“Twilight” is about as well thought-out and subtle as a wrecking ball to the face. I put off seeing this film for as long as humanly possible, because I knew at some point I’d be forced to watch it which means I shouldn’t be forced to sit through repeated viewings if I’ll just wait til it’s inevitable. And for the record, I went into this with a completely open mind, as I do with all movies, but was the wait “worth” it?
Why you’ll like this:
Teenage romance; good score; lovey-dovey youthful drama
Based on the novels by Stephanie Meyer, “Twilight” is about Bella (played by Kristen Stewart) who has moved to Washington and falls for the outsider Edward (Robert Pattinson), who is a vampire, albeit kind of the vegan version. (I’m trying to cram as many “V” words in this to make it more interesting (at LAST) for myself as possible. Fine, I’ll stop.) Verily, Edward is actually both her savior and her doomsday device since he repeatedly reminds everyone who will listen that it’s really really really hard to resist biting Bella on the neck and not draining her life.
I’m not sure if the writer’s had short term memories or if they thought this was supposed to be a sitcom where everyone announces their feelings at least in a five minute loop. “OH! It’s been ten seconds, let’s remind everyone that Bella is helpless and that Edward is the only emotionally undeveloped 100-year-old man.” Oddly, one of my bigger complaints is the lack of logic given as to why these vampires are even parading around as High Schoolers in the first place. That seems rather unintelligent to throw themselves in with a bunch of adolescent kids and hope no foul situations ever arise, because kids are known for their responsibility, so let’s hang out where they’ll never find us.
It’s not that there was nothing about the film to gravitate towards, I did like the score and there were a few good actors actually delivering some lines. Namely Peter Facinelli, Anna Kendrick and Ashley Greene all turned in respectable performances. I normally like Kristen Stewart, I liked her in “In the Land of Women”, “Adventureland” and “Into the Wild”, but here the drama was laid on way too thick, and I did get a chuckle out of the “angel wings” behind Edward during their first encounter in the science lab. I don’t particularly care for the excuse “it’s High School drama, what do you expect?”, because “Friday Night Lights” is a fantastic teenage drama where it’s realistic, there’s a vast number of storylines permeating and yet they still act like teenagers.
Why you won’t like this:
High degree of corniness; not a well-structured drama; some poor acting
Again, this is definitely on the tolerable side of bad teen chick-flicks (I shudder to think of what the intolerable side is), but it’s incredibly unimaginative in terms of characters and motivation (I dream of dramas where emotions live on faces and in actions, not in words); the approach is not slick and never even attempts to treat the audience with any degree of intelligence, the effects are shaky *at best* (that baseball scene was ridiculous) and there is absolutely no thought towards subtext and layered story-telling. “Harry Potter” was made for sub-teens and surpasses this work in every area imaginable, and you can only blame the source material for that. If you want a vampire saga with any hint of depth then I would recommend HBO’s “True Blood”, it’d eat Stephanie Meyer’s heart out.
2 out of 5 Stars.
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Peter Facinelli, Anna Kendrick
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Genre: Romance, Drama, Fantasy
Running Time: 2 hr. 2 min.
Release Date: November 21, 2008