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Twilight

2012-11-14 09:05
 
Robert Pattinson

What it's about:

Sixteen-year-old Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves from sunny Phoenix to the tiny mountainous town of Forks, Washington, to live with her divorced father Charlie (Billy Burke) after her mom decides to go on the road with her new husband. At her new school she makes fast friends, but becomes intrigued by her lab partner, the beautiful, broody and oh-so-mysterious Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison), one of the famous Cullen clan – a makeshift family with pale skin and a suspicious aversion to sunlight. When Edward inexplicably saves Bella's life in a freak accident, she begins to question just who and what he is – and the two become involved in a deeply passionate love affair that's one part addiction, one part supernatural teenage lust.

What we thought of it:

You have every reason to quench your curiosity and book your tickets to Twilight just to see what all the fuss is about. For anyone who has read the series of books by Stephenie Meyer (of which this is the first) will know precisely why gaggles of teenage girls, their mothers, brothers and boyfriends have all gone ballistic over this tale of star-crossed love between a teenage girl and a vampire.

It has all the elements of the Romeo & Juliet legend - she's virginal and pretty, he's brooding and mysterious in a gothic, swashbuckling sort of way, and their destiny seems to have been written in the stars. It doesn't hurt that they make a pretty damn great-looking pair onscreen. In fact, much of the young cast are nothing short of striking, particularly the members of the undead Cullen clan. There's blonde and bitchy Rosalie (Nikki Reed) who resents the fact that her "brother" has allowed an outsider into their sanctified family, the pixie-cute Alice (who can see the future), the family patriarch Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), as well as some other worryingly pale Cullens we don’t get to see or hear from much.

But central to the Twilight tale is the intensely passionate relationship between Edward and Bella. She's the soulmate he's been searching for for the best of a century, and his sullenness somehow sings to Bella's lovesick heart. And their onscreen chemistry (a massive contributor to the insane fandom the book and movie have garnered worldwide) is scorching enough to send sparks into the next galaxy.

But as great as Pattison is to look at (and he really does have a fascinating kind of beauty) his perpetual moodiness can be rather taxing. Pattison just hasn't found quite the right balance between enigma and broody teenager, and the audience is never quite sure what to make of Edward. Lucky for him, then, that his teen co-star Stewart, so magnetic in Sean Penn's Into the Wild, is such an infinitely watchable actress, capably personifying the fear, curiosity and longing of young love.

There are some pivotal scenes that attempt to demonstrate just how special Edward is. He has the ability to fly and read other people's minds but the visual effects budget must've been on the thin side because you've definitely seen more convincing depictions of supernatural ability on TV shows like Smallville and Heroes.

Director Catherine Hardwicke seems to have sacrificed much of the substance which made the book so compelling, for plenty of sensory style – from the Cullens' cavalcade of flashy sports cars and picturesque mountain retreat, to the cool nu-emo rock soundtrack.

And for an action-adventure movie, the pace is all over the place. Hardwicke awkwardly juxtaposes the blossoming romance with the horror and violence that cannot be divorced from the vampire legend, as much as she tries to. Much of the narrative unfolds in fuzzy bits and pieces that never quite gel. And some cringeworthy lines ("You’re like my own brand of heroin", Edward whispers to Bella) should perhaps not be tried at home.

Twilight is also guilty of perhaps one of the coldest, most WTF?! endings of any movie released this year. And then it gets worse with the sloppily edited closing credits. The lack of cohesion is frustrating when one considers just how brilliant this movie could have been. So it comes as no surprise that Hardwicke has not been re-hired to direct the highly anticipated sequel New Moon (due in 2010).

Let's be honest. Twilight wasn’t made with the clued-up horror or fantasy fan in mind. It’s more Gossip Girl than Nosferatu, but – even though it'll likely cause you to tear your hair out – go and see it – if only for the electric vision of doomed love that is Edward and his Bella.


This vampire love story boasts one smoking hot cast. But all those good looks merely mask the mediocrity.

What to read next: Twilight soundtrack review

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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Mel 2008-12-19 01:56 PM
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I've booked my tickets and going to watch Twilight tonight. It looks great. Robert Pattison is seriously hot!
Lindsey 2008-12-19 04:01 PM
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I read the book. Its very mediocre... doesn't live up to the hype.
J 2008-12-20 05:00 PM
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This movie was really bad. Unless you are 15 years or younger and only interested in ogling the cast, avoid like the plague. The Story line is all over the place. After 30 minutes I wanted to die of boredom and then just when the movie became interesting it fizzles to a boring end.
Stefan 2008-12-22 10:18 AM
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I completely agree with the reviewer. What a disappointment after all the hype. The movie has no idea where its going and I was completely baffled 30 mins in. It was like watching a teen show where everybody’s miserable. Read the book instead.
Jo 2008-12-29 03:16 PM
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What a waste of money! I loved the concept - exactly how the reviewed said - star crossed lovers vampire style, and with all the hype, I couldnt wait to see it. Boy was I dissapointed! Its all long camera shots, and hot looks but no action, conversations with the music playing over it - this movie had SUCH potential, but it fell flat. There were HUGE holes in the story, and a you spent the entire movie waiting for the story to start. Dont know if I would bother with the next one, though I may buy the book - it has to be better...
Tammy 2008-12-30 03:18 PM
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Urgh! I was so excited to see this movie but it was so boring and slow. It was nothing like the trailer made it seem. I think the actor who plaed Edward was hot – in a weird way – but otherwise it was so disappointing! It could’ve been so much better
Glenda 2009-01-02 11:21 AM
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I thought thr movie was awesome,and "Edward" is absolutely yummy looking forward to the next one I loved the chemistry.It is one of those movies you don't mind watching again and again.
Martinette 2009-01-02 01:48 PM
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I think the movie was gr8, but the books still beats eveRything!
kim 2009-01-06 09:10 AM
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I am the ultimate vampire fan so for me to tell you this was a no dealer is saying something - it was trying too hard to cater to a teen audience and not spending enough time on the storyline - which was really pointless and all over the place - and the ending - what was that anyway??? I will read the book to see if this was just a bad depiction of a great story - let us hope so.
Keira 2009-01-06 09:38 AM
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This movie was great. If anyone knows anything at all about Twilight especially the reviewer, there are reasons as to why Edward acts the way he does in the movie. Also the fact that Catherine Hardwicke is not going to be directing New Moon, has absolutely nothing to do with her directing skills, its all over the news that she was busy working on another project and simply had time restrictions. Twilight was a success at the box office due to Hardwickes directing and that is why they decided to go ahead with New Moon. Watch it for yourself and make your own judgement. I thought the actors did a brilliant job of depicting the characters from the book.
Mel 2009-01-06 09:53 AM
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After watching this at the weekend, I have to agree with the reviewer. Very oddly paced and unconvincing movie that is neither horror nor fantasy. And that ridiculous ending??!!! Its just a love story with some particularly pale characters. That said, they were very good-looking pale characters ;) Though Keira, I don’t think it would’ve mattered if Catherine Hardwick or Leon Schuster directed this movie. considering the hype around it, it was always going to be hugely successful. I don’t think most movie goers know Hardwicke’s work enough to go rushing to see her movies. And I don’t think her work on Twilight is anywhere near her best as on Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown.
BB 2009-01-06 12:39 PM
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I loved the series of books. The movie was not nearly as good as the books - though i was happy to see the characters come to life on the big screen. Robert Pattinson was a great choice for Edward.
Vic 2009-01-07 12:42 PM
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My wife and I watched this movie seven times already, We are "unconditionally and irrevocably" crazy about it. I can understand the bad reviews from some people,probably people expected loads of blood sucking action. But if your in to LOVE stories…..it’ll never get better than this. “ It’s like a drug to me….” If I had time I would watch it every single day while its still at the cinema. Can't wait for New Moon.
Julie 2009-01-07 04:13 PM
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After watching the movie I promptly walked to CNA and bought ALL the books. Read them all on my 2week holiday - them went to watch the movie again. I LOVED IT! Cannot wait for the DVD and the New Moon release. It's like my own brand of drug! The cast was brilliantly selected in their parts!
Natasha 2009-01-09 08:29 AM
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I loved this movie!!!!!I have never been one for vampire stories but i couldnt resist watching to see what Twilight is all about. Now Im totally engrossed in the story of Bella and Edward. Im desperately trying to get a copy of the books though but im not having luck as they are sold out. Ive only got the first book twilight so far.
RB 2009-01-09 09:31 AM
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I loved this movie and was completely engrossed in this web of passion. I have not seen such chemistry between two characters and was captivated. This is one that I will definately add to my collection.
Trishia 2009-01-12 12:36 PM
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Go see the movie again... or read the book. Edward can't fly! He can jump high/far :(
Celeste 2009-01-13 12:23 PM
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Yeah i have no idea what all the bad reviews are about????? THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE!!! It is so awesome and amazing!!! And i'm busy reading the book and its just as captavating so far! AWESOME! Not mediocre!
Keira 2009-01-14 12:13 PM
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I think the people that gave this bad reviews are the ones that expected it to be a fantasy / horror. I tagged my cousin along with me to watch it again and told her from the onset it is a love story and nothing more. She is now completely in love with Twilight and the books... well so am I. Cant WAIT for the DVD!!! Natasha, the books are sold out everywhere. I'm trying to get copies myself but nobody has them, but I expect they are getting stock pretty soon.
Tessa 2009-01-14 12:20 PM
The books are sold out? Looks like Kalahari.net has copies available - http://www.kalahari.net/books/Twilight/632/29281502.aspx Also try Exclusive Books – its their top seller and I saw loads of stock at the V&A branch.
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