I haven’t read Stephanie Meyer’s book, Twilight, upon which this movie is based. But I can assume it’s better than the film, which is so bad, were the book anything like this, no one would have read it in the first place.
Moody teen Bella (Kristen Stewart) moves to a new town and falls in love with Edward (Robert Pattinson), who, we quickly learn, is a vampire. His bloodlust is tamed by her puppy love and they share an unlikely romance.
The clichéd Love Conquers All angle could’ve worked if the two leads gave passionate performances, but Stewart recites all her lines in the same monotone (except when she’s shouting) and Pattinson’s wide-eyed staring is unintentionally hilarious. His sideburns, huge hair, soft vocals and tendency to squint make him appear like an undead Luke Perry.
The high school they attend, in which all the students and teachers overact like cast mates on Saved by The Bell, is equally unconvincing. The dialogue and special effects are laughably bad, as is a vampire baseball game (must be seen to be believed) and the way the camera circles around Pattinson while he plays the piano, as if we were watching an Elton John video.
The vampires, both in appearance and ability, are uninteresting: they can fly, live forever and posses great strength, but don’t wear capes or do shape shifting or have fangs or have allergies to garlic, mirrors or crucifixes—and aren’t scary. In fact, from the description I just gave, do they even sound like vampires?
Despite the help of “Claire de Lune” and Radiohead, the song and music score are weak (though the soundtrack was sitting atop the charts before the film was even released, proof that sales and quality don’t always line up). The filming—with a blue tint making every scene appear overcast—is an eyesore. Considering that director Catherine Hardwicke’s best known films, Thirteen and The Nativity Story, are about young women coming of age, with the latter even having a supernatural element, you’d think she’d be an ideal filmmaker for this material.
The public consensus seems to be that, despite how awkward, lifeless and campy the film is, 13-year old girls will love it! To this I say: what an insult to 13-year old girls. MTW