It doesn’t really matter what I say about The Twilight Saga: New Moon because the “Twihards”, “Twilighters”, “Twibies” (Twilight zombies) or whatever other name you can come up with for Twilight fans have already bought their tickets and will be making it the #1 film this weekend whether it sucks or not. For what it’s worth I did kind of like it.
After an incident at Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) birthday party, Edward (Robert Pattinson) tells her he and his family are leaving for good, and do. Bella has an emotional meltdown where she mopes around for months and has horrible nightmares. She eventually realizes that if she does reckless things, like riding motorcycles, she sees visions of Edward. This leads to her getting two old dirt bikes out of a junkyard and asking her friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) to fix them up.
Time passes, she and Jacob grow closer and the pain over losing Edward starts to subside. Jacob falls hard for her and just when Bella begins to fall for him, he disappears. His father says he has mono yet he won’t answer his phone and won’t return Bella’s messages. When she finally goes to his house a few weeks later he has cut his long hair off and now has a tattoo on his arm. She’s angry and upset at him and then finds out the truth — Jacob is a werewolf.
In the Twilight world, werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies who only live together in peace because of a treaty of rules they have. The treaty wasn’t written with teenage hormones or love in mind and Jacob moving in on Bella is what eventually brings Edward and the rest of the Cullens back to Forks, Washington.
That’s the main chunk of the story. There are a ton of other subplots, involving the wicked vamp Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), the super league of vampires called the Volturi and a lot more back story and action from the werewolves.
Since I am not the target demographic for this series, I was shocked that I liked the first film at all. Sparkly vampires? Really? But there was something about it I dug. That said, New Moon was far superior. It was a tad slow to start, and the visions of Edward that Bella sees are silly, but the wolves made up for it. When they fight it’s awesome. Even when they are just standing and snarling it’s pretty cool.
Stewart and Pattinson are their typical dowdy selves but Lautner, who has beefed up in a major way, seems to be more confident with his acting. Michael Sheen’s Aro, one of the leaders of the Volturi, is a wonderful addition to this ever-growing cast. And although he’s not on screen that long he does give one of the most memorable performances. On the flip side, Dakota Fanning, as Volturi member Jane, was completely wasted.
It’s safe to say fans and the teen audience it’s made for will be pleased with the outcome of New Moon. Hopefully the third film in the series, Eclipse, will appeal to a larger movie-going audience when it opens next year.
*** out of 5 stars