The Unjustifiable 'Flaws' of The Last Airbender or The Mainstream Media's Continuous Attempt at Ending M. Night Shyamalan's Career of Enlightening Films with Manufacturing Anti-Intellectualism and Racism to the Public as a Normative, Rational, and Popular Opinion
To be briefly simple in explaining my position, I am a member of the few admirers of master narrative filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan in the United States of America. I appreciate his subtle storytelling style that (not surprisingly) is not in synch with most American audiences expecting a little bit of "electricity" in their formulaic Hollywood films that are clouded with a word known as "entertainment". In Night's first attempt at making a potentially adapted film trilogy with retelling The Last Airbender, based on a popular American animated show that debuted in 2005, he predictably received little positive feedback from mainstream American critics and audiences that came to the theater with an expectation of severely comparing and contrasting from the mediums of anime to film. This not only leads to an inequipped perspective in seeing the film that stands alone, but it also demonstrates a biased means of critiquing the film that not only lacks justification, but also proves just how little they understand the original film. Everything critics and audiences have said about this "terrible" film contradicts what Shyamalan's actually trying to portray in it. In other words, casual moviegoers have missed a lot of what makes this creatively adapted retelling such a beautiful work of art. Below, I will list the commonly mainstream so-called 'flaws' that are surprisingly and suspiciously shared among the critics and audiences, and I will respond to each statement with evidence (e.g., the film's content) to prove why those shared views are not convincing and not considered constructive criticism of the film. This "criticism" also proves how little they know of the original film's story. Before beginning, one must understand the creative freedom inherent from creatively adapted films that allows the artist (Shyamalan) to mold his story at its own pace, style, and progression. The film clearly is inspired by the show's main points of the story, but that doesn't give anybody the right to criticize it for not being a LITERAL adaption to the show. That is not the film's purpose. Shyamalan made a film that not only took the most important aspects of the show's progression, but he also made it his own exploration of the universe.
"It took 6 Earthbenders to move a 'tiny' rock!"
The logical place to begin would be the second Firebending attack directed towards the father after protecting his son with an Earthbending wall barrier. The fire attack was blocked by another set of Earthbending barriers conjured by an unknown group of Earthbenders. Or, let me be very specific: pay close attention to the visual effect of this earth barrier. It doesn't look like the first earth barrier at all. There are signs of multiple earth barriers being done at once to protect the two. After the wall barriers did its job, the camera immediately moves to the left with the father looking in the same direction at the identity of the conjurers.
After the motivating and electrifying performance routine, the rock reveals itself moving from left to right across the screen. This is where most critics and audiences assumed that "tiny, little" rock was conjured by 6 Earthbenders, and I'm about to prove why that's not the case: the Earthbenders showed no signs that they conjured this rock with any eye contact towards the object, and the rock was placed a great distance to the right of where they are standing. How can that be?
If one would patiently wait a few seconds, the most likely Earthbender responsible for conjuring this rock is the man that immediately pops into the screen. To make matters convenient, he is directly behind that rock! To validate the Earthbender's manipulation of the rock, he moved part of his whole body to allow that rock to strike the Firebender. Ta da! We identified that secret with basic logic.
This is a testament to M. Night Shyamalan's genius in choreographing action sequences. Not only did he expertly direct this in one take, Night showed signs of multilayered details for the viewer to explore on their own. These little things are scattered all over this film! See, the decision to shoot that action sequence in one take provides a more open perspective rather than the spoon-fed, electrifying approach that Hollywood's commonly known for with its fast-paced editing (Christopher Nolan's films are an exception, though. That man is a genius!).