Film Review: Twilight

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Twilight is the highly-anticipated film adaption of Stephenie Meyer’s runaway bestseller Twilight.  Meyer has tapped directly into the psyche of teenage girls everywhere with her Romeo Meets Juliet tale of a brooding undead vampire named Edward Cullen and his brooding (there’s a lot of that going around in the film) emo goth girlfriend Bella.  The series of books is hugely popular and the first in the series has been effectively turned into a feature-length film.  Twilight has a lot of problems with pacing and plotting but its a sincere, entertaining film that should appeal both to fans of teen soaps and fans of vampire lore.  The audience I saw it with (around 95 percent of which were girls and women) sat rapt with attention as the film played out, occassionally screaming or clapping, especially during a big fight scene where a leaping Edward (every vampire knows wire fu) smashes into a particularly nasty member of a rival member named James (Cam Gigandet from Never Back Down, an expert at sneering) who is brutalizing Edward’s sweet Bella.  The rowdy crowd of Emo goth girls were in lust with Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen.  Twilight takes a good 30 minutes to get going (there’s brooding, more brooding, and then some more, for good effect) but it does have some fresh ideas and an exciting finish with a promise of an entertaining and even more engaging sequel to come in the near future. 

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves with her father and beigns her life in a little town called Forks, Washington.  She quickly becomes fascinated with the mysterious Edward Cullen and his family of vampires (who look like Abercrombie models).  She realizes that there is something not quite right with Edward after he saves her from what should have been certain death. Edward and his family (including Nikki Reed, bringing some much-needed attitude to the sullen brooding) face off against a gang of 3 dangerous vampires who are killing people in the small town.  Edward must protect his human love Bella from them at all costs.  The acting is decent and the film is well made by the overrated Catherine Hardwicke.  This is clearly her best film.  She previously made the overrated Thirteen and the terribly annoying Lords of Dogtown.  Robert Pattinson makes for an engaging vampire based on looks alone.  I still don’t know whether he can act or not, but it hardly mattered since there wasn’t much required of the role. 

Twilight is a perfectly entertaining and exciting film that should please the hardcore fans and even bring in some new ones.  Guys shouldn’t be afraid to check this one out.  It doesn’t make you any less macho if you go see Twilight, you might even have a good time.  If you can stand the teen angst stuff, its a lot of fun.  Girls don’t need my recommendation to go, they know a good thing when they see it.  Like the underrated film The Covenant, Twilight is well worth a look.  At the very least, it doesn’t suck.  The already in the pipleline sequel (called New Moon) promises wolves and more action and special effects.  Freed of a lot of the set-up necessary in this first film, what the sequel needs is more edge, and a bit more bite.

Film Grade: B

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