Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Twilight (the movie) sucks

I did not like “Twilight” for a myriad of reasons.  The poor acting and the unnecessary voice-overs were partly responsible for my attitude, but the most egregious offender was the erratic and often incomprehensibly stupid actions and decisions of the characters. In fact, a majority of the conflict in the film could have been averted if the characters were not suffering from a dearth of common sense.  This refusal to utilize even the most rudimentary mental facilities challenged my suspension of disbelief more than the premise of  friendly Northwestern vampires.  Every character is guilty of this at some point.

Bella’s father exhibits erratic behavior when he decides to go to another county to help them investigate an animal attack.  Meaning that he’s abandoning his city to no conceivable benefit to anyone.  But his greatest blunder is in the investigation of the murder victim in Forks.  He finds a footprint in the meadow and,  with no other information or evidence, decides that a) the foot print belongs to the killer and b) the killer is no longer in Forks therefore c) he stops investigating the death of his friend.

When Bella meets Jacob at the beach, he tells her that there is a secret myth in the Quileute tribe.  The myth is that in exchange for not hunting on Quileute land, the Quileute people will not reveal the Cullens’ true nature.  This secrecy is the foundation for their truce.  Yet there are readily available books containing this story, identifying the true nature of the Cullens.    If the truce is so important, why was the myth published?  Why didn’t the Quileute people buy or destroy all the copies of said books?

The Cullens themselves are not much brighter than the other characters.  When Edward brings Bella to his home, he explains that the family always enrolls in high school so that they can claim to be teenagers and stay in one place longer.  It is worth remembering that being around living people is a serious temptation for the Cullens, which makes it so much more baffling that they hadn’t decided on homeschooling.  Another example of the Cullens’ lack of basic cognitive abilities comes at the end of the climactic fight scene.  Bella has been bitten, and someone needs to suck the venom out.  Carlisle (who has successfully shown restraint while drinking the blood of the living on multiple occasions) asks Edward (who has stated that his desire for Bella’s blood is greater than anything he’s ever experienced) to suck the venom out of Bella’s blood, despite being perfectly capable of doing it himself, thus putting her in unnecessary danger.

Even Bella’s mother displays her inherent ineptitude when she meets Bella at the hospital after the climax.  According to her, the Cullens had explained that her injuries (serious blood loss, deep cuts, bruises and probably broken bones) were due to “falling down two flights of stairs and out a window.”  (I'm guessing this was after she walked into a door.)  While I wouldn’t expect her to assume that Bella was injured during a vampire battle in a ballet studio, any rational individual would have assumed domestic abuse.  Especially since, as far as Bella’s father knew, she had just broken up with Edward and run off.

But it is Bella who really ruins things.  Edward spends considerable time and energy explaining to her that he is incredibly dangerous and wants to hurt her, and she chooses to stay by his side regardless of his pleas that she do otherwise.  It is hard to sympathize with Bella when she’s in trouble, because she had been given enough warning and opportunity to avoid said trouble.

All the characters behave in a way that makes no sense, so long as it is convenient to the plot.  This makes the story seem, at the best, contrived, and at the worst, imbecilic.

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