Sunday, 21 June 2009
Firstly let's get this out of the way. This review will not be long and it won't be gushing about a deep love of this movie. This movie is just plain wrong. I might not be the target demographic, i.e teenage girls, but I sure as hell know that this movie isn't a true vampire movie. Whilst I might not be as obsessed with demons and vampires and werewolves as some people, I do know a fair bit. And guess what, none of the fucking vampires in Twilight are fucking vampires.
Vampires are quite possibly the most basic thing to get in movies. They're evil and suck blood. Whilst occasionally do get a vampire who is "good" (or has managed to curb his appetite but still occasionally suffers from vampiric outbursts) he definitely has an evil side. Look at Angel in Buffy, for 90% of the series he's a certified good guy. After one night fucking Buffy he turns into Angelus who is a certified cock who wants nothing better than to torture his ex-lover.
This is where Twilight fails. Vampires are sexual beings. People get turned on by the idea of someone biting them. They are sexy, undeniably so. One of the most common images of vampires is the guy in the cape coming to bite a young girl in a nightie, at night. It's just this overtly sexual image of the female being dominated by the male. Even Joss Whedon twists this sexual image by making it a metaphor for losing your virginity, lose it to the wrong person and bad shit is going to happen. Twilight on the other hand revels in abstinence from sex. Because you know, teenagers aren't horny as fuck and just don't give a shit about sex.
Yes, Edward Cullen is a poster boy for the emo movement due to being caring and brooding. Fuck, you could class me as emo due to my taste in music (some not all) but seriously? Edward Cullen is the poster boy for the movement? A genre full of screaming guitars and shouty lyrics about loss of love and copious swearing? A guy you doesn't have sex with his girlfriend and is paler than if you buried him underground for 50 years and then let him come back when the sun is in permanent eclipse?
In fact that's another thing that annoys me. Yes vampires are supposed to be pale. Guess why they're pale? They can't come out during the day. Vampires aren't made of fucking diamonds that show up in sunlight, or at least strong sunlight, because obviously there isn't constant sunlight during the day is there!! Guess who does vampires correctly? True Blood and Buffy. Yes in True Blood it takes a while for the sunlight to kill them but they literally start to cook and in Buffy they become ash the moment sunlight touches them. You don't go fucking around with vampire lore unless you have a valid reason. From this movie the only valid reason I can see is that Bella wouldn't be able to meet him at night because school isn't on (duh).
Let's jump back on the sex bandwagon again. The closest we get is a kiss (which recently won best kiss at the MTV Movie Awards, you know the awards where the public is allowed to vote for such great films as Twilight and High School Musical in the realms of best actor and best film) in a bedroom, which almost leads to sex, if it weren't for the seriously neutered effect this movie has. Seriously she's 17 years old and he's a 100 year old vampire. Again I have to say it, they would be horny as fuck!!! They're clearly attracted to each other so why aren't they ripping off each others clothes? Oh it's aimed at the Disney generation of girls so they can't have anything too scary, that explains it*.
The movie is just too damned neutered to be anything like a true vampire story. There's one fight scene in the entire film and it's shit. Whilst by the end of the fight the villain gets ripped to pieces and set on fire, we don't see this. Instead it's silhouetted in the background whilst we get the pseudo-sexual image of wrist sucking. Because nothing says "I love you" like sucking poison from your wrist. Except from sucking from your neck, boob or a vein that runs past your sex organs, but we'll forget that.
Then we have the fact that there is next to no blood in this movie, or fangs. Vampires have normal, which if you're human you'll know is incredibly difficult to break the skin, let along several layers of skin and begin to suck blood. There are moments of blood such as the final scene and a brief drip coming from Edward's lip in a fantasy sequence. But that's it. Not a drop more. In a movie about creatures that suck blood. Even the vampires who suck human blood (because good "vegetarian" vampires don't suck human blood but animal blood, completely missing the vegetable portion of the word vegetarian) have two attacks and they aren't shown apart from at weird camera angles. We do however get a baseball scene set during a lightning storm with Muse playing in the background. Exactly what we want from vampires, especially during the day.
Now that I've bashed the movie here are the good points. The lead actors do have chemistry and are actually quite good together. There are some funny moments between them and they are decent actors. It's just a shame they're given such a shitty script. The movie is well directed and actually looks decent with some cool effects and interesting camera moments. But the writing just drags this down completely. The fact that Stephenie Meyer just doesn't appear to understand what vampires are, how to pace a story or how to anything except dribble on a page. I feel sorry for the people involved in this project. If it wasn't about vampires or based on a badly written book this wouldn't be as insulting. It could have made an interesting teen drama. Instead we've decided to follow the book which spends at least a sentence or two per page focusing on how beautiful Edward is. If it didn't take a shit over everything vampires stand for it could have been half decent. The other half would have come from not letting Stephenie Meyer touch a pen again. She does have good music taste though, send her to go sign up some cool bands and maybe I'll forgive her.
Overall Twilight might not be aimed at me but it doesn't make it any less insulting. Teen shows and movies have been done before and have been done well. Veronica, Gossip Girl and even Mean Girls are good fun at showing teenagers life. But sadly Twilight doesn't take note of any of these. It even completely ignores what should be the tome for all vampire stories set in high school that is Buffy. If you want to watch something decent involving vampires watch True Blood, if you're looking for social outcasts and a mystery go and catch Veronica Mars. You want both? Buffy. Just stay the fuck clear of Twilight.
Expect a review of New Moon later on this year where I trash the series' treatment of werewolves.
* this is aimed at the bigger Disney and not subsidiaries like Pixar and Touchstone who still make great stuff like Lost and Wall-E