Twilight (2008)

twi - Twilight (2008)Reviewed by Nomad

Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

To Whom It May Concern:

This is not a horror movie. All those looking to see if Twilight exceeded all expectations and busted out some quality, brutal vampire action may now leave the room.

I’ll wait.

Okay, now all that’s left should be the little girls who fell in love with the novels Twilight is based on and some guys who are extremely enthusiastic about musicals. This movie … is for you. After a half hour of this film, I expect the men who love musicals will bail too.

Twilight is the tale of a young girl named Bella (Stewart) who moves to a new town to live with her father who is — conveniently enough — the chief-of-police. In getting to know her new schoolmates, she comes in contact with the Cullens, who appear much like a “united colors of Benetton” ad without the different ethnicities. Their skin is pale, their hair carefully disheveled, and their clothes are bleached bright white. But there is one Cullen whose pouty lip is more powerful than all the rest. His name is Edward (Pattinson), and his eyebrows rule all that see them.

twi1 - Twilight (2008)What follows is a montage pulled from a Creed video with Bella and Edward dancing around each other exchanging longing glances before finally connecting. The plot of the entire film is based largely around this relationship, but with little chemistry between the two, minuscule excitement in their courting ritual, and a pace as slow as the incoming tide, there will no doubt be many a yawn in your theater. To make matters worse, all the action shown in the trailer does not materialize until the final act, and what you’ve seen in those commercials is the very height of said action. Those looking for a big battle between vampire families should look elsewhere. Joy.

As Edward and Bella’s love blossoms, their looks finally turn from pensive to slightly happy. Edward seems willing to pull off a reflection of joy on occasion, but Bella appears to suffer great pains if she is made to even crack a smile. Truly, they are the ultimate Emo couple.

It’s hard to tell whether it is the director who is at fault here for the pacing of this film since choppy transitions could also be the product of 13th hour editing. We can, however, fault the direction and/or cinematography for countless needless sweeps across the forest canopy from above, below, around, etc., etc., ad nauseam. In Twilight the trees get as much camera time as the pearlescent Edward Cullen. Speaking of which, whoever worked out the character make-up for the Cullen family should be beaten. There is a fine line between being pale or fair-skinned and Powder (referencing the film with the bald-headed, super-powered kid of course). The make-up is most glaring on Edward and his “father“, who seem ridiculously grey. On Edward, though, this means his eyebrows become Muppet-like, and his lips are a bit too red for a non-cross-dressing male.

twi2 - Twilight (2008)Contradiction is the watchword of this script. Edward insists on letting Bella know that their being associated is a bad thing since her discovery of his bitey nature could spell doom for his family. Yet, he still draws her close enough for the girl to figure it out on her own. Pattinson does his best “90210” vintage Dylan impression with hands shoved in his pockets while trying to push her away, but whenever they have this discussion, it’s he who has approached little Bella in the lunch line.

And the story inconsistencies don’t end there. Let’s talk about the film’s finale (and this might be a minor spoiler for those who want to go in with clear vision) in which we find the hunter vampire from the trailer, who is so obsessed with tracking Bella, that he puts her family in danger in order to coax her into coming with him. TRACKING: — the pursuit (of a person or animal) by following tracks or marks they have left behind. It’s not tracking if you hold a gun to the baby deer’s head, thereby luring the daddy buck into a face-to-face battle. That’s called cheating! Small gripe, yes, but atop the rest you can see a fatal flaw in the writing.

It’s obvious that the back-story taken from the original books is far more interesting and worthy of exploration than the inane chatter we get in its place. I’ll spare you the whole story, but the tale of the Cullen family in and of itself would have been a better use of time alongside a proper introduction to each family member. Instead we get a five-minute flashback and the quickest of intros to the tribe, revealing very little of their personality and, in turn, likability. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but if you want pretty cinematography wrapped around a love story between a mortal and a supernatural being, go rent … *gulp*Blood and Chocolate. Yes. You made me go there.

Zero tension, lame dialogue, a complete lack of chemistry between the main characters who are meant to be madly in love, and a villain who does not surface until the movie’s end make Twilight a primo snore-fest to say the least. This film is the supreme sacrifice for the man who agrees to take his lady to any movie she desires … a true test of love. I’ll even go on to say that not only is this not worth the price of admission at theaters, it is not worth the few dollars at your rental store when the DVD hits. Not to mention the two hours you will lose of your life. This is not horror-lite. This is not even a Sci-Fi Channel original. Twilight is just a complete and total mess.

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1 out of 5

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