Review: The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Review: The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Try to contain yourselves, ladies.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Summit)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and action.

Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Rachelle Lefevre, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Edi Gathegi, Graham Greene, Christopher Heyerdahl, Tinsel Korey, Jamie Campbell Bower, Cameron Bright, Noot Seear, Elizabeth Reaser, Daniel Cudmore, Chaske Spencer, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon, Tyson Houseman, Bronson Pelletier, Gil Birmingham, Justine Wachsberger, Anna Kendrick, Christina Jastrzembska, Michael Welch, Justin Chon, Russell J. Roberts, Cam Gigandet.

Written by Melissa Rosenberg based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer.

Directed by Chris Weitz.



Alright ladies, take a chill pill. Try to contain yourselves; it's only a movie...based on a book series by Stephenie Meyer. I hear you young, middle aged and older ladies love this whole Twilight thingy, with handsome, benevolent vampires and shirtless beefcake werewolves, so they made a movie about it; two, if you're keeping count. The Twilight Saga: New Moon hits the megaplexes across the nation and world this weekend with much anticipation.

Kristen Stewart is back as Bella Swan, a somber teen girl living in Forks, Washington, smitten with the striking vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). When we left our happy couple last year, Bella had been rescued by Edward from the evil vampire Victoria and the pair had confessed their love for each other. Now Edward is conflicted over Bella's request to become a vampire herself, not wanting to doom her soul to a life of eternal blood lust.

Wanting to protect her and yet keep her from hanging around his vampire family (who also want to eat her, but are having trouble restraining themselves) Edward and the rest of the Cullens leave Forks for other venues. Bella is heartbroken and slips into a depression lasting several months until she discovers that whenever her adrenaline gets pumping or she is in any kind of physical danger, a spiritual visage of Edward pops up, warning her to run, walk or step away.

Bella devises a plan to rebuild a few motorcycles and perform some dangerous stunts to see if she can lure Edward back. She enlists her neighbor and friend Jacob (the often shirtless Taylor Lautner), a native american boy belonging to a tribe that doesn't have much love for vampires. Jacob is often recruited by a tribal faction of shirtless guys who wander the Pacific northwest looking for fun and danger themselves.

As Jacob and Bella's motorcycle project drags on, the pair begin a little romance of their own, until Victoria and one of her followers show up to kill her, hoping to lure out their sworn enemies, the Cullens.

Before Jacob can get all cuddly with Bella, he goes through some sort of physical maturation that transforms him into a werewolf, and he joins the shirtless native american guys in the forest.

Jacob promises to protect Bella from the evil vampires until Edward is deceived into believing Bella is dead. Edward's vampire sister Alice shows up and tells Bella he will "commit suicide" by breaking some cardinal vampire rule and submitting himself to some sort of vampire leadership council in Italy for the obligatory death sentence.

Bella and Alice race to Italy before Edward commits the vampire sin, and the couple is reunited. Their troubles are not over, as the vampire council (called the Volturi) wants to recruit Edward into their little clan and kill Bella until she reveals she wants to become one of them. The Volturi are impressed with Bella, especially since she is somewhat resistant to some of their powers. They also want to kill Edward for revealing vampire secrets to Bella, but she offers herself up as a sacrifice in his place (how romantic). Edward dukes it out with some of the Volturi and just as it seems he and Bella are doomed, Alice reveals she has seen the future where Bella and Edward live together as a happy vampire couple.

The Volturi are satisfied that Bella will make a fine future vampire and allow Edward, Alice and Bella to return to Forks. When they get there, Edward is confronted by Jacob, who reminds him about a truce between the werewolves and vampires that prohibits the Cullens from biting any humans. The two square off to do battle, but are stopped by Bella, the girl who must decide between the two suitors.

I won't give away the (obvious) ending, but that's pretty much the whole story.


Before I reveal my true feelings about the whole Twilight story/phenomenon, please understand that I am not part of the target audience, nor should I be. In short, I am not a fan.

I will admit that anyone who is a fan of the books and previous movie will most likely not be  disappointed with New Moon.

Something most fans want to know is whether the Twilight sequel is an improved cinematic product over the first installment. The good news is, yes, it appears a larger budget has reaped benefits in the form of greater special effects (like huge werewolves) and more exotic travel budgets (like Italy).

Improved film making aside, I have more that a few problems with New Moon. One: for a story about vampires and werewolves, there seems to be a lack of any real peril in the story. Instead of danger lurking around every corner, there is only sappy teenage drama lurking around every corner. Two: the movie is about 45 minutes too long. It would have been a lot less boring had the producers cut approximately two thirds of the longing looks shared between Bella, Edward and Jacob during the dialogue and instead got to right into the action.

It seems I spent a lot of time while watching New Moon waiting for something to happen. There is way, way too much mood for my tastes. For crying out loud, it's a story about vampires and werewolves. Do these guys ever engage in werewolfy, vampirey action, or do they just talk about it?

Don't get me wrong. I didn't completely hate New Moon. There are moments I found mildly interesting, like Bella's romantic kill-me-instead-of-Edward offering and the arrival of the werewolves. The film ends on a cliffhanger as well, which I'm sure will keep the fans lined up around the block at the megaplexes for the third sequel.

But I'm a guy, and I don't get it. I guess I'd much rather see guy movies, like the fictitious action shoot-em-up flick seen by Bella and Jacob called "Face Punch." I just hope the women who read this review don't want to punch me in the face.

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