Tuesday, March 06, 2012


I've not read any of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight novels; nor had I seen any of the films based upon them. Flitting around the internet sides were drawn up - those who thought they were awful and those who thought they were amazing.

A couple of weeks ago one of the terrestrial channels decided to show it and I stuck it on to record so I could form an opinion for myself.

It's not very good; as a film it's just really not that good; sure it's not at a "Batman and Robin" level of bad but it is perhaps sharing a base with  "Batman Forever".

Sure one could argue it's been filmed for those who've already read and enjoyed the novels; but that's no excuse for not making a decent film look at the early to mid-Harry Potters or the entire Lord of the Rings set - as a film Twilight just suffers.

From the start we're running a voice-over narrative that quite simply makes no sense - Our un-named narrator has never thought about dying, but dying in the place of another is the way to go; which is why she's off to live with her dad. Er what?

This early narration that crops up throughout stops the film showing us the story; there's a neat little scene between our heroine Bella and her father in the car where they're just sitting in complete silence until he makes an awkward remark which falls flat and returns to silence - the narration kills that scene; it just robs it of the emotion.

That could be overcome if we had some decent characterisation. This is, after all, the first in a movie and should be setting up both the circumstances and characters to allow subsequent films to concentrate on the narrative. Shame then that the two characters have no set personality; Bella either looks glum or pouts and Edward blanks or glowers; when they do attempt acting I can imagine the director shouting "More ham; we need more ham!". Again even this could be alleviated somewhat if the surrounding cast contrasted them; but if our protagonists are two-dimensional the rest are down to one-dimension.

Then every so often just to demonstrate its origins we get an info-dump; an exposition from a character that makes no sense contextually. For example Taylor just drops in a story about Edward's family and his own that comes out of nowhere, but is required to push Bella to discover the truth about Edward; it's seriously clumsy.

And then roughly an hour in something happens. Maybe the director took their medication or managed to ditch Stephanie I don't know; but suddenly the characters start to emote. Some of the supporting cast gain a dimension and all the actors get to tell the story themselves through their actions.

For about half-an-hour from the baseball game to the end of the 'hunt' there's suddenly an almost decent and worth-watching film here... and then that's over and we're back to bland cardboardness and lashings of ham.

So for the most part the acting was terrible; the playout of the narrative ridiculous and the direction all over the place. Cinematography wasn't bad; and I'm not sure whether to praise the audio or not for ensuring we could clearly hear the drivel the actors were being forced to spout.

Re-adopted; re-directed; re-acted - this could have been an okay film; perhaps maybe even a "Hey let's watch this again" as is - no.