Saturday, July 3, 2010

So I went to see "The Last Airbender"...

Alright I know everyone and their cousin has been passing judgment on the new "The Last Airbender" movie talking about how racist the casting was in that the characters, clearly influenced by Asian cultures just like most of the rest of the series, were were played by white people. Well I wanted to at least able to say I saw it before judging it (that whole "Don't knock it til you try it" thing).

Damn it was more racist than I thought.

Okay admittedly as a person who has only seen 3-4 random episodes of the cartoon I thought that it was a great movie. The moves were awesome and I liked that they didn't try to fit the entire story into one movie. And honestly I only have one problem with the movie. But its a big problem.

See I thought the entire cast was white (while I've only seen a few episodes I know enough to know that their skin color clearly shows they are not white). Oh no it wasn't that simple. They only made the main hero characters white. Meaning that Ang, Soka, Kitara, and the people of the Northern Water City (where the big climactic battle takes place) were white while the people of Southern Water Village, the people of the Earth Nation that were shown (as I understand they will play a larger role later in the story) and the Fire Nation (the main villains) were people of color.

How f'd up is that?

I have to say that even though I thought it was a good movie otherwise I'm not sure if I can bring myself to go see the sequel (well I imagine sequels since this movie is titled "Book One: Water" and the original cartoon has 3 seasons or "Books").

4 comments:

Paul said...

Having never seen more than an episode (maybe two) of the show, I'm not particularly interested in seeing it. I might get it from redbox when it comes out on DVD (It does look like it might be worth a dollar, anyway)

I have to wonder how blind movie producers, directors, studio execs... whoever makes these casting decisions are though. I mean, why is it the rest of the world can see these things coming, but they have NO clue?

Toysoldier said...

Despite the obvious racist casting, the movie actually did okay this weekend. It about $70 million, which is much more than I expected. That means some of the fans of the cartoon supported the film. In all likelihood M. Night will get to make the other two parts of "his" trilogy.

Danny said...

I don't know Paul. If it had been a case in which the entire cast had been replaced with white people then maybe I could understand the defense that they weren't paying attention (but even then it would still be a tough sale to me). However for them to decide to cast the main good characters as white while keeping the neutral characters and villains as people of color I think takes some conscious effort.

Danny said...

Yeah TS I'm not sure if its a good thing that it did. Yeah the Avatar following is big enough that the rest of the trilogy will more than likely go down. Problem is the cast is set in stone so short of a cast member dying they are not going anywhere...

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