OK, so our own Kurt Loder isn’t a big fan of Stephenie Meyer’s novel and suspects that Edward Cullen might be gay — regardless, his review of “Twilight” is mostly positive. And judging by the utterly unscientific method of reading status updates on my Facebook, most Twilighters who have seen early showings of the film seem to like it.
But even if the box-office receipts for this weekend’s most anticipated movie are strong, the fact of the matter is that the reviews are not. So, is this a classic case of middle-aged male reviewers forgetting what it’s like to be a teenager craving escapism, or can it really be true that the Cullens aren’t the only things in [movie id="369195"]“Twilight”[/movie] that suck? To investigate further, we’ve compiled the best and worst movie reviews below.
Our own esteemed film critic and MTV legend says in his review, “The movie version of ‘Twilight’ is a considerable improvement over the windy bestseller on which it’s based.” But Loder then adds, “[The film] gives the story a desperately needed kick in its saggy pants. Unfortunately, all the snappy pacing and swooping camera movement in the world can’t finesse the novel’s sillier conceits; and bringing some of them into the light only makes them seem a lot sillier.”
To a die-hard Twilighter, such words are on the same heretic level as telling the pope he wears a silly hat; as such, a fan named sara_radke has already replied to Kurt in our comments section, asking, “Are you insane?? Did you even read the book??”
Sara might have a busy day ahead of her posting those “Are you insane??” diatribes, as “Twilight” is currently ranked at a lowly 44 percent “fresh” rating on RottenTomatoes.com.
“Meyer is said to have been involved in the production of ‘Twilight,’ but her novel was substantially more absorbing than the unintentionally funny and quickly forgettable film,” remarks Claudia Puig in her USA Today review. Justin Chang at Variety agrees, saying, “[Director Catherine] Hardwicke can’t get inside the head of her young protagonist, Isabella ‘Bella’ Swan ([movieperson id="262629"]Kristen Stewart[/movieperson]); consequently, Bella’s decision to get hot and heavy with a hot-and-hungry vampire, far from seeming like an act of mad, transgressive passion, comes across as merely stupid and ill-considered. The result is a supernatural romance in which the supernatural and romantic elements feel rushed, unformed and insufficiently motivated, leaving audiences with little to do but shrug and focus on the eye-candy.”
Which would be fine for most RPattz-loving-ladies who simply want their fix of big-haired beefcake — but some critics even went to far as to question [movieperson id="365131"]Robert Pattinson[/movieperson]‘s skills as a thespian. “Stewart, in particular, delivers her lines as if simultaneously confused and half asleep. At least Pattinson gives emoting a shot, but in the end he doesn’t fare much better either,” pans Marco Cerritos at Boxoffice Magazine, giving the film two stars. “These aren’t vampires,” says Eugene Novikov of FilmBlather.com, dismissing Edward and the other Cullens. “These are fairies.”
“Much of what made the relationship between Edward and the smitten Bella Swan work in Meyer’s breezy book has been stripped away on screen,” says Christy Lemire at The Associated Press, observing that the chemistry between Pattinson and Stewart simmers rather than boils. “The funny, lively banter — the way in which Edward and Bella teased and toyed with one another about their respective immortality and humanity — is pretty much completely gone, and all that’s left is a slog of adolescent angst.” Luke Y. Thompson asks, “What the hell was that I just watched?” and says Edward “chooses to dress like a whiny-sexy emo-boy.” Then again, you might not want to put much stock into the fashion advice of a man who’d dye his own hair red, white and blue.
But cheer up, Twilighters, because the world’s greatest movie critic is on your side. “The movie is lush and beautiful, and the actors are well-chosen,” writes Roger Ebert. ” ‘Twilight’ will mesmerize its target audience, 16-year-old girls and their grandmothers. Their mothers know all too much about boys like this. I saw it at a sneak preview. Last time I saw a movie in that same theater, the audience welcomed it as an opportunity to catch up on gossip, texting, and laughing at private jokes. This time the audience was rapt with attention — I understand who ‘Twilight’ appeals to, and it sure will.”
Entertainment Weekly reviewer Owen Gleiberman perhaps sums things up best, reminding us that if you’re a grown-up who doesn’t enjoy Stephenie Meyer’s prose — big surprise! — you probably won’t dig the film either. “[Hardwicke] has reconjured Meyer’s novel as a cloudburst mood piece filled with stormy skies, rippling hormones, and understated visual effects,” Gleiberman writes. “What Hardwicke can’t quite triumph over is the book’s lackluster plot. On screen, ‘Twilight’ is repetitive and a tad sodden, too prosaic to really soar. But Hardwicke stirs this teen pulp to a pleasing simmer.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Twilight.”
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