Hater’s Delight: The Last Airbender

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways

Burqeños dis TLA at Century Rio.

By any metric, M. Night Shylaman’s crackpot adaptation of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is a fucking disaster. Kids in cineplexes across the country squirmed in their seats and couldn’t wait for it to be over. Key plot elements are either unexplained or mentioned casually in passing; the kung fu is weak, the bending is anemic; crowd-pleasing characters from the show are mangled beyond recognition, relegated to background scenery or left on the cutting room floor … the list goes on. It’s a stinker.

The real deal.
The real deal.

But unlike similar mass-market turdbombs that bilked audiences with promises of high adventure and delivered only boredom and incoherence—(cough) Phantom Menace (cough)—this one is getting the roasting it richly deserves. Critics, fans and racebending activists agree, there’s something for everyone to hate. Two weeks after TLA opened, here’s a roundup of the fun:

• “M. Night Shyamalan Finally Made A Comedy”: Charlie Jane Anders’ Pultizer-Prize-worthy post on io9. Hate factor: This is the high-water mark of TLA hating with lines like “It's an absurdist masterpiece, in which a million things happen but nothing takes place.” Delight factor: I’m still weeping with joy at how lethal this is. Charlie Jane Anders, will you marry me?

Suppressed Reelz Channel “First Fans” review (at Century Rio 24 in Albuquerque!). Hate factor: Extreme! Hardcore fans in costume keep saying “It sucked!” over and over again. Delight factor: High. Burque nerds really get into their hate. Too bad Reelz pulled this off their website. Takes exception to the lily-white casting. Hate factor: High. Delight factor: Zero. Would they have been in favor of this shitty film if the casting was politically correct? We’ll never know.

• “People Really Hate The Last Airbender”: Lovely roundup of mean film critic quotes. Hate factor: Medium. Hate once removed is less hateful. Delight factor: High. Why read the whole review when you can just read the zingers?