BOTTOM LINE: A unique take on the age-old vampire story that could have been quite thrilling and dramatic if it were not for the incessant music video style sequences and an unwillingness by the filmmakers to expand the tone of the film beyond its core teenage audience.
THE GOOD: Twilight deserves kudos for creating a unique take on the vampire story, which has been so well covered throughout both cinematic and literary history. It can thank its source material in the novel by Stephenie Meyer who manages to create a world and logic that works extremely well and allows for this highly improbable union between a teenage girl and a vampire who looks 17 but is in fact much much older. The chemistry between the leads Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who play Bella and Edward, makes the whole thing work; they infuse their characters with a likeability and vulnerability that is endearing, especially in the case of Edward who has to fight every urge in his body to perform his natural instinct of sucking the blood out of Bella. However unlikely it is to appear in a teenage romance, the theme of choosing to overcome your instincts and natural persona to become something more is at the heart of this film, with Edward and his family choosing not to feast on the blood of humans, making them benign vampires. “We’re like vegetarians”, Edward says at one point. Another unexpected plus is the use of humour. There are quite a number of moments that will have you smiling, with one stand out being Bella’s father loading his shot gun when Bella arrives home with Edward. Overall, this is a film that is unique and worth checking out for that reason.
THE BAD: The main issue with this film is its style; given the core audience for this film is teenage in nature the filmmakers have decided to make, in effect, a two hour music video. Additionally, the darkness associated with any vampire story is toned down significantly in order to hit that same audience. As a result, the film has no dramatic or thrilling moments, relying solely on the chemistry between Bella and Edward to carry it through. The climatic fight scenes between the good and bad vampires are shoddily done, lacking any real thrills. You know the good guys will win so its just an exercise of going through the motions. You get the hint of a big backstory of how the vampires came to settle in the area and their stand off with the wolves, but this is never really brought to the forefront (I guess that’s what the sequel will be for!). With such great potential in the story, Twilight could have been something special, but unfortunately, only teenage girls will be able to get any value out of the final product.
For the original review, follow this link: http://www.allaboutmovies.net/filmreviewtwilight.htm
Todd Murphy is a staff reviewer at the film/DVD review web site, All About Movies.net – for all the latest reviews on the newest releases. He also contributes reviews and articles for the Digicosm Film Blog: http://www.filmannex.com/Digicosm