Film Review: Twilight
Sometimes my faith in humanity is restored under the most unlikely of circumstances. At several moments during a screening of the cheesy high school vampire melodrama that is Twilight, the audience burst out laughing at the sheer absurdity of the film. Not yet twenty-four hours following the films release, in a theater packed with rabid fans and the parents who were dragged along so that the midnight curfew could be abolished for one glorious night, people were actually laughing at the complete and utter failure that is Twilight. I was amazed. Even Nicci laughed, and she spent two weeks telling me that I wasn’t allowed to grumble even one critical remark about the story during the screening. Twilight is a horrible failure on so many levels it would take a Twilight-sized novel to address all its glaring flaws. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to fill more than a simple blog post (those books contain 500 pages? Jesus Christ I’d hate to be stuck reading that thing). So, let’s talk about high school and vampire movies.
The plot is rudimentary: A girl moves from the hot desert of Arizona to a cold and blustery small town in Washington state called Twin Peaks Forks. Something about her mom going to live with a baseball player in Florida, I don’t quite get it, but the girl has to go live with her deadbeat father in the Pacific Northwest. Except her father is the town’s Sheriff? It doesn’t quite translate into deadbeat, but whatever. The girl meets a boy the moment she gets to town, apparently some Native American kid she used to play with as a child, but he doesn’t go to high school because he lives on the reservation. So she drives alone to her new school, says something about how awkward it is being the new kid entering a new school in the middle of March, and then magically fits in and has tons of friends in a matter of minutes! She’s even got dudes pulling chairs out from one another (oh, high school!) in the lunchroom. No one suddenly break out in song in Twilight, but the line is often blurred between teen romance and tween Disney movie.
Oh, and then she sees her undead love interest for the first time, and in the next scene they’re lab partners. As soon as they catch eyes, the dude is overcome by a totally hackneyed blast of hot air. It’s like, super queer. Not as queer as the duos stilted conversations, which are enough to make you want to rip them both apart and burn the pieces. Oh, and the the guy saves the girl’s life with an act of super-strength, which pretty much means they’re bound for life — at least in high school terms.
Girl-who-looks-eerily like Evan Rachel Wood in Thirteen (the direct of which also directed this crapfest!) has now met boy, and like any seventeen year old crushing out on some dude’s meat-stick she tries to learn everything she can about him. She performs Google searches in her bedroom late at night (oh man, at one point she’s looking for a book, and one of the other Google search results is for a book called, like, “The Art Of Beaver Slapping”). She finds books about superpowers and the undead. She even hears a story from the Native American boy who wants to drop a load of peace-pipe smoke in her virgin flue about how his people descended from wolves, and how the family of the girl’s love interest descended from something much older and darker. The two “tribes” have been fighting and making land deals with each other in the Pacific Northwest for ages. In other words, Indians versus Vampires is the greatest untold American feuds. Like the Hatfields and the McCoys! The Red Sox and the Yankees! The guy who plays the male lead in Twilight and his dialog!
Miraculously, the girl finds out the guy is a vampire (he tells her), which — although it doesn’t explain why he has so much trouble getting words out of his mouth without them sounding like chewed up syllables — explains how he could move very fast and stop a truck from careening out of control with his bare hand. Maybe if I’d been able to do that in high school I would have gotten more seventeen-year-old tail. Instead I had to rely on girls’ crippling body image issues and pot and alcohol… So she finds out he’s a vampire and soon enough they’re sharing the single cheesiest moment in movie history. Vampire boy follows the girl into the woods after she blows him off, then shows her how he can run really fast, jump really high, fly really far, and then…he shows her why vampires stay home from school on sunny days. Apparently in the book his sun-soaked body is described as being like diamonds sparkling underneath his skin. But unfortunately it looks more like he’s sweating profusely and in serious danger of overheating. Truly it was a magical moment. And by “magical” I mean it was a classic cinematic moment for people who like really, really terrible movies.
The girl and the vampire are now an official item. They don’t have sex because…not because a 100-year-old immortal wanting to bone-down with a 17 year old is creepy, but because we’re supposed to believe the vampire is chivalrous, and he’ll “lose control” if she lets him near her, and probably eat her. Whatever, guy. I don’t care how old you are, when a nice piece of pussy is yearning for for some action you don’t worry about statutory rape laws, you gotta lock that down! You don’t introduce her to your family, tell her all about how you eat deer and not people, then make her watch you play a stupid game of baseball that goes on entirely too long. Vampire. Baseball. Vampire baseball?!??! Ugh. Anyway, you don’t expose all your secrets and then just sit around talking all the time, you have to hump the ever-loving crap out of her and then move on to the next girl. It’s called high school! You’ve got hundreds of graduation caps mounted to a wall in your house, it’s not like you’re new at this game.
Uh…they finally introduce a plot point which involves some action, almost 90 minutes into the film. A bad vampire gets a whiff of the girl’s flower and wants to eat her. But the good vampires devise a scheme to capture the guy and kill him. It’s all very complicated and yet it all takes about five minutes to play out in its entirety. There’s almost no drama involved. They think they’ve outsmarted the bad guy, they were wrong, the bad guy dupes the stupid sex-hungry girl, Vampire Deer Hunter shows up and saves her life, his family tears the bad guy apart and burns the pieces, then vampire boyfriend almost kills mortal girlfriend when, by sucking the venom out of her bite mark, he goes overboard and almost sucks all her blood out of her body. That was fucking hilarious. Everyone in the theater started laughing.
By the way, Peter Facinelli from Six Feet Under and Can’t Hardly Wait fame plays vampire boyfriend’s “father” and town doctor. Great casting! What is he, twenty-five years old?!
“Lady and the Vamp” end up together again once she’s well enough to leave the hospital. They kiss and go to prom together! Prom! Then the bad vampire’s sister hisses or something and the movie ends, finally, after 130 minutes of painful plot holes, undeveloped story lines, asexual high schoolers, creepy Native Americans, horrible actors and one game vampire baseball. Twilight has everything a crowd of thirteen year old girls could ask for, and absolutely nothing that a general moviegoer would ever desire to see. Even the shots of the girl in her underwear in bed are lit too poorly for us to get a sneak peak at her goodies. Twilight not only fails on every level, it even creates some new levels, and fails on those too! I would only recommend seeing this movie if, well…I can’t think of any reasons right now, but if I do I’ll edit this post. At the very least, Twilight makes me feel better about lusting after seventeen year olds. I’m twenty-five…vampire boy is one-hundred years old! I think that sets a pretty strong precedent, right?
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