Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart get busy on the big screeen in the long-awaited “Twilight” sequel “Breaking Dawn, Part 1” this weekend, but movie critics are turning the film into a blood sport.
The fourth installment in the “Twilight” series is getting ravaged by most major critics, even as studio Summit Entertainment predicts a blockbuster weekend.
The studio estimates the film will book a three-day gross of $125 million. Other estimates put the figure as high as $148 million, which would be near a new record for “Twilight” openings.
But out of 33 reviews tracked so far by movie Web site rottontomatoes, “Breaking Dawn” has scored a lowly 26 percent rating. And, that’s rotten.
The notable exception to the torrent of bad reviews is none other than the snobby New York Times, which carries about as much influence as print publications can these days.
Chief Critic Manola Dargis gave the movie a thumbs up, albiet a reluctant one. “[It’s] the best of the movies about a girl, her vampire and their impossible, ridiculously appealing — yes, I surrendered — love story,” she wrote.
“Little Bella is all grown up now, and while Edward is still more zomboid than juicily predatory, this time not everything else on screen is dead too,” she adds.
She also gives high marks to director Bill Condon for breathing some life into the story.
If only other critics were so kind.
“What remains is the total conviction that the ludicrous scenes are dead serious and fiercely meaningful. The result is not quite a laugh a minute, but close,” wrote Rafer Guzman of Newsday.
It goes downhill from there.
“The sexless, bloodless, padded and plodding ‘Breaking Dawn, Part 1’ is the worst Twilight movie to date,” escoriated Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine.
That captures the general drift of sentiment, but “Twilight” fans, of course, are having none of it.
They are more likely to cancel their subscription to Rolling Stone, than pass on the movie. Besides, a majority of critics have trashed every “Twilight” movie. It’s a blood sport.
Nonetheless, they’ve done land office business and kept Twilight fans enthralled ever since the first movie debuted in 2008. “Breaking Dawn” is no exception.
Pattinson, Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene and other cast mates have become international stars, and Edward and Bella have become ingrained in pop culture lore.
Fans lined up for midnight showings of the film and most theaters are reporting sell-outs over the weekend. Summit estimates it will make $1.2 billion from the series.
It’s hard to be too critical of success like that.