, Katara, and Princess Yueh are featured in the background.
Ooo in 3D.

Oh, boy. Where do we even begin? Adapting a beloved series will always be difficult because the criticism and comparisons to the original will be impossible to avoid (e.g., the recent Cowboy Bebop live-action adaption, which for the record, Adri enjoyed), but boy howdy did The Last Airbender take us by surprise. It has been a while since we’ve seen something we’ve enjoyed this little. Not to say that there wasn’t a lot of effort made overall (movies are hard to make, so we’d never say people didn’t do their jobs), but this movie was so hard to follow. Honestly, if you haven’t seen the original, the movie would make no sense! Such strange storytelling choices throughout, and absolutely no fun or joy to be seen. This is a Nickelodeon movie…for kids…right? Not sure the film knew that.

Appa, a flying bison, floats in the air as several children hang on to his legs. A snowy landscape is visible around them.
Appa deserved better.

Anyway, it was kind of cathartic talking about how baffled we were by the choices made in this movie. So at least it gave us that! Save yourself the $3.99 rental, and just listen to the episode instead.

Episode Highlights

  • What have we watched recently and actually enjoyed?
  • Who was the baffling original actor cast as Zuko?
  • Which Dev Patel epic do we recommend instead?