Kristen Stewart reprises her role as Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Bella is a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson. Pattinson’s acting is a little better here than the original Twilight film, which may be because of a new director in town. New Moon is directed by Chris Weitz, who previously helmed The Golden Compass. This second installment in The Twilight Saga (as they are calling it) has a more interesting plot than the first Twilight, and is also less embarrassing to watch.
If you are expecting to see more of Edward Cullen, you might be a tad disappointed when he barely appears for a good hour or so during the middle portion of the film. But fret not, he will reveal himself to Bella every now and then in the form of a ghost (like Obi-Wan, although very different). I don’t remember Edward using his mind-reading power in this film, so you won’t be getting that many constipated faces of his. I don’t think there was any bloodsucking either, so really, what’s the point of making him a vampire.
But since all the pale-faced people here are called vampires, let’s just roll with it. Ashley Greene returns as Edward’s sister Alice, a vampire who can see the future. Michael Sheen plays Aro, a vampire who taps into all your memories when he touches you. Dakota Fanning is Jane, a vampire who can cause you pain just by staring into your eyes. I feel silly from describing all these X-Men, and their costumes are not helping. The red and yellow glowing eyes (that never blink) already look cheesy enough. Combined with capes and other accessories I leave you to see for yourself, we have a children’s Halloween party going on.
Think the vamps are lame? Would you prefer werewolves instead? Too bad the werewolves here are also not the werewolves of classic horror flicks like The Wolfman. These wolf-people are more like The Incredible Hulk. They turn into their monster forms uncontrollably when they get angry, but also whenever they wish. In wolf mode, they walk on all four paws, and apparently still have control over their thoughts and actions. There are a few human-to-wolf transformations shown on screen, but none of the other way round. After a while, I started to wonder where their clothes went when they transformed. Hmm…
The werewolf of importance here is a handsome and muscular kid by the name of Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner. Jacob falls in love with Bella, and now Bella has to choose between him and Edward. The Jacob + Bella romance is far more believable and interesting than the Edward + Bella one we saw in the first Twilight, and Lautner’s acting is significantly better than whatever Pattinson has shown us so far. Lautner’s six-pack, who makes a lengthy appearance in this film, also destroys whatever Pattinson has. Jacob is adventurous, humourous, and has a sweet smile. It’s puzzling why Bella is even considering the other guy.
Similar to the first Twilight, I like the cold and intense atmosphere of New Moon. I also like the way certain songs were incorporated into various situations, and the score by Alexandre Desplat grips your attention. Although New Moon feels modern, it is mixed with a tasteful fantastical flavour at the same time. The film does a good job of showing us the environment Bella lives in, as well as the friends she hangs out with. Remember to savour the scenes involving the talented Anna Kendricks.
Of course New Moon is not without its bad points. When you look back at it as a whole, the story is very uneven with the werewolf plot chucked in between an overly serious vampire courtroom drama. The action scenes are not exciting, and some of the dialogue is unbearably cheesy. However, if you are a Twihard (I think that’s what they’re called…), New Moon will be watched on repeat. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but New Moon makes me want to watch the next Twilight film.