Google reviews for The Last Airbender as see for yourself.
From my amazing co-activist Mike - The Last Airbender: Pre-Screening
What's left? It feels like Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, and Dev Patel are hanging out in front of the camera, telling you about all the cool stuff they saw while watching the television series.
From my excellent co-organizer buddy jedifreac - Preliminary Thoughts on Race and Gender in The Last Airbender
Minna: And then there's this scene where Aang meets an "Old Man in a Temple," who is this friendly old Asian mentor stereotype who is all affectionate to him and then backstabs him! It is a twist! And then there was the scene with the East Asian masseuse. Since they cut Suki out--even after bragging about including an Asian actress to play this character--that means that the most prominently featured East Asian actress was a woman giving a foot massage. What is wrong with these people? Even after all the accusations of racefail, they throw in that unnecessary stereotype. And what was up with the "African American" village?
Ken: They weren't African American. They were African.
Minna: No...M. Night said they were African American and that he didn't have to include them, but he did, to be diverse.
From my awesome sister bossymarmalade - but we must always be polite about it
Do you think he even recognizes that he's not the hero and never will be? He's already learned from the media and society that the darker you are, the scarier you are; when will he start recognizing his face reflected back only as villain, as joke fodder, as exotic backdrop?
From Roger Ebert (his review is up as well) - Face Painting
The studios underlying assumption about marketability and acting capability of White over Asian actors is insulting, and to claim that their production is “diverse” because they cast Asians as secondary and supporting characters ignores the bigger issue at hand – the starring, main Asian characters are portrayed by White actors instead of Asian actors.
I'll clarify my stance on all of this:
- I am not happy this movie was made the way it was. I am a fan of the television series and if there was anything I would have loved, it would be an awesome Avatar: The Last Airbender movie spearheaded by an Indian-American director with actors of colour as the lead, protagonist, heroes.
- I desperately wish this movie was one I could have adored as much as I loved the series.
- I sincerely hope the best for all of the actors in this mess of a movie, particularly the kids (Ringer, Peltz and Patel).
- I place all of the blame for every bit of this film's failure - from the casting, to the discrimination, to the script, to the marketing ploys - on the shoulders of Frank Marshall, Paramount Pictures and Shyamalan.
- I had once been willing to give Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt, but since he has given me no respect, I feel inclined to return in kind.
Of course there will still be people who won't read the reviews and prefer to pay for this film and judge the movie for themselves. Here is my one last plea to boycott this film, for reasons that might have nothing to do with you but has everything to do with the story of 'the other'.