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Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Nicki Reed

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Writers: Melissa Rosenberg, Stephanie Meyer

Cinematography: Elliot Davis

Original Score: Carter Burwell

Running Time: 122 mins.

“It has to be intense and sexy, but also heartbreaking”, so says director of Twilight Catherine Hardwicke, well she certainly achieved those three agendas for Twilight. whilst far from being a bad adaptation of a much loved novel, is TOO intense and TOO sexy, lacking a lightness of touch that would have helped make it a much more enjoyable filmic experience for all concerned.

Loved, predominantly by teenage girls, the world over, Twilight has slipped into cinemas largely unheralded and proven we have the franchise to match Harry Potter for box office clout its just a shame that unlike Potter it can’t quite offer up any level of excitement. Hardwicke whose previous film was the fantastic Lords Of Dogtown, shows the same level of coaxing marvellous performances from younger actors, specifically little known actors. Every part in Twilight is perfectly cast (speaking as a non-reader of the source material) with Robert Pattison proving a standout, (literally) shimmering with good looks, he IS the poster boy vampire for the noughties and quite rightly so because unlike many model young actors he has the presence and talent to match the looks. Opposite him Kristin Stewart is suitably moody, which is not to say she isn’t good, merely the film falters in getting wallowed in moody teenage emotion.

Through the plot machinations it is easy to see why these characters might be so brooding, for it is a tale of suppressed emotions, and the most volatile of emotions as we all know are those of a tennager, couple that with the problems of being a vegetarian vampire (one whom feasts only on animals!) and you have a veritable smorgasboard of emotion to play with and play with. As Swann’s Bella arrives in town she is initailly rebuked by Pattison’s Edward as he is unable to cope with her ‘scent’. It’s hard to know if Edward’s reactions toward Bella are supposed to be comical but through the sombre tone of the rest of the film its hard to imagine Hardwicke wasn’t striving for seriousness, which makes you wonder if Hardwicke realises she isnt making a film based on fact but one which concerns vampires and soon to be werewolves!

For the problem is as good as the acting is, and as good as Hardwicke is at giving us intensity and brooding love, she fails to inject any sense of excitement or fun, scenes that one imagines were intended as set pieces fail on all levels, the effects of the vampires jumping are passable but when Edward begins climbing up a tree with Bella on his back, during what I expect was meant to be a pivotal scene I simply felt like neither laughing at how poor it was or any sense of awe that should have come, no reaction i’m afraid is worse than a bad one! If budgetary constraints hindered these scenes I could understand it, but seemingly a budget was there just a lack of pacing meaning the points at which my excitement should have peaked, well, it simply made me look to my watch.

Tied up in this is the sub-plot of ‘bad’ vampires who come to town and take a liking to Bella’s scent as well, sadly this (which for me was the more interesting plot aspect, but that’s probably because im a guy!) was so shoe-horned in it felt like an after thought. Characterisition on the trio was so bland in their two minutes of screentime that I found myself wondering why they even bothered at all, then i remembered its Hollywood, you need a generic villain to boo!  

VERDICT

Excellent casting. Sumptuous to look at. Good source material. But as it turns out Twilight is simply The Lost Boys without a sense of fun, and too much intensity, and regardless of how moody these teens are they need some fun, and maybe just a touch of excitement!

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