Oh, the pain.
Recently, at an Asian fusion restaurant, I was offered a thing called an Asiadilla. This was a quesadilla with roast duck and hoisin sauce inside it. Just let that idea sink into your mind and permeate your tastebuds — in essence, it’s Beijing Duck crossed with Tex-Mex. With extra cheese. Watching The Last Airbender is like being force-fed a hundred Asiadillas, washed down with a pitcher of overly sweet Saketinis. The Asian kitsch flies at you, from the yin-yang fish to the army of Samurai who are all South Asian. You want a cheesy foreign backdrop for your fantasy epic? M. Night Shyamalan will smother you in cheese! Because the setting, in this movie, is just another trickster making fun of your desire to believe in it. Airbender’s Asia is a giant pantomime, and you are Puss in Boots.