Who's In It: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Kevin Durand, Teresa Palmer
The Basics: Teenage
vampire space alien guy meets gorgeous young loner girl. They fall in love and he has to battle the other vampires space aliens who want to kill him because he's too awesome for them to even understand. Teenage space alien guy sparkles glows from his hands and can beat up everyone and stop cars with his mind vibrations. That's helpful when the action starts and everything explodes.
What's The Deal: Can a cynical product entertainment product get a pass for being great fun to watch despite its manipulations? I vote yes. You would have to be blind not to see that it's a calculated, multi-tentacled machine of stolen Stephenie Meyer-isms, alien fighting, hot brooding teens, guys that look like Voldemort, Tranformersy pyrotechnics and mysteriously-motivated beagles (no joke, there's an adorable doggie in this thing and you spend the first two thirds of the movie wondering what his secret intentions might be). But I didn't really care. It moves fast, it's got momentum, it's never boring and, when the action gets going, they rip the whole place into a million little pieces. It's absolutely empty and derivative and kind of a blast and so what? Pass me the Junior Mints.
From The Monetized Minds Of: Michael Bay and James Frey. Frey co-wrote the young adult novel it's based on under a pen name. (Or so we're told. Just Google "James Frey" and "sweatshop" for further examination of his new fiction-writing enterprise.) And then Michael Bay came along to produce it. That's where all the great big loudness and fireballs come from; they look and feel better on screen than on a page. And so yeah, maybe you'll feel like you have to hold your nose while you become a paying participant in all this. Or maybe you won't. It's up to you. It's not like you take a moral inventory of the grill guy at Burger King before you down that Double Whopper.
I Was a Teenage Product Placement: If you're of a mind to be annoyed by nonstop advertising-like product interruptions, you might want to stay away. Because there are moments when it veers hilariously close to being an extended iPhone commercial. They ring so much on the soundtrack--it's a plot point--and there are so many lovingly lit close-ups of the alien guy's phone it's drinking game level crazy.
In For a Penny, In For a Pound: Because I could go for a sequel to this soon. Like right now. It feels like someone gave something addictively tasty and ruining. I want more. I especially want to know what happens to the beagle. And I don't care if any of it's bad for me. And I realize it very much is.