Posted on 1/16/10 01:25 PM
Awful. Just awful. I knew the plot would be less than intellectual or in any way appealing to a college-age guy, but I at least figured that the production value or at least some sort of fantasy aspect to the movie would be in some way enjoyable. I was horribly wrong.
Since there are so many things wrong with this movie, I'm gonna start with the good parts. The vampires at least had a backstory. I figured that in that respect the story would be completely flat and mindless, but they at least have a reason that the vamps are the way they are. Its not an especially interesting backstory and it doesnt make complete sense, but as you can tell, I'm just reaching for something. And thats all I have for the good parts.
Direction, acting, writing, visual effects, editing, music, and cinematography: this movie features no redeeming quality in any of these. I'll go in order. Hardwicke's direction leaves a lot of this film up to the actors. She films them as you would shoot a good actor. But, these are not good actors. These are not bad actors. These are not actors. These are mannequins in J. C. Penney standing on screen to look pretty and to occasionally spurt some lines of dreadful dialogue. And I mean abortion level dialogue. Not only is it painfully obvious, its also completely uninteresting. There isnt even any need to pay attention to it unless you want a good, campy laugh. However, this script is missing the biggest thing that a teenage romance movie needs: humor. Instead of scenes filled with teenage awkwardness, we it gives us downright dull scenes of interaction between everyone. Boring as hell from this respective.
Not only does the direction fail to capture any kind of sexual tension (which I guess is hard when the two leads have absolutely no chemistry), it's also wildly inconsistent, something that is not helped by the awfully uneven editing. The director's vision is also to blame for the laughably bad visual effects. Basically, the vampires can run really fast. And fly. And defy any preconceived laws of physics you may have. And I'll suspend my belief in the insanity of that because its a fantasy film. But if that's gonna happen, get a better rendering of them doing it.
The soundtrack to this movie hurts it as much as these other things. It's not that the songs are bad (they probably play well to the audience of this movie), it's the use of them in the film. Scenes that are all about connection with the characters and contemplation of their emotions are blasted with music that neither builds atmosphere or gives the film a sort of pulse. It's just there to be there. There are also scenes that needed to be picked up a bit that could have benefitted from some white noise. But no, this is where we get quiet.
Last but not least, the cinematography. The film has this bluish tint to it that kinda saps the color out of the film. Now at times, this works. It helps to build a surealistic tone, which is good because it got absolutely no help from the direction on that front. The tint however detracts from any pop that the visual aspect of this film could bring. Without good acting, direction or any other thing that a movie can do well, the cinematography just makes you sleepy, making the already laborious pacing seem even worse.
I made fun of people that liked Twilight based solely on the plot before I had ever seen the movie. Now, after I've seen it, I realize that this movie (and I can only assume all ensuing Twilight movies) is actually worse than I could have imagined. The only reason this doesnt have a zero is because I laughed my ass off most of the movie at the absolute deplorability of the thing. Unintentional camp humor is its only saving grace.