Reviews

Twilight

3

Romeo And Juliet – but in a new vein…

Based on the first in the colossally popular series of novels by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight is an unbridled fantasy for adolescent girls… and a very goofy vampire comedy for the rest of us.

The story centres on Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a glum, misunderstood teen who leaves her humdrum life in Phoenix behind to live with her father (Billy Burke), a stern-but-loving cop in Forks, Washington.

On her first day of school, Bella meets the breathlessly handsome and bewitchingly mysterious Edward Cullen (Hogwarts alumnus Robert Pattinson), an alabaster-skinned James Dean in guyliner who punches away a wayward truck that was skidding dangerously towards her.

Naturally, they quickly develop a doomed romance, much to the chagrin of Edward’s chalk-faced siblings.

For director Catherine Hardwicke, it’s no great leap from the hormonal hysteria of Thirteen to Twilight’s overwrought, eye-rolling teenage wasteland.

What surprises is how, in spite of its melodramatic foibles, it manages to entertain so much. Whether it’s the jawtumbling dialogue (“You’re like my own personal brand of heroin!”), the dodgy special effects, including many man-on-wire shots of Edward scuttling up trees like a well-dressed squirrel, or just the berserk byways the film takes (vampire baseball?), Twilight never ceases to keep viewers either chuckling or shaking heads in disbelief.

What little plot there is takes about 20 minutes to sew up. A trio of vamps who prefer human blood stumble into town, with the maddest one taking a ripe interest in the fertile veins of Bella.

In any sane cinematic outing, this would be the main thrust of the story. But it’s a mere distraction here, leaving ample time for the leads to bat their thick and lustrous lashes at one another.

It’s The Lost Boys as penned by your goth-obsessed little sister.

Ken McIntyre

Verdict:

Grey on the surface but florid underneath, this swoony supernatural romance may amuse and bemuse non-initiates but won’t leave the faithful betrayed. The $70m opening Stateside will create plenty of sequel opportunities to fix the flaws.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • Casper vile

      Dec 18th 2008, 15:01

      5

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    • steelneil

      Dec 22nd 2008, 11:27

      3

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    • BarnabyTFV

      Dec 23rd 2008, 8:50

      5

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    • mochamanda

      Dec 24th 2008, 1:07

      1

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    • wolfgirl

      Jan 7th 2009, 12:00

      4

      Wonderfully directed, good use of music and enough to make all girls mushy. I hadn't even read the novel beforehand either, so I went into this blind and came out impressed. If you liked this, go see 'Thirteen' by the same director.

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    • BarnabyTFV

      Jan 12th 2009, 10:34

      5

      This superb adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's bestselling book of the same title features two pale skinned young lovers who suffer slight, shall we say, race relationship issues. One's human and one's a vampire. This may sound like an excuse for sensual love making involving love bites, blood rolling down bare chests and more than just partial nudity. Thankfully this rather subtle fantasy film features no such thing, and stays tame but compelling most of the way through. It's aim is to explore the achingly longing teen love can bring, and how complicated that can get when your lover has to hold himself back from biting you. Within the first ten minutes the we see Arizona girl Bella move to live with her divorced father in Forks, Washington, a place where it rains nearly everyday, and the surrounding woods are haunted by Vampires. She only discovers this last fact later when she befriends Edward, a member of the sinisterly beautiful Cullen family. The two lead actors are perfectly matched, with the heart-throb-securing good looks of British actor Robert Pattinson complementing the pale but pure face of Kristen Stewart. The good thing about the film is that it doesn't pretend to be original, nor does it send nods and winks to the audience. Instead, to lighten the angsty tone we get little moments of quick witted dialogue comedy which doesn't by any means detract from the sometimes heart pounding action. Two young beautiful people staring into each others eyes for most of a whole film may not seem like a thrilling two hours, but trust me, there is more tangible menace in the eyes of these two teens than there was throughout recent horror flicks such as the patchy I Am Legend and the rediculous Saw series.

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    • FilmFan

      Jan 25th 2009, 20:46

      4

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    • MattBelfield

      Feb 11th 2009, 1:15

      3

      Twilight, branded as the new harry potter-esque craze amongst the teenage market, is the first film adaption of Stephanie Meyers’ hugely successful quartet of vampire-romance novels and was arguably one of the most anticipated film of 2008. As with all films which are adapted from another medium there is a pre excising audience which can be problematic for film maker because fans of the book have already used their of imagination to create the perfect mental picture. The question remains whether Twilight is a faithful on-screen transition of the film or lacks the bite of the book. Twilight begins with the introduction of Isabella “Bella” Swan (Kristen Stewart) who moves from Arizona to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her estranged father Charlie (Billy Burke). After enrolling in the local school she is informed about a group of pale skinned brothers and sisters named the Cullens who have been adopted by the local physician. Premier to this group is the mysterious Edward (Robert Patterson), so beautiful that the students believe he thinks he is too good for them. Bella’s fascination with Edward is immediately clear however he initially fails to reciprocated those feelings instead choosing to act with unprovoked offensiveness and repugnance. Over time his behaviour changes and Edward begins to show a curiosity towards Bella and shows an interested in getting to know her. We become aware of the mutual attraction and obsession that Bella and Edward have with each other to the point where he uses seemingly superhuman powers to save Bella from certain death and a suggested rape situation. Edward reveals himself to Bella to be a vampire who must curb his carnal desire for blood. However a trio of vampires consisting of James (Cam Gigandet), Laurent (Edi Gathegi) and Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), who unlike the Cullen clan (who only kill and drink animal blood) are representation of bloodthirsty, murderous vampires who decide to hunt down and kill Bella due to her unique relationship with the Cullens. The love story between Bella and Edward is both the films downfall and the films greatest triumph although which stance you take depends on who you are. Twilight knows its audience (14-18 year old girls) and as such is the perfect film for them. Diehard vampire fans however will find the film lacks velocity and the ferociousness of a traditional vampire film as such results in being more Buffy than Blade. Twilight is a return to ideological and traditional notions of romance which exercises restraint of sexual desires and teenage abstinence which has been credited as being a drawn from Meyers own Mormon beliefs. The drawback of the story moves slowly through copious amounts teenage angst which creates unnecessary melodramatic moments and as such works substantially better as a romance film than any other genre that tries to creep into the film. The villains in the film lack any real motivation other than the fact they are “bad” vampires (vampires who kill people) and the relationship between Edward and Bella grows from mutual obsession, and awkward sideways glances and Edwards innate desire to drink her blood and Bella’s desire to be wanted.... rather than actual love. Twilights masquerade as being original is only a half truth. Granted the idea of a teenage romance film which includes vampires is original nevertheless the notion of “good” vampires has been explored in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel and the romanticism of vampire mythology was explored in the Anne Rice book/Neil Jordan film “Interview with a vampire”. The two main character, unless you are a 16 year old girl, are on the whole unlikeable. Bella, supposedly a intelligence individual, gives the impression of being juvenile and intoxicated by her feelings for Edward even going as far as to discard her friends and family to be with her high school sweetheart and Edwards’s dark and broody nature seems to be a means of conforming to the conventions of a good vampires established in BTVS as well as a means to attract teenage girls. On a whole the slant you take on Twilight depends on who you are. For teenage girls Twilight is a slow burning supernatural romance based on mutual attraction, respect and love rather than sexual covetousness best described an “emo romance” film (complete with a suitably emo fuelled soundtrack) in which romance is explored through a morbid and sorrowed fascination. Twilight is a perfect film for teenage girls or angst ridden emos who will inevitable enjoy watching and exploring the deep and meaningful relationship between Bella and Edward. Others however may find the film to be a supernatural romance which is too lethargic to fully enjoy and too melodramatic and excessively idealistic for its own good.

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    • thekillingjoke

      May 21st 2009, 17:44

      2

      Not good. No, not good.

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    • sjsmith88

      Oct 28th 2009, 8:23

      2

      Poor.

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    • madrox

      Aug 2nd 2010, 14:02

      3

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    • sophieb0855

      Sep 4th 2010, 22:38

      5

      Twilight (2008), based on the best selling novel by Stephanie Meyer is a heart melting film which has caused a craze all over the world. Director Catherine Hardwicke created the ultimate Drama | Fantasy | Romance which creates a fasination to a fictional world. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves to the small, rainy and boring town of Forks to live with her dad. However, it doesn't take long for the clumsy, accident prone teen to get herself into danger when she falls for the handsome, misterious and charming Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). As they begin to fall in love, Edward puts Bella and her family in more danger than she realised possible. The story is greatly adapted from the book, and has obviously been studied to keep the same emotional connection to the film. There are several pieces of the film which would maybe have been better left as it is in the book, however overall the adaptation is more than acceptable. The soundtracks with the film set perfect atomosphere's when needed and suits the scenes incredibly. They create a further level of attention and fasination from the viewer. They seem deeply thought threw and chose specifically. The perfomance from the actors gives of a typical 'american teen' movie, with the High School scenario. The Leading roles of Bella and Edwards were played perfectly by both Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. The chemistry between the two is shown perfectly on screen and wraps people into the film and relationship automatically. Robert Pattinson plays a breath taking performance as Edward, and is trully fitted to the character. His performance attaches people more to the twilight saga (which maybe isn't the healthiest thing for a young woman) creating the image of the 'ideal and perfect being'. The supporting actors specificly other 'Vampires' in the film are of a high standard and create some amazing lines to be remembered from the film. Billy Burke (who playes Bella's father Charlie Swan) steals the scenes at times causing mild humour which add's something extra to the film. Catherine Hardwicke (Director) seemed to have quite little experience when it came to directing films however, she shone threw with Twilight showing an amazing adaptation from a novel. With this taken into account some flaws cannot be ignored, the effect of the cullens in sunlight seemed perfect in comparison with the description created by Stephanie Meyers however, the sound effect with this image was highly irritation and unneccessary. Also the scene's Edward running through the tree's with Bella seemed fake especially when other running scene's seem more natural. Some camera angles can be out of focus (whether intentional or un-noticed) its frustrating. As a true Twilight fan i find myself slightly biased in the review but it cannot be ignored that millions of people are obsessed with this saga, causing the conclusion that the books film and films to come are simply incredible. The story and effect's may seem unrealistic, however the whole point of a fiction and fantasy world is to create something unrealistic. It gives people the opportunity to escape to something every girl/woman dreams of. It has romance, comedy, action and is the ultimate film. Its has captured the hearts of many, including mine and wierdly causes an addiction which can not be explained. It is difficult to create a film which can not only reach out to millions of people all from diffrent aspects of life but can be watched several times a Day, Everyday for a long time. I believe in fact i definetly know, i have found one with Twilight.

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