For my review of Twilight: New Moon, click here.

Well at least I didn’t fall asleep. That’s the good news coming from the latest installment of the Twilight saga. That intensity and sense of impending doom prophesized in the trailer doesn’t actually exist in the movie. Instead we get an overly long and mostly action-free extension of the last film. So much time and effort is put into further clarifying the choice Bella has to make (you know, the same one they were making a big fuss about in the last one) that the vampire and werewolf history lessons from the book are mostly left out. In fact, I found the small amount that was left in to be the most interesting part of the movie.

But, as you are probably aware, I am not a member of the intended audience of this movie. That intended audience doesn’t care about history, or more accurately, they wouldn’t want their precious screen time wasted on anything that isn’t shirtless young men and fantasy romance. Both of which, occur much more frequently than in the previous 2 films. So if you’re not into that sort of thing, I recommend averting your eyes for your own safety. The smart thing to do, of course, is skip the film altogether. Unless, of course, you enjoy horrible acting, nihilistic themes, and awkwardness…lots and lots of squirm-in-your-seat awkwardness.

 

Synopsis: I don’t really remember too much of what happened in the last one (yeah….it had that much of an impact on me), but Bella chose Edward over Jacob, which makes Jacob angry. Meanwhile that mean vampire Victoria is making an army of vampires to try and kill Bella and maybe kill Edward’s “family”. Jacob decides to get his werewolf buddies to help fight the vampire army to save Bella so that maybe she will change her mind about him…I think you can guess how it ends…

Acting: Its all bad. Kristin Stewart (Bella) bites her lip in just about every scene for no other reason than to bug the hell out of me and has no real chemistry with anyone else in the movie. If that’s what it takes to be an actor, then sign me up! Robert Patterson (Edward) is in overdrive with the trying-to-be-cool thing, but it just comes off as downright strange. Finally, Taylor Lautner (Jacob) favors doing his acting with his muscles, so you don’t get much of a personality out of him. I think that the pressure that pop culture is placing on these relatively inexperienced actors is having a negative effect, and I am not talking about just the three main stars. The entire movie is far too overacted and dramatic to be realistic, let alone entertaining (unless you are laughing at it all). Billy Burke, playing Bella’s dad, puts in the only redeeming performance in this film. Horrible (9/25)

  • Kristin Stewart: Horrible
  • Robert Patterson: Bad
  • Taylor Lautner: Okay
  • Supporting Cast: Horrible

Script/Plot: Diverging from the story telling direction the book takes, the film adaptation prefers to spend time on Bella and her “struggle”, pushing the whole vampire army thing to the back. What you get is 2+ hours of not a whole lot happening. More fighting between Jacob and Edward, more Bella making questionable decisions fueled by her own immature sense of self importance. The climax of the film is hardly that, making the last movie look like a thrilling masterpiece. Which explains why you may fall asleep, because if you don’t really care about adolescent squabbling then you won’t find too much else to peak your attention. Bad (11/25)

  • Dialogue: Bad
  • Script: Bad
  • Plot: Bad
  • Themes/Messages: Bad

Direction: Director David Slade, new to the Twilight franchise, doesn’t do as horrible a job as his predecessor, as the transitions are under control and the special effects are taken care of a little better. But there are things to improve on. The production still feels like some sort of made-for-TV escapade, as the makeup is overly abundant and the dark tones and colorings are a little overbearing. Close up shots are seldom at the right angle, making those intimate moments even more awkward. Not to mention the way in which everyone is clearly posing for every shot rather than letting their body positions come natural, it gets annoying and comes off as very unrealistic. Bad (14/25)

  •  Professionalism: Okay
  •  Flow: Bad
  •  Editing: Bad

Special Effects: Like I said, a little better, but still B-movie-like. Spend more money here and the action scenes might have more bite (sorry, couldn’t help it). There is one scene in particular, where in one shot Bella is standing next to a CGI werewolf Jacob, and the next shot she is standing next to a prop. The difference is obvious. Music is an odd choice in some places, better in others. As far as the X-factor, this movie is definitely a step down from the previous installments, and there is nothing really here to set it apart anyway. Okay: (17/25)

  • Special Effects: Okay
  • Music: Good
  • X-Factor: Bad

The Verdict: (51/100) = F (Torture Purposes Only)

  • What’s Good: Some interesting historical flashbacks, one good action sequence, and Billy Burke’s acting.
  • What’s Bad: Everyone else’s acting, the story is drawn out and adds nothing compelling to the mix, awkward to the extreme, and perhaps one too many shirtless men.
  • Final Verdict: Proof that the weak movie franchise would not be able to hold up to the pop culture juggernaut bearing down on it. 

My previous review: Rated: Tron (1982)

You may also find this interesting: Rated: Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

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