So a 48-inch tall Anakin Skywalker-type kid with a shaved head — not with the hang-ups but the special powers — is the Nickelodeon-sired hero of M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Last Airbender (Paramount, 7.2)? Consider this excerpt from Brad Brevet ‘s two-day-old report about crowd reactions to the Airbender trailer: “[Started out excited] but quickly turned to impatience and a few boos when writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan’s name popped up.”
What has happened to the brilliant M. Night? I thought he was God after seeing Signs, which boldly made use of creepy silences that I thought was a landmark style thing. He alone seemed to understand that less could be a lot more. I even allowed myself to imagine that he might be made of the same genetic code that informed Hitchcock and Kubrick. And now he’s made a feature for the Nickleodeon crowd?
We all know what took him down, of course. It was the debacle of Lady in the Water plus Mark Wahlberg talking to the plants in The Happening and the whole Andy Samberg Wahlberg-parody thing that followed.
“Air, Water, Earth, Fire. Four nations tied by destiny when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world,” blah blah.