Review of Twilight, the Movie
by Julie Turner
This film based on Stephenie Meyer’s world-famous Twilight series begins with Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) saying goodbye to her free-spirit mother and new stepfather and leaving her home in Phoenix, Arizona, to live with her father Charlie (played by Billy Burke) in Forks, Washington. Charlie is portrayed as the stereotypical cop in a one-horse town. When she first arrives at her new home, she is surprised with a welcome home gift from her father. It is a 1950s truck that Charlie has purchased from his best friend Billy Black (played by Gil Birmingham) who is a Quileute tribal leader on the nearby reservation of La Push. Bella gets reintroduced to her childhood friend, Billy’s son Jacob (played by Taylor Lautner).
When Bella begins Forks High School, she is instantly the most popular topic of gossip. Everyone wants to befriend the new girl including the school jock (played by Michael Welch), the popular girl (played by Anna Kendrick), and the editor of the school newspaper (played by Justin Chon). In the cafeteria, she notices a group of incredibly attractive teens. She is told that they are foster children of the town physician, Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), and usually keep to themselves. Bella’s new friends explain that Rosalie (Nikki Reed) and Emmett (Kellan Lutz) are ‘together,’ and so are Alice (Ashley Greene) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone). When Bella asks about the other guy and who he is with, Jessica tells her that Edward (Robert Pattinson) thinks he’s too good to date any of the girls around Forks.
In science class later that day, Bella is assigned to share a lab table with none other than Edward Cullen. Robert Pattinson overly dramatizes Edward’s anguish when being around Bella almost to a comical point. We find out later in the movie that his character is trying not to devour her right then and there. Bella is clueless that Edward is a vampire and wonders what in the world is wrong with her.
When he returns to school, he formally introduces himself to Bella and apologizes for appearing rude before. Bella notices that his eyes were black before, and now they’re a golden amber color. When she mentions this to Edward, he takes off again.
A few days later when Bella arrives in the school parking lot, a van slides on the icy pavement directly towards Bella. Edward instantaneously appears from the other side of the parking lot and stops the van from colliding with Bella with a single hand which leaves a large dent in the side of the van. Bella is fine but is rushed to the hospital anyway and gets checked out by Carlisle. (That’s when we get our first glimpse at Peter Facinelli.) Afterward, she questions Edward about his super-human speed and strength. He finally admits his power but does not offer any explanation.
The local teens decide to go surfing at the La Push Indian Reservation, and Bella invites Edward to come along. Edward stands her up, but Jacob Black keeps her company by telling her about old Quileute legends. According to the elders’ stories, Quileutes were descended from wolves that protect humans from the ‘cold ones.’ He explained that Edward and his family never come to La Push. This confuses Bella so she does a Google search and discovers that ‘cold ones’ are vampires and Edward fits the description perfectly. We get to see pictures on her computer screen of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in famous vampire movie scenes.
Bella decides to travel to the nearby town of Port Angeles with some friends to purchase a book about vampires at a local bookstore. She gets lost while walking back to meet her friends and gets cornered by some local thugs. Out of nowhere, Edward in his silver Volvo shows up and saves her. He takes her out to dinner and we are treated to a scene with a very strange gothic waitress flirting with Edward.
At school the next day, Edward follows Bella to a meadow and reveals that his skin sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight. He answers all of her questions about vampires and makes her say the word outloud. During this conversation, he delivers his famous line, “What if I’m not the hero? What if I’m the bad guy?” Bella says that she is not afraid of him, but Edwards feels that is a mistake. He also explains that the Cullens call themselves ‘vegetarians’ since they feed on animals instead of humans. He tells her that he was trying to avoid her at first, because he had such a strong thirst for her blood. Bella thinks he’s beautiful anyway and knows that he will never hurt her. Bella and Edward immediately become the school ‘super couple.’
When Edward invites Bella to a baseball game with his family, the novel takes a very different turn. Three nomadic vampires show up. Their leader James (Cam Gigandet) is challenged by Edward and decides he must kill Bella. The Cullens do everything they can for the remainder of the movie to protect Bella and the plot is full of cliff-hanging suspense.
Twilight is the best novel I have ever read, and I also enjoyed the movie. ( I really did – I watched it 3 times at the theater.) If I hadn’t already read the book and knew all of the backstories, I don’t know if I would have liked the movie so much. I think the main reason the movie did so well at the box office is because Robert Pattinson is so easy on the eyes!