Review #5: Twilight

Title: Twilight
Year: 2008
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Romance, Drama
Director(s): Catherine Hardwicke
Writer(s): Melissa Rosenberg & Stephanie Meyer (novel)
Cast: Kristen Stewart (Panic Room, The Runaways), Robert Pattinson (Water for Elephants, Remember Me)

Bella and Edward appear to be posing for a GAP ad.

Summary: Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is a typical, teenage girl who moves to Forks, Washington to live with her dad after her mother gets remarried to a baseball player. Though quiet and flat, Bella enters her new high school and obtains several admirers and friends within a brief period of time. Then, one day, in the lunch room, Bella spots a group of oddly attractive teens, who turn out to be the Cullens, a family of adopted and mysterious teens. One family member in particular, Edward (Robert Pattinson), catches Bella’s attention and she becomes strangely infatuated with him, even though he is abrasive and rude to her. Over time, the two begin speaking and become friends and then, very quickly, enter into a relationship that’s far more dangerous than the average: Edward is a vampire and, though having sworn to only feed off of animals, is specifically attracted to the smell of Bella’s blood. Regardless, the pair sticks together and things appear to be going far smoother than expected, until far less friendly vampires enter the Cullens’ territory and threaten Bella’s life.

Playing into the teenage fantasy, they go to prom after a near-death experience just because.

Review: In contrast to my last post, here is Twilight, not just one of the worst vampire movies ever made, but one of the worst popular movies I have seen in a  very long time. Bella, for a reason that is never made clear, moves to Forks and absolutely hates it, not that you’d be able to tell if she didn’t say so: Kristen Stewart is such an atrocious actress in this that not a single genuine emotion flits across her face. Stranger still, even though her character is painfully two-dimensional and speaks in a mind-numbing monotone, the boys still flock to her — in reality, she is so boring that she would have gone entirely unnoticed in a high school, regardless of how small the town is. Then, for no reason, she decides to become enamored with a boy who won’t speak to her and looks at her funny; before long, they are completely, unbelievably in love, though they don’t seem to know a single thing about each other and only talk about being together forever and/or how dangerous he is. People insist his thirst of her blood makes it complicated, without even realizing that his panic following a heavy kiss is just a blatant message for abstinence and excuse for the character to brood.

Beyond the bad writing and awful plot — which only gets sillier when it is revealed that vampires like to play baseball, can live off of animal blood if they’re moral, and sparkle in the sunlight — the acting, as I previously stated, is lifeless. Stewart is the worst, but no one else steals the show, either — Pattinson delivers his lines in a way that suggests he can’t believe he’s signed on for this (in Water for Elephants he proves that he can do much better), Kendrick fades into the background despite being amazing in Up in the Air, and I barely even remember Lautner beyond being distraught over his dead-animal-like hairdo.

The film, even from a visual standpoint, fails to deliver. The special effects, as many have said before me, are laughable — during the sunlight scene, Pattinson looks like he  spilled glitter on himself during arts-and-crafts — but it’s the cinematography that drives me up the wall. Yes, there are some pretty sweeping shots of the forest, but, beyond that, all I can pay attention to is the fact that everything is greenish-blue-tinted. I kept forgetting that they weren’t underwater, before remembering that blue filters were probably added to bring in the dreariness that the actors could not.

Overall, the plot’s message is paper-thin and the entertainment value is limited to those who are simply enchanted with Pattinson. Equally, the acting is horrid and the visuals are uninspired. The whole series, honestly, offends me not just as a viewer, but as a female and I am in no way a die-hard feminist — it’s just, as someone who really hopes to one day be successful, it bothers me that Meyer is preaching to young girls that finding a man who will watch you sleep (wait, what?), getting married, and having a baby as young as possible is the only thing a girl is really meant to do. Bella goes through the motions without questioning anything or considering her own well-being, and never seems to have any aspirations beyond latching onto Edward forever and ever.

I leave you now with a list of everything that disqualifies the “vampires” this film as being, well… vampires. They:

  1. sparkle in the sunlight
  2. have no aversion to garlic, wolfsbane, or crosses
  3. can’t turn into bats, wolves, rats, and/or mist
  4. don’t sleep in coffins — in fact, don’t sleep at all
  5. don’t require human blood to survive
  6. can come into your home uninvited
  7. have reflections
  8. don’t require a stake to the heart and/or decapitation to be defeated

Really, the only thing these vampires have in common with those of yesteryear is they both suck, albeit in different ways.

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About Sprocket Reviews

I'm just a writer and film fanatic trying to pass the time.
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