The Twilight movies: Robert and Taylor can’t save this


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

The Twilight Saga, written by Stephanie Meyer, inspired 5 films that defined pop culture for a generation.

Molly Boetsch, The Delphi Writer

In 2008, the first Twilight movie hit the big screen with a 49% on Rotten Tomatoes and made $393.6 million at the box office.

The film stars Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, and Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black. Twilight is the story of Bella Swan, a high school student who just moved from Arizona to Washington sate. On her first day at school, she meets Edward Cullen, a vampire, whose family doesn’t drink human blood. The plot follows their love story and one of the most famous love triangles in modern YA literature.

The first time viewers see Bella in Forks, Washington is when she’s in the car with her father, the chief of police. The dialogue between Bella and her dad in the car does do a good job of showing how uncomfortable their relationship is, but it makes him seem like a bad father for not knowing the length of his daughter’s hair, who lives in a different state. The awkward tension gets worse as the film goes on. When Bella gets to her first day at her new school, everyone knows who she is and where she’s from without her telling them.

Skipping past Bella’s uncomfortable first few meetings with Edward in school, it is clear that Edward Cullen is a creepy stalker. There is a part of the movie where Bella is sleeping and she wakes up to see Edward standing by the wall of her bedroom. She turns the light on and he’s gone, prompting the line “And that was the first night I dreamt of Edward Cullen.” But later on in the movie, he comes in the room when she’s awake and she asks him something along the lines of what he’s doing there. He tells her that he likes to watch her sleep because vampire can’t sleep.

This is completely creepy on its own, but when she asks how often he does it, he says “The past few months,” which means Bella probably wasn’t dreaming the first time he was in her room…before they were even dating. It turns out that his watching her sleep is a protective thing, which doesn’t make it any better. On the one hand, he’s is very overprotective and controlling, but on the other hand, Bella is so helpless that she can’t function on her own.

Bella Swan is the most helpless character ever. Moving past the mess that is the end of the first movie to the garbage fire that is the second, Twilight: New Moon is by far the worst of the saga. A good chunk of the movie is Bella just being depressed. The plot kicks off when Bella gets a paper cut at the Cullen house, a paper cut that is way too dramatic. The impossible drop of blood from a paper cut makes Edward’s brother, Jasper, freak out and try to kill her. This makes Edward have to leave to keep Bella safe.

Bella completely overreacts to Edward’s moving away, as this is a normal part of life. She falls into a crippling depression once he leaves. There’s a long stretch of time when Bella is just sitting alone in her room looking out a window and isolating herself from her friends. Bella doesn’t physically speak during this time, and her emptiness is expressed through failed attempts to send emails to Edward’s sister, Alice, who is also Bella’s friend.

Bella gets so bad that whenever she does something that she knows is reckless, she hallucinates that Edward is there. She’s needs to see him so badly that she does more reckless things hoping that he will return. This is when Jacob Black becomes more prominent in the story as he starts hanging out with Bella to build a motorcycle.

Jacob is super obsessive and a bad friend. During the time Bella starts hanging out with Jacob, he is noticeably trying to get Bella to consider dating him even though he knows how upset she is about the Cullens being gone. On top of that, it takes Bella way too long to find out that Jacob is a werewolf; there were hints in the first movie, as well as him acting super different and distant at the start of New Moon.

It takes him turning into a werewolf in his yard while Bella’s there for her to realize the truth. Jacob then goes off to do “wolf things” with his pack, and Bella gets really lonely again even though she has a group of friends she can go see. Bella decides to go cliff jumping and almost drowns; if Jacob hadn’t randomly showed up and pulled her out of the water, she would have died. It would have been tragic if Bella died, but why was Jacob there? He had no reason for being there and shouldn’t have known where she was.

Bella gets back home from almost killing herself with her stupid life choices, and Alice Cullen is there. Alice had a vision of Bella cliff jumping and thought she was trying to kill herself. Jacob, being a werewolf, isn’t happy about her being around and talks to Bella in a different room when Edward, who had found out about the vision, calls the house. Instead of Bella answering her own phone like a normal person, Jacob answers it and says that Mr. Swan isn’t there because he’s planning a funeral (his friend had died). Because no one bothered to explain what happened, Edward thought Bella had died.

Alice then has her vampire vision of Edward getting the vampire government to kill him so that he can die with Bella, like a twisted version of Romeo and Juliet. Alice and Bella then make an impossible trip to Italy to stop Edward from showing himself in the sun to humans (because they sparkle) so the vampire government will kill him. Bella stops him and, moving past the numbly bad conversion that follows, including a vampire fight, the government says that Edward has to make Bella a vampire or they’ll kill her.

After these events, the Cullens move back to town (and no one questions it at all), and the final scene of the movie is a stare-off between Jacob and Edward following with Edward telling Bella to marry him. He doesn’t ask her; he tells her. She wants him to turn her into a vampire and he says he will under one condition: “Marry me.” He words what’s supposed to be a very important moment in a relationship as a command, ending the film.

The third movie in the saga is Eclipse. Viewers first see Bella and Edward in a field and he’s trying to get Bella to marry him, but she just wants him to turn her into a vampire. They’re both incredibly stubborn; Edward wants to get around the problem without fixing it. Not to mention there’s a vampire, Victoria, who was part of a group trying to kill Bella who is still around and making an army of vampires to fight the Cullens and kill Bella.

The movie cuts between the love triangle and the vampire army running around and killing people. Of course, Alice has a vision of the army of new vampires (who are supposed to be stronger and faster for some reason), and she tells the rest of her family, Jacob happens to be around. This kick starts Jacob getting the wolves together to help the Cullens. One would think their hatred of each other would be more of a problem, but that doesn’t stop this alliance. The Cullens then begin training, and Bella does what she does best: stands to the side, doing nothing.

The movie flashes back to Jasper’s backstory, that no one asked for or really cares about at this point in the story, and after a day or so of throwing each other around, the Cullens get ready for a fight while Edward takes Bella to his house. The next scene of the movie is meant to be romantic, but it doesn’t really work; Edward puts a bed in his room so Bella could sleep, and they have a cute moment when he asks her to marry him again. This time Bella says yes.

Bella has been so set on the idea that Edward had to turn her into a vampire first, but she decides to give up on it for the moment. Skipping to the worst fight in the history of movie fights, the wolves rip the vampires (who break like glass, by the way) apart in five minutes while somewhere on a mountain Jacob and Bella are fighting because she slept close to Jacob in the tent to stay warm and then he heard that she was marrying Edward.

The worst part is that while Jacob is getting ready to leave, Bella tells him to kiss her and she seems to have forgotten that she said she’d marry Edward. She goes back to Edward after the kiss and he doesn’t care because he knows she loves him more. This plot decision makes no sense coming from him because he was ready to kill Jacob the last time he kissed Bella. Skipping past the fight between Vitoria and Edward, the movie ends with Bella and Edward back in the random field. Bella explains that they need to tell her dad about how she was going to marry her boyfriend at eighteen.

Finally, Twilight: Breaking Dawn opens with everyone getting the wedding invitations. Bella’s dad looks disappointed reading his and the camera cuts to Jacob (who they invited for some reason) getting mad and throwing it in the rain before running into the woods to “wolf out.” Skip the setting up of the wedding scene that we didn’t need to when Edward goes to Bella’s house (through the window again) and tells her that a long time ago he killed a bunch of bad men. He also explains that hates himself for it. In normal Bella fashion, she doesn’t care at all and lets him go to a party with his brothers.

They get married and Jacob gets mad that they’re going on a honeymoon, acting like a five-year-old who can’t get a new toy. It made no since for them to invite him knowing that he’s in love with Bella. The movie moves onto Edward taking Bella to an island for some honeymooning, and after the trip, Bella has a bunch of bruises because Edward is strong and has a hard time controlling his strength.

Edward gets mad at himself for hurting her, so he swears that he will never do that again. The film then shifts to them going on walks and playing chess over and over, until Bella becomes depressed and guilts him for how he is treating her. Even through it should be impossible because Edward is a vampire, Bella ends up pregnant with a demon vampire human baby.

The movie takes a dark turn when Bella gets sick from the unnatural way the baby grows, Edward begins hating himself, and Jacob gets mad because the other wolves want to kill the baby. Moving past the stupid fights, Bella has to have a C-section and dies afterward. Edward’s other sister takes the baby while Edward tries to save Bella by biting her legs and arms and injecting her with a syringe of the venom from his fangs, which is probably the weirdest thing ever. Why in the world would Edward just have a syringe full of the venom? Even for vampires, that makes no sense.

However, at least Edward tried to save her. Jacob just stood by crying and angry. He then leaves Bella to kill her newborn baby, and the audience finally gets to see the baby. It’s the creepiest baby in the world. They decided for whatever reason to CGI the baby’s face and it is disturbing. On top of the terrible visual effects, Jacob sees the baby and “wolf imprints” on her which means he falls in love with her. Jacob, who was around eighteen, fell in love with a baby girl who was born two minutes ago. As it turns out, this means the other wolves can’t kill her either.

The child’s named Renesmee, something Bella had come up with before her birth. When Bella’s body is back home with the other Cullens, Edward goes back to the room where Bella is. They have her all dressed up because they’re sure the venom will work and turn her into a vampire, and viewers then get to watch Bella heal as the first part of Breaking Dawn ends with Bella opening her eyes, which are now red because she’s finally a vampire.

Breaking Dawn: Part II opens with Edward telling Bella how she’s a lot stronger than him (because she’s a new vampire) and that before he takes her to see Renesmee she need to feed. After sh almost goes after a guy for food, she finds out that Jacob imprinted on her daughter (who has teeth already because she grows faster than a normal baby), and she throws him around the yard of the Cullen house.

The next chunk of time is mostly filler that audiences didn’t need like Bella arm wrestling one of Edward’s brothers, Bella and Edward getting a house, Jacob turning into a wolf in front of Bella’s dad, Bella discovering she’s a “shield” and can protect herself and others from powers of other vampires, and Renesmee growing into a seven-year-old even through she was born a few days ago.

The conflict begins when one of the Cullen’s relatives sees Renesmee jump into the sky to catch snowflakes with Bella and she thinks the child is an immortal child (a child turned into a vampire) and goes to the vampire government because it’s against the law. Alice has a vision of them coming to kill all of the Cullens for the “crime,” so all of the Cullens go around gathering family and friends to help them show the government that Rensesmee is half human.

During their preparations, Alice disappears for a reason unknown to the rest of her family. The Cullen’s line up against the government as a group of vampires with the best powers, and Alice comes back to show the head of the government (who can read minds like Edward) a vision she had. The following scene is the government deciding not to listen to Alice and start a fight.

The fight is entertaining and features the death of characters who you become attached to throughout the saga, but it ends up being one of Alice’s visions. They end up finding out that Renesmee will grow at a fast rate for seven years and then stop and age like normal vampires, so she won’t be a problem. The government then leaves without anyone getting hurt. The movie and the saga ends with Alice having a peaceful vision of Bella and Edward walking up to Jacob and an older Renesmee, who seem to be dating at that point.

If the Twilight Saga features so many poor plot choices, then why do people watch it. When today’s high-schoolers were preteens, Twilight was one of the first PG-13 movies to be focused at these students. For many preteen girls, this was the first time they started “getting into” the polished Hollywood vampires and werewolves; it was part of their developmental years.

As these teens get older, they tend to miss their childhood, and re-watching the Twilight movies make them remember childhood and how excited they were to start watching those kind of movies. Another reason they still watch the movies its that no matter how creepy Edward is or how obsessively annoying Jacob is, most teenage girls think Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner are attractive. When you get older, the chances are that you still find these actors attractive and like watching them on the screen regardless if the movie is good or not.

We may not know why exactly we go back and watch these movies again and again, but there’s just something nostalgic about them that makes us go back to the Twilight films that started us on the path to the movies we love now.



Twilight movies^                                                                              Actors’ attractiveness