‘Twilight’ doesn’t quite get the blood flowing

Dominic Baez

Managing editor

“I had never given much thought to how I would die. But dying in the place of someone I love seems like a pretty good way to go.”

OK, so take it with a grain of salt. This might be an intense beginning, but trust me, it sets the stage for the rest of the movie.

To the screaming delight of millions of teenage girls, and myself, “Twilight” premiered in movie theaters across the country Nov. 21. It is a classic Romeo and Juliet love story with a twist. Critics are calling it the best of its kind since “Titanic.” I find that a little difficult to believe, but they’re still
saying it.

Based on the international bestselling Twilight saga written by Stephanie Meyer, the film highlights an unlikely relationship between two teenagers: a girl with an uncanny knack for attracting danger and a vampire who refuses to be tempted by his dark desires.

Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart, moves to Forks, Wash., a small town under a near-constant cover of clouds and rainfall, to live with her father. For someone who despises all things cold, it doesn’t make much sense to move to one of the wettest places in the continental United States, but go with it. From that point on, her life is thrown into chaos: She falls head over heels in love with Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson, a vampire who can read everyone’s mind save hers.

Surprisingly, the movie deviates little from the original plot: Girl meets boy, boy hates girl, girl is confused, boy leaves for a week, girl is still confused, boy comes back and wants to be friends. Just another normal high school day, right? Wrong.

From here, the storyline … well, it doesn’t do much. It’s horrendously slow at some points, but it passed through some important and relevant scenes at the speed of light. As the two fall in love, complications strike from every angle. What would a love story be without some drama?

He is first drawn to Bella because of the sweet, floral scent of her blood. And not just in an, “Oh-she-smells-good,” kind of way, but in an, “Oh-I-want-to-drink-her-blood-like-no-other,” kind of way. Not exactly safe for
Ms. Swan.

After weeks of resisting what proves to be the strongest of temptations, Edward gives in, saying he doesn’t have the strength to stay away from Bella. The funny part, though, is that Bella never wanted him to stay away in the first place; her love, though obsessive and bordering insanely dependent, runs deep.

Even though Edward learns to control his thirst, every moment he and Bella spend together puts her life in danger, not to mention he is putting his family, a coven of vampires that feed only on animal blood, in danger of exposure.

The climax occurs when three nomadic vampires- who actually adhere to vampire lore, drink human blood and kill people-pass through Forks. (This has to be the unluckiest town in history, I swear.) The leader of the coven, James, a
tracker with unparalleled and lethal senses, has devoted his life to hunting humans. After he smells the scent of Bella’s blood, coupled with Edward’s overprotective reactions, he makes her the object of his deadly hunt. Edward, along with the rest of the Cullens, does everything in his power to protect her.

Throughout the movie, Edward shows Bella the secrets of his life through a slightly crazed showing of his strength and speed to a scene that finds them
leaping from treetop to treetop against a spectacular wilderness backdrop to some highly acrobatic, yet unrealistic, fight scenes that leave you wanting more. 

While the movie in and of itself is entertaining, considering it grossed $70.6 million during its opening weekend alone (I saw it eight times), it left something to be desired by true die-hard “Twilight” fans, myself included. Some of the most important scenes during the entire movie were completely off the mark, leaving me wondering, “What was the director thinking?”

I will admit that the music is brilliant; the director blended scene with song masterfully and saved some otherwise incredibly awkward scenes. I have the feeling, though, that the director was only able to do so much with a story that was better left on paper. Hopefully she’ll have better luck
next time.

Summit Entertainment announced that it is going ahead with the production of “New Moon,” the second installment in the Twilight saga. Even though Stewart and Pattinson have agreed to return as the leading roles, whether Catherine Hardwicke will return as director is still being discussed. The script for “New Moon” is complete and ready to go, but fans will have to wait until 2010 to sink their teeth into the sequel.

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