I haven't seen the movie yet; so I'm not going to critic on it. But I read the book, I believe it was beyond great. I also have to remind those who already knew and those who don't know that Nick Connelly was only 17 years old when he wrote the book. Thus, before you criticize the movie, consider the age and the lack of experience of the author of the book. I'm waiting on Nextflix to send me the Blu-Ray, then I'll let you know my thoughts.
I found twelve to be a fun and interesting movie, I would have to say that those critics that score it poorly are not paying attention I've seen many movies that were billed as "must see" that were much worse. Give the movie a chance and you will be happily surprised...
This 95-minute movie is so overstuffed with characters, it would take a whole television season to sort them out and give them any depth. And even then, these people have so little on their minds that 13 hours might not do the trick.
The load of characters add to the pace of the movie. The over-indulgent, self-absorbed rich kids, has been played, but still amazes to see how far down some go when it's done right. A great last scene wraps up an intense flick with some solid acting. Absentee parents allow for nefarious activity and it shows no one is safe from the grip of addiction. I enjoyed the storyline of White Mike struggling to find relief, forgiveness and a way out.
It seems like a movie that just doesn't really go anywhere, there's no real plot, just about a drug dealer making his rounds in manhattan. Even so, I didn't really mind it, and I'd probably watch it again. If you're looking for a lot of action, this probably isn't your flick.
Twelve is a movie with a lot of unexploited potential and a really bad directing.
The plot is not that bad, but characters are not elaborated and sometimes you wonder if at first this was not plan for a tv show, because there are so many useless character in that movie. Acting is what makes this score so "high", because they are all doing a fine job, especially the 3 leads (Crawford, Roberts, Jackson). Music is fine.
But the narrative voice is really annoying, it's good for introduction but after it starts to be really painful.
But the worst part is coming. The direction is horrible, you move from one scene to the other without any link. And what about this scenes with blank background... not even original and not even properly done.
With his 2010 film adaption of Nick McDonell’s Twelve, Joel Schumacher created a disaster fortunately not too many people had to endure as it only brought in half its budget of five million dollars. But why? While not being perfect, the novel is theoretically ideally suited for a motion picture: On the one hand, it creates a unique atmosphere by dealing with drugs, sex and violence among wealthy teenagers from Manhattan’s Upper East Side. On the other hand, the plot is not too complicated to be told in two hours by means of leaving out several passages. But this challenges the creators to transmit their messages with all ways cinematography is able to, which is exactly what Schumacher and his film team failed at.
So I’m afraid we cannot really begin with the good but at least there are some aspects that are done ordinarily. Steven Fierberg’s camera work is okay and captures the scenes as it’s supposed to as well as the music by Harry Gregson-Williams is provided as a background. Though, both miss the chance to add some actual finesse to the film.
Most the time the sound also doesn’t attract any attention but at the final party the music is way too loud. As a consequence, you can hardly understand the dialogues there.
There are many characters, which often confused me during my reading, so I think this might be even worse when firstly watching the denser film. Most actors did a good job but of all Chace Crawford as the drug dealer White Mike having the most important role was one of the worst choices. Even the narrator in the film, whose annoying presence will be discussed later, describes him as „pale“, „all white“ and as a very scary person which his performance definitely isn’t. This calm, brown-haired guy can’t be White Mike. Nevertheless, Crawford doesn’t play terribly but he wasn’t the right choice.
All this still doesn’t make the film really bad. The problem is Jordan Melamed’s screenplay and the way Joel Schumacher put it in practice. Maybe they didn’t want to make a film only watched in winter or it was less expensive but that doesn’t justify at all removing the snowy setting the novel uses to create its cold, harassed, uncomfortable atmosphere. Besides, the party Chris throws for Upper East Side queen Sara Ludlow is at New Year’s Eve which enhances its significance. However, the most important problem is the narrator. It’s totally okay to introduce the characters and the setting by a narrator. Although there are better methods, it is better than just putting a text in the beginning, which even blockbusters like Star Wars do. But in Twelve, everything is told by the narrator. Why should you bother with a cinematic production when you can just read out entire text passages and use some meaningless footage to form the background? Apart from laziness, Schumacher probably tried to evade an R-rating which he didn’t even achieve. This can be supported by the fact that Chris’ aggressive brother Claude doesn’t buy a submachine Uzi gun in the film and the final scene is much less brutal than in the novel and owing to the music also less dramatic. This removes the shock effect from the book ending which is definitely questionable but despite the fact that Schumacher extended the end of the film, he cannot really persuade to have the better one.
On top of that, what is the worst way to tell a fictional crime? Yes, the mystery of the murder is solved right in the beginning.
Oh, have you already forgotten about the narrator? You won’t during the film. He explains nearly every scene and is the most annoying aspect of all. The voice sounds like the voice-over of a private TV documentary and is even worse in the German synchronization. To sum up, let me use McDonell’s words:
„What in a damn **** for a niz!“