UK Critics Consensus: Twilight Shines In The UK Reviews

Plus, Fear And Loving For Gonzo, Whilst The Tale Of Despereaux Is Met With Indifference

by | December 19, 2008 | Comments

It’s Christmas week in the UK cinemas, but instead of any festive films on offer, we have the eagerly anticipated (by young girls everywhere…) romantic vampire movie Twilight. Gonzo: The Life And Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, a documentary about the godfather of Gonzo journalism, and the writer of Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas is also lighting up the big screens, with mouse-based animation The Tale Of Despereaux making up the numbers for this week’s releases. But what did the UK critics have to say?

Twilight is the film adaptation of the hugely successful and popular teen-fantasy novel by Stephanie Meyer. The books, Twilight being the first in a series of four, have sold by the boat-load in the US, approaching an almost Potter level of success, but mainly amongst hormonal teenage girls of a certain age. Meyer’s tales of teenage yearning and angst, combined with the gothic supernatural seem to have struck a rich vein of youth literature, and the film adaptation has been generating a massive amount of interest amongst the book’s legions of fans.

The film was released last month in the US, and didn’t fare too well with the critics. It stood at a Rotten 45% on the Tomatometer, with the critics feeling that it didn’t live up to the source material, and many bemoaning the chemistry (or lack of) between Bella and Edward, played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. But, perhaps due to the more muted level of popularity of the source material here in blighty, the UK critics have really fallen for Twilight. From the 20 reviews collated today, only one review came in unfavourably, and even The Sun’s critic The Sneak admitted that the film was “A superior high school romance, which looks set to live on after the sun has set on Hogwarts.” So with UK reviews only Twilight would stand at a much more respectable (and Fresh) 95% on the Tomatometer. Critics swooned over the breathless romance and dark but well-meaning tone, meaning that Twilight may just be the hit of the winter season with Will Lawrence from Empire saying “A sometimes girlie swirl of obsession that will delight fans, this faithful adaptation is after teenage blood, and will most likely hit a box office artery.”

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson does exactly what it says on the tin. Alex Gibney‘s documentary currently stands at a Certified Fresh 86% on the Tomatometer. UK critics echoed the US critical response, applauding the insightful, accessible and definitive biography into Thompson’s weird and wonderful life, whilst a few complained that Gibney failed to delve deeply enough into his darker and more idiosyncratic foibles. Summing up the film, and it’s hagiographic nature, James Christopher of The Times said…

Gonzo is much more than a tribute to a maverick and genuine pioneer. It’s a lament for the gaping hole that Thompson left behind. The only obvious weakness is Gibney’s reluctance to engage fully with Thompson’s toxic personal life.”

It must be a literary themed this week, as our third big release is The Tale Of Despereaux, an adaptation of the Kate DiCamillo fantasy novel, concerning the eponymous brave rodent Despereaux. Boasting an all-star cast including Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Broderick and Potter alumni Emma Watson, The Tale Of Despereaux is a modern animated fairytale with princesses, castles and talking mice, naturally. At 47% on the Tomatometer though, it seems that Despereaux doesn’t have the required level of magic to garner a Fresh rating. The critics felt that kids would probably enjoy it (but, at the risk of sounding patronising, what animated feature don’t they?), they praised the crisp animation, but felt the story was laboured, the characters weak, and film displayed a concerning lack of warmth. Paling in comparison to the similar yet superior Ratatouille and Shrek, The Tale of Despereaux is more stale than fairytale.

Quote Of The Week

“Horror fans will find little to sink their teeth into, but it’ll get tweenage hearts fluttering like orgasmic bats.”

Twilight. Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro.

Tag Cloud

Marvel Anna Paquin rom-coms Paramount scary movies hidden camera Holiday Creative Arts Emmys DC Universe social media Crunchyroll TCA 2017 Song of Ice and Fire canceled historical drama Dark Horse Comics Nominations strong female leads Tarantino kong Pop Television Critics Association Peacock suspense game show doctor who Tubi FOX emmy awards Disney reviews singing competition Red Carpet Shondaland 21st Century Fox YouTube documentaries Wes Anderson venice cults psychological thriller Image Comics streaming ghosts video on demand period drama 2020 worst LGBTQ Turner boxoffice Hallmark First Reviews ESPN transformers high school reboot Musicals Legendary psycho natural history Sundance Now Rocketman comiccon cops AMC Fall TV anthology saw screenings quibi technology VOD PBS football 45 TCA BAFTA DC Comics popular BBC One Lifetime Christmas movies New York Comic Con Netflix Christmas movies Shudder adaptation Sneak Peek black mission: impossible documentary crime drama christmas movies Comic Book Marvel Studios game of thrones Tokyo Olympics dragons The Witch batman Arrowverse Pirates Logo Election Black Mirror sports zero dark thirty blockbusters HBO Max Freeform adenture YouTube Red book Awards Tour IFC Films 2019 CMT Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TBS hispanic RT History Summer A&E X-Men james bond chucky Video Games parents free movies cancelled television Writers Guild of America Pixar Britbox Chilling Adventures of Sabrina The Academy Vudu CW Seed Apple animated APB Epix new star wars movies ABC GLAAD indie Martial Arts facebook spanish language Paramount Plus Esquire BET Awards critics concert Toys stoner spy thriller Comics on TV Trailer Disney streaming service Quiz Family VH1 rt archives nbcuniversal Spectrum Originals spanish war foreign finale Acorn TV Mystery USA Network franchise halloween tv robots Grammys versus new york Pacific Islander Funimation Comedy Central Sci-Fi Lifetime new zealand 90s best Lucasfilm miniseries cancelled TV shows spinoff screen actors guild video heist movie theme song BBC breaking bad Disney Channel Set visit Animation Apple TV Plus MTV news Captain marvel Winter TV police drama disaster Sundance romance 1990s TNT Universal comic books National Geographic Mary Poppins Returns Awards classics golden globe awards Certified Fresh SXSW nfl target dark History Ghostbusters fresh Mudbound HBO know your critic Kids & Family Superheroe Watching Series french Infographic directors Super Bowl Reality Competition dc tv talk Warner Bros. MCU YA scorecard Chernobyl crossover Sundance TV Mary Tyler Moore diversity BBC America Disney Plus cinemax Bravo dceu indiana jones TCM laika comedies OneApp deadpool renewed TV shows sag awards Spring TV 4/20 FXX child's play Tumblr italian Lionsgate Columbia Pictures WarnerMedia Amazon Prime Video Comic-Con@Home 2021 President children's TV Teen Exclusive Video witnail ID Rocky 2017 crime Premiere Dates comic all-time politics Alien Podcast OWN crime thriller harry potter 007 GoT cars SDCC olympics docudrama Western BET spain boxing Ovation slashers 20th Century Fox cooking fast and furious godzilla Hallmark Christmas movies The Purge Star Wars series blaxploitation cartoon cats A24 japan marvel cinematic universe Black History Month PaleyFest remakes Hulu 72 Emmy Awards spider-man trailers obituary Action The Walking Dead werewolf south america Schedule Fantasy kids stop motion hist USA Walt Disney Pictures Amazon Prime anime ABC Family Mary poppins Travel Channel 2018 golden globes Academy Awards adventure mutant Pride Month composers teaser Rock hollywood 93rd Oscars E3 sitcom Netflix El Rey TV 2015 Character Guide scene in color what to watch rotten movies we love comics Biopics The Arrangement LGBT E! TV One TLC Superheroes CBS All Access television Calendar Heroines IFC rotten elevated horror Television Academy political drama TCA Awards Marathons canceled TV shows Interview The CW green book based on movie ABC Signature Classic Film films latino Holidays Fox News Thanksgiving name the review Mindy Kaling Emmys Box Office Countdown sequel blockbuster Masterpiece cancelled TV series jamie lee curtis HBO Go talk show Showtime streaming movies DGA NYCC Food Network WGN 99% 2021 nature Nickelodeon die hard discovery dogs superhero Musical American Society of Cinematographers halloween Nat Geo Comedy razzies Country Opinion Fox Searchlight Trivia Hear Us Out CNN Photos zombie joker australia Sony Pictures Valentine's Day Drama aliens justice league Broadway Emmy Nominations richard e. Grant Marvel Television San Diego Comic-Con superman Baby Yoda Amazon casting ITV space Trophy Talk monster movies king kong The Walt Disney Company 2016 Pet Sematary aapi NBC mockumentary award winner toronto Film Festival independent romantic comedy asian-american Winners worst movies TV Land Disney+ Disney Plus Cannes GIFs thriller Women's History Month toy story Stephen King zombies kaiju Turner Classic Movies women Pop TV Polls and Games Best and Worst prank DirecTV biography Apple TV+ festivals vampires CBS criterion movie docuseries dramedy TIFF Amazon Studios NBA satire TV movies travel FX Syfy YouTube Premium RT21 binge festival Starz Cosplay stand-up comedy science fiction twilight Endgame Year in Review 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Star Trek 24 frames Cartoon Network Film cancelled live action true crime book adaptation lord of the rings Crackle sequels DC streaming service telelvision Extras ratings Discovery Channel Rom-Com Binge Guide a nightmare on elm street Ellie Kemper Tomatazos basketball VICE movies pirates of the caribbean ViacomCBS Christmas Music universal monsters TV renewals supernatural Reality First Look jurassic park Spike international archives Adult Swim Horror Paramount Network TCA Winter 2020 Avengers MSNBC See It Skip It Oscars serial killer TruTV 71st Emmy Awards medical drama FX on Hulu Elton John japanese revenge PlayStation Brie Larson unscripted SundanceTV