By Matt Dekinder
Contributing TFW Writer
After watching what is now the fourth (!) “Twilight” movie I now know how Bond must have felt when he faced off against Blofeld, or Sherlock Holmes when he matched wits with Professor Moriarty.
“Well hello my old nemesis, we meet again.”
Look, by this point the penultimate film in the series (fully titled “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1”) isn’t going to sway any converts one way or the other.
You are either fully invested in the teenage love triangle of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her supernatural boy toys, vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), or you would rather spend your time with your tongue duct-taped to the back of a speeding Greyhound bus.
There’s not much middle ground.
For me, it’s not even really about the fact that these movies are terrible no matter what metric you use: acting, directing, plotting or dialogue. The simple fact is that none of this really matters.
What I’ve come to respect and marvel at about the “Twilight” series is the undeniable cultural impact and devoted following these movies (and the books they are based on) have inspired.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to psychoanalyze the large, primarily female audience and what exactly causes otherwise discerning and intelligent moviegoers to go gaga over this silly and increasingly ludicrous love story.
Ultimately this not only was a mistake, but a waste of time as well, because I think the appeal of these movies takes place on such a basic level that they go well beyond any kind of simple rationalization.
Take this most recent movie for example: it’s kind of amazing how little actually happens.
It begins with the wedding of Edward and Bella, then comes a honeymoon featuring a single, wooden night of romantic bliss followed by a hyper-accelerated pregnancy and a whole lot of hand wringing about Bella’s health and some moderate danger from Jacob’s pack of fellow werewolves who want to take down Bella’s unborn, half-vampire baby.
Throw in a patently ridiculous and intensely creepy resolution of the lingering love triangle and that is literally the entire movie.
I’m reminded of soap operas where you can watch the show for three weeks and in that time maybe half a day of action has taken place for the characters, if you are lucky.
The entire “Twilight” series has managed to bring the soap opera time-warp seamlessly to the big screen, as we are well over eight hours in and I’d be willing to bet a good seven and a half of those hours has been spent talking about feelings.
The point is that these movies are the perfect empty vessels for the viewer willing to do most of the work to pour in all of his or her preconceived notions of love, romance and vampire/werewolf political tensions. As much as I despise these movies, that is a parade I am not willing to rain on, no matter how much Stewart’s unrelenting sourness makes me regret my career choice. So party on Twi-hards, you have no apologies to make for your love of this pulpy, romantic saga; just don’t take it personally when the rest of us decide to party elsewhere.
As for myself, I only have to endure one more battle with next year’s grand finale “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2.” Only the strong survive.