New Moon

The Twilight Saga : New Moon

Starring : Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, et. Al.

Directed By: Chris Weitz

There are two ways to approach a sequel. The first is to compile a story centered on a rehash of ideas from the first film. Characters are put in similar situations and receive similar results from their actions (i.e. Transformers 2). The second and more difficult way to approach a sequel is to take your familiar characters, present them with completely different problems and moral dilemmas and watch their characters grow. You can having them make decisions that put them in a compromising position or emotionally vulnerable territory (i.e. Empire Strikes Back). Unfortunately for the viewer “New Moon” follows the first prototype.

The story is this, and I hope I’m not ruining anything here, (and if I am, I don’t care) : Bella loves Edward, who just happens to be a vampire. Edward loves Bella, but in sensitive vampire love, doesn’t want to hurt her. That’s the entire plot of the first movie. It’s also the entire plot of the second movie, with one caveat. Jacob loves Bella, but he’s a werewolf, and herein lies the crux of the problem with “New Moon.” At the end, as the credits role, sure we’ve learned Jacob is a werewolf and that’s about it. None of the characters grow. Nothing is done to make the characters any different than when the movie began. Bella loves Edward. Edward’s a bit of a sissy. Jacob can’t find his shirt. That’s it.

Sadly this all could have been avoided in the last scene, but again the film makers took the easy way out. Edward asks Bella to marry him, when really growth and storytelling wise is should have been the other way around. If Bella asks Edward, Edward is faced with a disturbing dilemma. After all he loves Bella and never wants to hurt her, but is he willing to accept Bella being that close to his dark family all the time? It would also serve to grow Bellas character. Her (seemingly) biggest fear is growing old around a young Edward. HER asking HIM, shows her growth and ability to accept that you have to sacrifice for love. Alas none of this happens as we get a lame proposal right before the credits. No growth. No intrigue.

On a positive note the film looks light years better than the first movie. Whereas the first movie was stuck between indie feature and direct to DVD hell. Chris Wietz infuses the film with a rich color palate absent from the first film. No more is this increased scope apparent than in the Voltari scenes later in the film. It’s wonderfully visual that takes the watcher by surprise for a few moments. He takes the movie out of a perpetual “hazy shade of winter” it had been languishing in and places it almost in a “Hellboy”, Giullermo Del Toro world.

Sadly the positives end there. When Taylor Lautner is the best actor in the film, you know there are problems. Kristen Stewart seems to have only two faces: mope and pout. Same with Robert Pattinson, although to be fair, he doesn’t have much to do in this film and most of his scenes seem to be filler, a reason to get him on screen for all the team Edward teens. However is it Stewart who crumbles (again) under the weight of having to carry a film (almost) by herself. Her vapid, emotionless stare is so bad for the film it’s a shame they didn’t replace her with Bryce Dallas Howard for the next film.

So what do we have:

Bad Acting -11/2

Bad Script -1

Bad Plot -1

Overall Score : 11/2 out of 5

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