Before I start this review, allow me to take a few moments and give some background on my relationship with this series. Like everyone else at the time of this film's release, I was obsessed with the story arc and the characters. I mean, when you are in middle school, this entire story was a dream towards a lot of people: finding your true love and willing to do anything to be with that person. Now, while that is the underlining idea of the story of Twilight, there has been MUCH better ways of telling the story as I have learned in my entire life as of now. So, is this a good film? A good story? The answer to all of that: eh...
Okay, let me talk about the film. For me to get a good impression of this film, I had to see it a year after I saw it in a local theater in order for me to get a fresh opinion. Now, I do not know if this was intentional but this has to be one of the most hilarious films I have ever seen. Just, so much is completely idiotic and pathetic that I am wondering if the writers of this screenplay or even Stephenie Meyer even took the time to learn how teenage relationships actually work, or even how teenagers even talk. The dialogue and characters in this film are completely stereotypical that you could take these archetype characters from any other story, put them together, suck out all likability and you would get the same story.
With the vampires, I have to stress one thing: there never has been a set rule on how vampires are suppose to be. Never has been, never will. So, the idea for the vampires in this film to be sparkling in the sunlight, live off of animal blood, and go to high school is not an idea that I would call stupid, but very odd. While watching this film (and reading the novel), I started to wonder why these immortals go to school over and over again, live off of animal blood, etc. The sparkling thing, while unforgivable by some vampire fans, I can deal with even though it is absurd. Personally, in my opinion, this film would of been better off if it explained why they do things that immortals would not do (why don't they live in a place of high art and kill evil humans? If that was the film, then it would of been much more enjoyable and I would of forgiven the film a bit more).
The acting in this film is, to be honest, not as bad as it could be, but nothing mediocre or great. With this being the first film in the planned five film series, I would of expected the cast and crew to give strong performances to please fans and critics alike, but they must of thought that this film was going to make money already so they do not need to be top actors in their roles. I was not expecting Award Winning acting or performances that will be remembered for years to come, but this is just flat and pathetic.
The only other thing I can comment on would have to be the direction. Now, Catherine Hardwicke has made some impressive films that deal with teenage problems like love, drugs, and sex before (Thirteen). After that film, she just went downhill faster then a shooting star. This is one of her more okay films, but nothing that would be inspirational. With her knowledge of teenage girls, I would of thought that she would of, at the least, given this film some more realistic qualities instead of making them flat or flatter then those of the novel.
But this film does have one redeeming quality. The scenery of this film (the shots of the mountains, forests, landscapes) is beautiful to look at and, in reality, more impressive to watch then the film itself. But, you can only go so far when you make a forest and mountains the only good part of a film. As a documentary, that would of worked wonderful. But, here, it does not redeem the film.
So, is this film worth watching? I will say no and here is why: it offers nothing new and what is new is nothing that people would respect or care about. Stephenie Meyer, when she wrote this novel, I will admit did have some genius in how to manipulate an entire generation of teenage girls (and some teenage guys) and vampire fanatics into falling for her tale of teenage romance. But, for this vampire lover, her story fails. And it has nothing to deal with me being a guy. Films do not judge people by their genders, but by their intelligence. With this film, it heavily undermines that with sloppy direction, bad acting, and a horrible script. Sadly, this film could of worked if they wanted it to.