Plot When Bella (Stewart) relocates to the drizzly town of Forks, she meets the Cullens, a family of vampires who can control their desire to feed on humans. She falls in love with Edward Cullen (Pattinson), who sees in her the soulmate he’s been searching for. However, so appealing is her scent,
he must battle his desire to drink her blood, the heroine akin to the vampire’s own personal heroin.
About three things the Twilight producers were absolutely positive. First, Twilight was a vampire tale. Second, there was a part of it that thirsted for teenage blood. And third, adolescent girls were unconditionally and irrevocably in love with it. Indeed, American booksellers have hailed the author of the saga, which runs through four novels, as the new J. K. Rowling — Stephenie Meyer’s first instalment selling more than five million copies in the US alone, and thereby helping to fill the void left by the departed Boy Who Lived. The fact that the film version arrives Stateside in what has become the pre-Christmas ‘Potter slot’ will only boost the comparisons.
In contrast to the wizardry franchise, however, the director here manages to improve on the film’s papery progenitor. While a succession of helmers have struggled to condense Rowling’s ever-expanding tomes into a digestible screen serving, Catherine Hardwicke hits top gear from the outset, rattling through the early exposition and never once allowing the painful teen brooding that floods Meyer’s book to overflow into insipidness. Meyer is a devout Mormon, her tale a metaphor for carnal abstinence, allowing young girls to splash around in a pool of obsessive love without having to swim in the turbulent waters of scary teenage sex.
The author, who had final cut, thought Hardwicke’s first cut a little too steamy, hence the interaction between Bella and Edward becomes even more intimate, Hardwicke employing close-ups and avoiding the exposed flesh captured by the wider lenses. The director, of course, understands the teen audience — consider Thirteen or Lords Of Dogtown — and she conjures one of the most beautiful films of the year. Former Potterer Robert Pattinson (Cedric in Goblet Of Fire and Order Of The Phoenix) is staggeringly handsome, as are the rest of his vampire brethren. The backdrop, meanwhile, the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, is truly breathtaking, Hardwicke sending her stars hurtling up towering trees and sinking into deep moss.
The lead performance too is strong, Panic Room and Into The Wild star Kristen Stewart consistently excellent. She is the vehicle through which audiences are carried on their journey, and her keen intelligence prompts a mature performance. Bella is both vulnerable and strong, a three-time damsel in distress, requiring Edward’s white-faced knight to save her, and yet courageous enough to surrender to danger and send an immortal bloodsucker into a frenzy of desire. Said bloodsucker Pattinson struggles at times — it’s a demanding first lead role, requiring him to project a perennial restrained desire. He settles down eventually, but not before he’s treated us to a series of hard-faced pouts.
Despite the presence of vampires, Twilight is a romance, not a horror, and anyone hoping to sink their teeth into a juicy gore-fest will be disappointed. There is action, of course, ignited by the arrival of a trio of wandering neck-biters (who, needless to say, are impossibly good-looking) that feed on the locals and lust after Bella’s blood, leading to a showdown in a be-mirrored ballet studio. Hardwicke sensibly introduces these rogues early. And yet, while she does have action credentials (working on Three Kings before shooting Dogtown), the sequences are occasionally predictable, the wire-work sometimes obvious.
She also struggles with the depiction of vampires in direct sunlight. Meyer’s saga was prompted by a dream, in which she saw Bella and Edward lying in the forest, sunlight twinkling on the vampire’s exposed flesh. In truth, Hardwicke would have liked to exorcise the scene, but it’s too important to the author. She turned to ILM, although despite their best efforts, Edward’s spangled skin looks a little odd.
Verdict A sometimes girlie swirl of obsession that will delight fans, this faithful adaptation is after teenage blood, and will most likely hit a box office artery.
Had it not be for the abnormal fan following (I blame the teen-centered casting), this could've made cult status. Still, its a sexy, stylish, and campy horror romance that'll work well with anyone wanting something new and original with their vampire obsession. ... More
www.unsungfilms.com, by Eleni Antonaropoulou
Jan 28, 2012Eleni Antonaropoulouin AdaptationsNo Comments
First things first – Twilight is a vampire-romance novel written by Stephanie Meyer, published in 2005. Until ‘Little, Brown’ Publications realized the potential of this novel, ‘Twilight’ got rejected nearly 16 times. Reaching No. 5 on the New York Times Best Seller List within a month since its release, it took no time at all to rank No. 1. It managed t... More
Girls only but Im surprised even they are not put off by such a anti-feministic cheerless character. Edward Cullen is a wooden as you would expect and the film is incredibly plotless and the romance eye rollingly cringey. If im going to be positive, this sets the fabric nicely for the series and at times entertaining enough. I know its not disatorous sure some of the scenes are fine. However if your not a teenage girl stay away - 2 stars ... More
and i mean the review, Will Lawrence has submitted no other reason for liking the film other than having no brain or imagination (i.e. being a fan of the books) or that you find "R-Pattz" fit. I'm a huge fan of Stephen King and Gray Sinise does that make The Stand a good movie!? NO IT DOES NOT!!! ... More
Seriously Empire,why did you hire a fourteen year old to do this review.You should be ashamed!Anyway,this movie sucks.Not only is the acting terrible,the book was crap aswell,how it got a directer,I don't know,I honestly don't understand why Bella and Edward love each other,like in the new one she wants to become a vampire so she can spend eternity with her new boyfriend.They are all so over dramatic.How could they last,all they talk about is how much they love each other,but why?They never tell... More
I had high hopes for this one. For once, the books are actually quite good, consisting of brimming-with-potential plot, interesting characters and involving sybolism. But this film adaptation stuffs all of these shamelessly down the drain. Under Hardwicke's hand, the plot seems bare, the characters thin and boring, and no signs of symbolism are to be found.
The problem partly lies with the writing, which downgrades Meyer's efforts to typical teenage lust. Hardwicke, on the other hand, gives in ... More
I'm a big time lover of vampire tales ever since I was a kid. When I heard about this film, I avoided it, I thought it sounded like a typical storyline and was not interested. However one day I was highly bored and decided to watch it so I could make a proper opinion on the film... After watching the Film I went online bought all the books, I'm compleatly hooked.
I think the story is a fascinating romance and is a fresh change then other teenage romance. The editing and Indie filming works per... More
Its quite funny all these years reading reviews about movies how people kick off when they have read the book and suddenly realise that the movie is so different. You surely cannot expect a book with 700 pages (like Breaking Dawn is) to be entirely transferred to the big screen. It is impossible! It always loses a bit of its magic. Nevertheless i borrowed the Twilight DVD from a friend when i heard about the twilight frenzy, And i can honestly say that i was irrevocably fascinated. I am sorry t... More
Total agreement. The cinematography was poor. The acting was dreadful. The script was APPALLING.
And what's worse, is that there are so many vampire films out there that are leagues above 'Twilight'.
Much like Dirty Dancing,girls of a certain age,intelligence and era will obsessively watch Twighlight over and over,probably with ice cream at that time of the month,wishing that all men were like Robert Pattison.
Truth is,like that ever so slightly peadophillic 50's set slush a thon,Twighlight is at best,average,at worst,absolute drivel.
Still,it has it's audience,and everyone can choose to see no more of this,i for one regret my curiousity and won't be watching another. ... More
4 Stars my hairy ass. If Empire think this is a 4 star movie then there smoking too much grass in the office. It's a complete load of rubbish. It's aimed at 13-14 yrs old girls who are just entering Puberty and have Smash hits posters up on their wall of the latest good looking kid of X-Factor. Its for teens girls and how many teen girls are going out buying Empire Review. I don't bother reading the official empire reviews anymore or pay heed to the rating. I look at the readers review ratings a... More
I wrote a whole mocking review about this a few weeks back but it failed - good sign really - Basically I wrote that Kiefer Sutherland's cult Status his creation of David being the coolest vampire ever has absolutely fuck all to worry about!!] ... More
After reading the Twilight Saga I decided to watch the film, for the second time. After reading the book the film is truely rubbish. They've missed so much out of the film, the good parts! Also... the order has been adjusted in parts. It's an OK film, the acting is good and the general filming is good, but I find it so annoying when they miss so much out the film.
They do say, the books are better than the film - correct in this case. ... More
I have just sat down and watched Twilight on dvd tonight. No fangs, sparkling (what the fuck was that all about?!), vampire baseball, tree-scaling and Edward's 'coming out' scene, not to mention the extremely bad make-up. The acting was just soooooo bad it was cringeworthy. What a fantastic pile of shit!
Just reading the front cover of the dvd now "The must-see movie of the year" - Radio 1, "Truly Breathtaking" - Empire, "Mind-blowing" - Sugar, "Fabulously... More