Tardy Critic’s mission is to review movies outside the hype that normally surrounds the film’s release. Sometimes, even 10 years isn’t enough for the stigma around a film to be forgotten.
I had never seen Twilight and I was determined to give it an objective look. Everyone says it’s a bad film. There are memes about it. Are all the jokes true or could there something worthwhile in this movie?
Read on to find out. 🧐😋🤯
Twilight starts out in a strange place. It’s a bit of a downer. The first line is “I’ve never given much thought to how I would die.” That’s not a very welcoming introduction. The narration from Bella, the female lead played by Kristen Stewart, feels out of place. I’m assuming it’s a holdover from the novels, but it really doesn’t work here.
That is, it’s an easy way to convey a lot of information in a short amount of time. It just feels awkward, out of place. This type of narration happens three times in the film and each time it’s jarring. I think it could have been done better.
Brief plot overview:
Bella’s mother and “Phil” (Phil’s a Nice!™ guy. This keeps being said and that’s probably the second best part of the film) are moving. Bella doesn’t want to move so she goes to live her father in Seattle.
In Seattle, she joins a new high school and we, the audience, are introduced to the poorly makeup-ed vampire clan who all attend high school for no adequately explained reason. Bella finds herself intrigued by Edward Cullen, a.k.a. Robert Pattinson IRL, the fourth or fifth sexiest vampire in the film. He, it turns out, is also intrigued by her. Obviously they become a couple and naturally Bella’s family becomes endangered because of her connections with the Cullen clan. Cue the life threatening drama.
As we’re introduced to the cast of characters the first thing I notice is everything is desaturated. The entire cast seems pale-faced and since I know this film is about Vampires, I’m immediately suspicious about this stylistic choice. Twenty-five (25) minutes into the film we finally have a scene with warm colors. This also only happens three times.
I’m trying to find good things about this film and I smile when Bella’s father, Charlie Swan as played by Billy Burke, points out the grey Ikea lamp in her new bedroom. I have one just like it, though I’m using it as a microphone stand.
Ugh. High school. Desaturated high school. It’s fun to see Anna Kendrick acting the stereotypical high school part, but man, dislike high school films.
The film’s biggest problem is pacing. It’s too slow and too fast all at the same time. It feels disjointed, and forced. Like, maybe it was adapted from a novel and not adapted very well. I am also never able to get a good read from any of the characters. Not even basic emotions. Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they cold? Probably just cold.
Let’s talk about vampires.
First, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Dr. Carlisle Cullen looks exactly like the coach of the Mighty Ducks. I checked on IMDB, twice, and he is neither played by Gordon Bombay or Emilio Estevez. Crazy, right?
Vampires are known to have pale skin. Because they are dead. In Twilight, the vampires are wearing white makeup that ends at their hairlines and right before their necks. Their faces are pale but their hands and arms appear fairly un-pale. I know they aren’t supposed to look natural, but this doesn’t look natural.
Personally, I think Seattle as a setting for vampires to live is brilliant. Can we give Twilight points for location?
It’s well known that vampires don’t have reflections. Not only is this not true in Twilight, the film goes out of it’s way to have a climactic fight scene in a room full of mirrors. Slap to the face, Bram Stoker.
Vampires are not allowed to enter a house without an invitation. Yet this is another rule that Twilight seems to have thrown out the window. [Get it? Window?] As Edward seems able to enter Bella’s bedroom unnoticed and presumably, uninvited.
Regarding sunlight. In Twilight, vampires sparkle when exposed to sunlight. This… this is unnecessary. I haven’t read the books and maybe this is a big plot point in the books, but for this film, it’s completely unneeded. It’s not a plot point, it doesn’t add anything to the story, it’s just spectacle in a film that is already too long. If you take out every scene with sparkling face, the film becomes shorter, tighter, and all together better.
Bella, let’s be honest, Bella is not very intelligent. In addition to relying on sketchy websites as her only source of information, she seems to have no sense of self-preservation.
She’s obviously hooked on Edward’s vampire charms. She’s not afraid that he’s ruthless. She seems to have no qualms about his mood swings or sudden outrageous demands. (Don’t accidentally trip?) This is complete red flag territory. He admits to both stalking her and watching her sleep at night. NOT BOYFRIEND MATERIAL.
This type of creepy behavior is NOT COOL.
“Yes officer, I AM several hundred years old and broke into a high school girls bedroom to watch her sleep, but see, it’s OK because I’m also a blood thirsty monster!”
I’ve been hard on this film and with good reason, but Twilight does have one redeeming scene. And if you’ve stuck with me so far, you deserve to end on a high note: Vampire Baseball.
Yeah, it’s crazy how much of this film revolves around baseball.
Vampire baseball is really fun to watch. Yes, it’s a bit gimmicky, it’s a little silly, it’s definitely over the top, but it’s honestly the best part of the film. I’d honestly watch a full seven-inning game of this.
So Twilight, how does it rate? It’s a two-hour film that’s 32 minutes too long, has too much fluff, and isn’t able to bring plot points together organically. It has some cool special effects and a reasonably good premise, but overall it’s poorly executed and doesn’t contain enough vampire baseball.