Brussels-based journalist and editor Emma Portier Davis joins our happy crew, with her thoughts on the latest ‘vampire in love’ saga.
This is the second instalment of The Twilight Saga, which, in case you missed the first in 2008, centres on the near impossible romance between a vampire called Edward – played by the dreamy Robert Pattinson – and high-school student Isabella ‘Bella’ Swann (Kristen Stewart).
With eager expectation I nestled into my seat, hoping for another fast-paced movie with all the ingredients a girl desires – male leads to swoon over, fantastic action, and forbidden passion. I’m far too old for this but, as Demi Moore would say, I’m a puma not a cougar.
The sequel begins with Bella’s birthday party with her adopted ‘vegetarian’ vampire family (they only drink animal blood). She cuts her finger opening a present and chaos ensues as a newly initiated vampire can’t control himself – Edward decides he must ditch her to save her.
Even when reading the books, this just doesn’t make sense. Leave this
mortal’s side when there is another female vampire out there who wants to kill her as payback for Edward killing her partner in the previous episode?
But not to fear, for wherever Bella goes, the supernatural will surely be
there. She discovers her childhood friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) from the Indian reservation is in fact a werewolf whose brethren is already hunting the vengeful vamp.
And she almost falls for him, resulting in some steamy ‘not quite there’ scenes that Twilight is famous for (Edward will barely kiss Bella in case he loses control and kills her – now there’s a strong abstinence incentive) but, alas for Jacob, Edward realises he can’t live (exist?) without Bella.
There are some good performances: Jacob the werewolf is pretty, well, believable and Dakota Fanning gives an impressive turn as Jane, a spectacularly sadistic vampire. But Pattinson and Stewart are altogether lacklustre, making it hard to believe they could possibly be in love, let alone would die for each other.
Edward was a strong, intellectual character in the first movie; in this, director Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass (2007)) reduces him to eye candy with cringe-worthy music as he swaggers into view. But it’s still harder to believe why Bella, with her chronic dose of high-school cynicism, could attract someone who is more than 100 years old.
But I watched it to the end. My companion said that, while it was weak, it wouldn’t stop her seeing the next one (Eclipse – in post-production for release in 2010). As for me, I reminded myself I shouldn’t expect anything too intelligent if I go to see a movie about vampires and teenagers, although the first was much more exciting. You could always try Låt den rätte komma in (Let The Right One In) (2008), Emma? – ED