Does a record-breaking box office translate into great art or even a mediocre film worth your $10? Sometimes the hoopla surrounding a movie cons us into thinking it must be great, right? Otherwise, why would all those people not only plop down money but willing give up a good three hours?
I haven’t seen the latest Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Part I, and don’t plan to. Suffering through the first three installments was punishment enough. So don’t look here for a review. I don’t need to see the next film to know that it will be a huge disappointment—not just a bad movie but offensively so at that. Here’s why:
The prior movies sucked. The first Twilight film for all its moody colors was essentially like a CW special with a blown up budget extended for hours on the big screen. (Actually scratch that; CW may go for the teenage market but Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and Buffy all featured better writing than Twilight). Then New Moon managed to include all of the first movie’s insufferable emo text and corniness without even decent cinematography of the Pacific Northwest. (Though, in New Moon’s defense it was frequently very funny, albeit, unintentionally so, especially when you see Sparkle Bella and Sparkle Edward running in the field). Now Eclipse did at least feature some fur flying; literally, but in the words of Anthony Quinn of The Independent, “Lose the garlic and pass the smelling salts.” The love triangle was sappier and more tired than ever. It can only get worse during Edward and Bella’s nuptials.
It is part of an entire series dedicated to one of the least interesting protagonists you can find. Lord of the Rings was following an ordinary sort of bloke who at a crucial moment decides to take upon himself the burden of saving his entire world. Harry Potter was following “The Boy Who Lived,” an irrepressible young orphan who kept battling dark magic. The Hunger Games will be following an adolescent girl who in order to save her sister’s life enrolls in a tournament to the death. Twilight follows a whiny teenage girl, who spends all her time moping about her perfect undead boyfriend, and who never seems to even lift a finger to help herself. Right away you see the problem.
The whole Twilight phenomenon has set feminism and girl empowerment back half a century. Thanks to bloody Bella, we have millions of young girls, (and perhaps even more unnervingly adult women), swooning over the fantasy of settling down at age 18 with a control freak, then getting knocked up on the honeymoon with a baby that actually eats its way out of you only to be the One True Love of your other high school sweetheart.
It’s a form of cultural theft. The Twilight series prominently features Jacob’s tribe, the Quileutes. Only problem is that they are a real life tribe who do not appreciate being depicted as “noble savages” who turn into wolves nor for that matter did the Quileutes ever believe in vampires. Stephanie Meyers failed to do her research before including them in her books. (Of course she also notably refused to do any research on vampire mythology either).
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are two of the dullest, most wooden actors in Hollywood. You literally never see them looking anything but pouty or sullen on screen. Taylor Lautner admitted has a little more life in him, though, it’s hard to tell whether that translates to real acting ability since so far all he’s had to do is take off his shirt. (Admittedly he does it well; the audience always cheered whenever it happened in the last two movies). Now as bad as the leads are you could sometimes get rare moments of joy from the supporting cast in the films. Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning hammed it up in New Moon to good effect. Peter Facinelli gave Carlisle Cullen a certain appealing sensitivity and even managed the near impossible feat of chemistry with Kristen Stewart. Billy Burke had charm and comedic timing as Bella’s father Charlie. Ashley Green’s Alice was fey and enchanting, and best of all was Anna Kendrick who as Bella’s vapid human classmate, Jessica, pumped oxygen into every scene she was in. But Breaking Dawn Part I, more than ever before in the franchise, is going to be about Bella and Edward’s Twoo Luv and its consummation. Someone grab the barf bucket.
Reneesme. ‘Nuff said.
Sparkle vampires. Really?
Some of you may scoff at this list. (Oh! She didn’t even watch the movie! And really how bad could it be?) and be tempted to actually pay $10 and give up two-plus hours of your life to “see for yourself.” That is your right. It’s a free country—no one can stop you. But you’ve been warned.