The Moping Undead

While fans of the book will be pleased with 'Twilight,' the film baffled our poor reviewer

Twilight is a movie in which everybody mopes. High school kids mope in the parking lot, or they mope in diners while eating french fries with their moping fathers. Meanwhile, forlorn vampires walk around in broad daylight ... moping. Mope, mope, mope. I just wanted somebody to rip a throat out or something, to break up the monotony.

Yeah, I know, it's a vampire movie for young adults, so throat-ripping is forbidden. But really: Why make a vampire movie when you can't see any real vampire action? It's like making a Star Wars movie with no space battles, or a Jaws movie without any shark attacks. As a result, Twilight is boring on a level that is unforgivable. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on TV, and there was far more scary mayhem and action on that show.

The film is based on a series of novels by Stephenie Meyer. It tells the story of Isabella "Bella" Swan, played by Kristen Stewart as if she just drank a bottle of Tanqueray and chased it with four six-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon. She's usually a magnetic actress, but here, she's lost in a drama desert with no canteen, and she can't find her way out.

Bella moves from Phoenix to be with her lethargic dad (Billy Burke) in Forks, Wash., where he's a depressed sheriff. After being a loner in Phoenix, she becomes the big story in the sparsely populated town--and she attracts the attention of both the living and the undead. It's no wonder the undead would buzz around her, because she plays the role of a high school senior with all the nuance of a zombie.

Still, her performance outshines that of Robert Pattinson, who plays lead vampire Edward Cullen. Edward is Bella's lab partner, and he doesn't like her at first, because, well, he wants to drink her blood, and he finds this bothersome. His family of vampires only eats animals, but Bella has him thirsting for human blood, which pisses him off. How dare she? Still, Bella is hot, so he falls in love, which poses the dilemma of him loving somebody he literally wants to eat on a cracker.

Pattinson, with his pale face and impossible eyebrows, is a drag in every moment that he is on the screen. It doesn't help that his character is ridiculous. "Say, I'm a vampire, and a brooder, but I'm totally gorgeous. So ... please love me and my big eyebrows back, even though I want to suck your blood. And, even though I want to suck your blood, please go to the prom with me, because I already rented a tux, and the deposit is nonrefundable."

Director Catherine Hardwicke made a decent debut with Thirteen, but she's been stinking up cinemas ever since. Apart from a few scenes in which Edward runs around and scales a tree or two, the film has no lively moments. A sequence in which the vampires play baseball is deadly dull, not to mention stupid. Apparently, vampires can only play baseball in the rain, which means these vampires can pretty much play ball 24/7, because they're in the Northwest.

Since this movie made a ton of money in its opening weekend, sequels are more than likely. They should can Hardwicke right now, and get somebody who knows how to direct an action sequence. The Twilight franchise certainly has a chance at being cool. I hated the first Harry Potter, but that series has grown into a very durable set of films.

For the uninitiated who have never read the books (such as myself), Twilight is the sort of cinematic sludge that will result in hair loss as you frustratingly pull strands from your head while watching. For those of you who love the books, you'll probably love the movie. It serves its purpose, and its purpose is not to please the likes of me--because I don't get it ... I don't get it at all.

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