Seventeen-year-old Bella Swan leaves sunny Phoenix, Arizona, to spend some time with her father Charlie Swan , the chief of police in the perpetually cloudy and rainy city of Forks, Washington. Bella remembers making mud pies with Jacob and therefore looks forward to having at least one friend at Forks High School, until Jacob reminds her that he is a Quileute Indian and goes to school on the Reservation. On her first day at school, Bella is befriended by Eric Yorkie the school’s “eyes and ears”, and things proceed normally until she meets Edward Cullen, one of five strange foster kids who always keep themselves to themselves. He constantly stares at her and is extremely moody but Bella is attracted to him, even more so after he saves her from an out of control car. However, when she visits Jacob, he tells her that the Quileutes are descended from wolves and the Cullens, their enemies, are vampires…………
This high-school vampire yarn for teenage girls is tediously stretched out and has a lot of unintended laughs, but just about passes the time. I doubt I’ll ever be bothered to see it again though. The central romance takes up the majority of the film’s time, but is handled in an often inept manner. An inordinate amount of footage is devoted to Edward staring at Bella in a way which is both creepy and funny [yet she likes it!], yet the story jumps from the two not being in love to actually being in love extremely suddenly. Once they appear to have feelings for each other, it’s somewhat refreshing for a couple in a modern film, especially one aimed at teenagers, not to jump into bed with each other, but the acting by both leads is atrocious [though I doubt anybody would be able to do much with the role poor Robert Pattinson has been saddled with, which basically requires him to constantly look constipated] and prevents any real involvement with the love story, while the dialogue…well, I can only think that author Stephanie Meyer and scriptwriter Melissa Rosenberg meant much of it as a joke. Of course this is also suppose to be about neck biters, but to be honest there is about five minutes of sub- The Lost Boys vampire stuff in the film, and the passable action at the end seems shoehorned in. Twilight is not quite awful, but neither is it good and it’s unfortunate that it seems like it’s going to be a huge hit, which means the other books will probably be filmed. Hopefully the follow-ups [no, I haven’t read the books] will take the story down some of the interesting paths it has the potential to do so, and in particualar go more into the back story of the vampires and werewolves, probably the most interesting aspect of the film.