Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
Cam Gigandet, Anna Kendrick, Kellan Lutz, more »
|Director:||Catherine Hardwicke—“The Nativity Story,” “Lords of Dogtown,” “Thirteen,” “Vanilla Sky” (Production Designer)|
|Producer:||Imprint Entertainment, Maverick Films, more »|
based on the best-selling book series by Stephenie Meyer
“When you can live forever, what do you live for?”
Don’t hate me when I admit that I am not really a fan of the Twilight book series. I did read the first book because several of my middle-school students were carrying around the book and giggling at the thought of Edward Cullen. Needless to say, I went into the theatre with low hopes of being entertained. Not only is this film highly entertaining and faithful to the book, it is also one of the cleaner teen movies to come out in a long time.
Bella Swan is moving from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington. Since her mother remarried a minor league baseball player, she moves in with her single father to allow the newlyweds to travel. Once Bella moves to the small town, she is at once the center of attention. However, who really catches her eye is the pale, handsome Edward Cullen.
After saving Bella from a potentially fatal accident, Edward becomes even more intriguing to Bella. Attracted to the scent of her blood, Edward tries to distance himself from the beautiful Bella but to no avail. They soon learn to accept their forbidden attraction and fall in love. Bella also finds out that Edward and his family are immortal vampires. Unlike others of their kind, the Cullen only feed on animals and not humans.
All is jeopardized when a group of evil nomadic vampires begin to kill human victims along the Forks area. Once James, one of evil vampires, catches a scent of Bella, he becomes obsessed in hunting her down and killing her. Edward and his family do their best to hide Bella from the vampire before it’s too late.
The cast is perfectly chosen; Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson carry their scenes well, and their chemistry is convincing. The two-hour film moves at a steady pace, and humor is appropriately placed. Just enough background information is offered to keep people who’ve never read the book from feeling lost. While not too much is provided to help the devoted fans from feeling bored.
The offensive content in the film is surprisingly and refreshingly mild. I did not hear any curse words, and the Lord’s name was only profaned about two times. If viewers are offended by the thought of seeing vampires in a film, then do not see it. Seeing the folklore on the big screen does not offend me because it is not glorified since Edward often called himself a monster.
The main offense could have easily come from sexual references, but the film kept it very mild. Edward and Bella only kiss twice. They do share a sensual kiss in her bedroom. When their kiss begins to intensify, Edward quickly pulls away. After this, the audience can briefly see that Bella is in a shirt and panties. The second kiss is very clean and brief near the end of the film.
When going prom dress shopping, the girls try on some cleavage-revealing dresses. When Jessica says that the current dress makes her “boobs look good,” some guys immediately holler at her through the shop’s window, making her uncomfortable. This would make for a great discussion to young girls on how we should dress modestly as daughters of God.
When explaining his ability to read minds, Edward tells Bella what some people are thinking about in the restaurant. The main topics were “greed” and “sex.” However, I did not find this offensive, but true. The sinful nature of the world often has the topics of sex and greed in the forefront.
The violence is the film is fairly moderate. While the Cullens are good vampires, the nomadic vampires do hunt humans. These murders or any blood are never shown on screen, except a brief chase scene. When Bella gets tricked into going into her old ballet studio, James does break her leg and throws her around a couple of times. All this causes Bella to scream in agony. While she is losing consciousness, you can see the Cullens, quickly twisting James’ head off. There is no blood, and the image is blurred out.
After viewing the movie, parents should speak about the positives and negatives of Edward and Bella’s relationship in comparison to God-approved dating with their kids. Edward is very sweet to Bella, and their physical relationship does not pass a few kisses. Impressively, Edward even stops their kiss when he feels that he is “losing control.”
Bella and Edward are obviously tempted with each other. However, they spend a lot of time alone, from Bella’s bedroom to being in the middle of the forest. Explain how being absolutely alone leaves too many tempting doors wide open. Most importantly, any Christians who date should study God’s word and pray together. This will strengthen the relationship and help build spiritual armor against any temptation. In Ephesians 6:10-11, it reads: “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
For this film, the PG-13 rating is perfectly fitting. I do not believe children under this age should be allowed to see the movie. Ultimately, only parents know whether or not their tweens are mature enough to watch this film. A sequel has officially been launched for a 2010 release. I hope that the moviemakers keep it as clean as this one.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.