Posted by: thinningtheherd | July 2, 2010

#88 M. Night Shymalan

Species Name:  Directorius Enoughisenoughicus

Spoiler Alert:  By the end of this post, you’ll realize that M. Night Shymalan has been thinned from the herd ever since he made his first movies, or maybe at least should’ve been.  Believe it or not, this thinning actually pains me to carry out.  I had such high hopes for this guy.  Although, I was not blown away by The Sixth Sense like most people (likely because I didn’t see it until about 3 months ago),  I was impressed by Unbreakable, Signs, and yes I dare even say, The Village (don’t act like you saw that ending coming cause if you say you did, you’re a fucking liar!)  Man oh man, M. Night has churned out one celluloid pile of feces after the next, but maybe none as egregious as his newest piece of shit, The Last Airbender.

What do you get when you have a Shymalan movie without the twist ending?  The Last Airbender, which one reviewer called “blissfully forgettable if it weren’t so blazingly incompetent.”  With a recent track record that consists of The Happening and Lady in the Water, who over at Paramount thought it would be a bright idea to give this guy control of what could’ve been a major tentpole franchise for the studio.  Now, it will be nothing more them a big, infected blemish on the already acne covered summer movie landscape.  After the reception of The Last Airbender I don’t think I’ll be the only one calling for Shymalan’s head.

In a world where M. Night Shymalan didn’t exist to allure us with  intriguing trailers for his movies, only to leave us with cinematic blue balls:

  • We wouldn’t have to endure M. Knight putting himself in all of his movies.  Seriously guy, even Hitchcock was more subtle than you with his cameos.  At the very least, take a goddamn acting class.
  • Dev Patel wouldn’t have felt compelled to take on the roll in The Last Airbender, just to support his fellow countryman.
  • Mark Wahlberg would still be a terrible actor.
  • Haley Joel Osment would’ve still experienced his awkward puberty stage but at least we wouldn’t have had to witness it.
  • The concept of a twist ending wouldn’t be allowed to be a director’s signature.  Is it a twist if you know it’s coming?

Look, I don’t necessarily think M. is a bad director.  He manages to create a very distinct mood in his films for the most part.  Hell, he even used to be a decent writer until Lady in the Water.  His acting however is atrocious.  It’s a good thing he’s the director, because he’d be recast in a heartbeat.  Although I don’t agree that Shymalan is a “one trick pony.”  Come on, be fair, he’s a two trick pony.

But one has to have dreams right?



  1. I thought The Village was underrated too! But man, Lady in the Water was dreadful. And I didn’t even bother seeing The Happening even though I had a chance to for free.

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