"I truly believe that 'Twilight' is worthless as source material. I do not believe there is a filmmaker alive who could manage the impossible feat of creating a faithful adaptation of Meyer's book and also making a good movie. Going into the home stretch, I think this is one of the worst blockbuster franchises of all time, inept from start to finish, and getting worse as they go. There will come a time when we look back on these films and wonder what sort of mob insanity drove their success, and we will laugh and shake our heads and pretend they were never really that popular."
-- Drew McWeeny at Hit Fix on the release of the new Twilight movie today
What's interesting is that I've read a couple of decent -- not necessarily "sparkling," if you'll pardon the pun, but decent -- reviews for this new movie. I actually have a theory about why that is, though: I think it's submission to a kind of cultural Stockholm Syndrome. It's human nature, and certainly the way things work in the entertainment industry, that when something is extraordinarily popular we try to find value in it, even if there is none. Even though we've become used to garbage being elevated to the level of art by the masses, it still creates a cognitive dissonance that we subconsciously can't accept. So we fool ourselves into believing it's something worth all the acclaim being aimed in its direction by the faithful.
This is the reason Hollywood can't handle the idea of "movie stars" anymore, not without being able to laud them as brilliant actors as well -- it's why Julia Roberts has an Oscar. She had to get one. She couldn't be just a star.
I think critics who've finally sort of embraced the Twilight series have just given up and given in. They're through fighting the madness and have convinced themselves that there's something there that really isn't -- something a world of idiots have been seeing for years. They figure, to borrow the phrasing of an old Elvis record, that 50,000,000 people can't be wrong. Except that in this case, they are.