My review of Twilight is up on WestEnder.com today.
By Andrea Warner
2 stars (out of 5)= It's okay. Probably fans only.
Twilight, based on the first book in Stephanie Meyer’s best-selling series, tells the story of star-crossed couple Edward and Bella, a modern day Romeo and Juliet with less suicide and more blood.
Bella is a recent transfer student and lovely loner (played with classic amounts of teen angst by the compelling Kristen Stewart), and Edward (Robert Pattinson combining the ol’ crazy eye with a dash of Johnny Depp) is the ridiculously beautiful, mysterious boy who sits next to her in Biology. Oh, and he’s a blood-sucking vampire.
Director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) translates the duo’s courtship through a series of painfully silly close-ups and lingering, intense stares. If she’s intentionally being funny, that’s awesome. If she’s, as I suspect, being entirely sincere, these prove to be the first of many moments where the audience laughs inappropriately.
Edward makes some half-hearted attempts to keep his distance from Bella, but he’s “intoxicated” by the smell of her (at one point likening her to his brand of heroin), and can’t stay away. Bella, of course, becomes equally obsessed with Edward and uncovering his secret. What follows is a series of events that alternate between eye-rolling and neat as Edward must save Bella repeatedly from the evils of the world, and then take her half-running/half-flying up beautiful old-growth pines to play amongst the tree tops (the scenery is breathtaking).
A truly inane subplot involving an evil “tracker” vampire who gets a good whiff of Bella and decides she’s his next meal creates a sharp departure that turns this romance into a thriller (using the term loosely) for about 15 minutes. The bad vamps are introduced late in the game, and just serve as yet another way to illustrate Bella as Helpless Girl and Edward as Fierce Protector.
For all the hoopla, even diehard loyalists will likely be disappointed in Twilight’s shoddy production values, bad clown makeup, and ridiculous dialogue. A sequel seems inevitable, so let’s hope for a bit more bite next time.