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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Twilight’ adaptation falls flat

By Trevor Hale, Red Pulse Editor

I’m not the target audience for this movie8212;not by a long shot. So for the fans (if you’ve gotten this far) of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, don’t worry. This movie will still make millions of dollars and ensure that the rest of the series finds a way to the silver screen despite what I have to say.

But for the rest of you8212;those who, like me, had no preconceived notions of this film other than it looked a little silly8212;believe me when I say that this is two hours (feeling every minute pass) you will never, ever get back.

Watch another full trailer for Twilight:

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The plot8212;if you can call it that8212;is easy to follow in case you’re new to the glistening, pale world of the least intimidating vampires in the history of film. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart8212;the only person in the film who can act) moves to a little town in Washington with her father, while her mother travels the country with her minor league baseball player boyfriend. She soon falls for the best-looking, most untouchable boy in school, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) because he saves her from getting crushed by a car.

Eventually, she figures out that he’s a vampire and the two try to make their teenage love work. Somewhere along the way, we discover that there are three “bad” vampires (Edward and his vampire family being the “good” ones) also hiding out in this small town. James, a tracker and one of the bad guys8212;based on his constant scowl and punk rock looks8212;decides he’s out to get Bella because he has nothing better to do. Seriously.

The book might be a different story (never read any of them), but the problems with Twilight as a film are numerous. Pattinson, with his Dylan McKay hair in full effect, overacts to the point where every word he says, and every face he makes, recalls all the eager but untalented drama students you knew in high school. Nothing about him is remotely believable, but the fact that he is paired alongside Stewart (who isn’t exactly amazing, but at least has talent) the majority of the time just makes him look worse. Whatever he was attempting with the character doesn’t work and he comes across like an overly creepy sexual predator8212;the kind with a special police database.

In fact, aside from Bella, none of the other characters have anything that remotely resembles a personality. Except for maybe Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), but only because he obviously plays a bigger role in the sequels.

The rest of the cast is one-dimensional and not a single character gave the audience a reason to care about (or hate) them. Edward’s father, Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facienelli8212;who will be Mike Dexter forever, no matter what movie he’s in) assumes the role of the wise vampire by default, isn’t given anything to work with and does nothing with it. The rest of Edward’s family is just as forgettable, if not more so. They’re all just kind of there.

The trio of bad vampires barely make an appearance until well beyond the halfway point, and their role in the film just seems haphazardly shoved in for the sake of some conflict. It also happens in the middle of one of the most ridiculous scenes in the film, and one that could have ruined the Muse song “Supermassive Black Hole” forever.

Catherine Hardwicke, a director who showed such promise with her early films “Thirteen” and “Lords of Dogtown,” just didn’t seem to care with this one. It’s like she knew as long as someone, anyone that could pass as Edward Cullen showed up on screen, girls would screech with delight (which they did8212;Twilight moms and tweens alike), the movie would be a hit and she could collect a paycheck.

The humor is awkward and forced throughout, and the scenes with Edward running up and down trees with Bella on his back just look plain silly. It’s an attempt at an homage to the first time Superman takes Lois on a flight around Metropolis, but Superman was an icon long before the film. Edward is just a cheesy, overacting child (which opens up a whole different set of problems, by the way8212;if Edward has been a vampire for a long, long time shouldn’t he have outgrown his adolescent, first love phase years ago? He’ll always look 17, but his personality shouldn’t be stuck in puberty forever. That’s supposed to make sense even in vampire logic.)

If you are a fan of the books already, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be thrilled with the movie regardless8212;as evidenced by the whooping and shrieking from the crowd who accompanied the appearance of the main title, end credits and every character in between. The rest of the world will have to suffer silently as Twilight cements itself in the history of pop culture as glowing, sparkling, pale-skinned soap opera stars take over the multiplex for at least three more movies.

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