Let's call it like it is. New Moon
is critic-proof. I doubt there's anyone out there going, "Well, I saw Twilight
, I want to see what happens with Edward and Bella, I want to see Jacob wolf-out, but I'll wait and see what the critics have to say about New Moon
before buying a ticket." If you're a Twilight
fan, you're going to go - likely multiple times - to see New Moon
in a theater.
I realize I could say New Moon
's the worst movie ever made and that declaration wouldn't influence anyone. I know that. (Before you attack, I'm not saying New Moon
is the worst movie ever made. That was just to illustrate a point.) That said, it's still my job to write up a review. Take it as you like, and know that before I defected to True Blood
, I loved the Twilight
books - although New Moon
was not my favorite of the series. I still think they're great entertainment for their intended target audience, and I believe Twilight
fans are going to eat up New Moon
. They'll be howling over the new batch of shirtless hunks, and there's a bit more romance as well as much more of Taylor Lautner
who proves why he was the right guy to play Jacob Black. Lautner's charming enough that he might even sway a few Team Edward members over to Team Jacob. Lautner's got talent, something you wouldn't know from just seeing Twilight
, and he's pretty much capable of handling the leading man duties thrust on him in this second Twilight
Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner as Jacob in 'New Moon.'© Summit Entertainment
And guys, director Chris Weitz
and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg
left out some of Stephenie Meyer's more cheesy romantic lines, opting instead to insert more action in order to widen the film's audience appeal. That's a smart move, but one that may leave diehard Twilight
fans disappointed. Gone are some of the more intimate declarations of love, there's a lack of intimacy in the scenes with Edward, and the conversations between Bella and Edward leading up to a visit with the Volturi and immediately after their visit are greatly truncated - probably to make room for a new Volturi fight scene created just for the film. Also, many of the conversations Bella has with Alice, the girl talks where they catch up and look to the future, are MIA. Is that to move the story along or make it more accessible for males? I'm leaning toward the latter. However, there is much more Edward in New Moon
the movie than there was in New Moon
the book. Granted, it is a ghostly Edward that's kind of creepy and off-putting, but Patterson fans may get behind his increased presence.
The Story in a Nutshell
Alice, ever the party animal, throws a birthday party for the reluctant Bella (Kristen Stewart
) who doesn't want to age and hates to be the center of attention. A small mishap with wrapping paper finds Bella smack dab in the middle of some thirsty vampires. Jasper in particular has a hard time dealing with a bleeding Bella. Though she's not mortally wounded, Edward (Robert Pattinson
) can read the writing on the wall and breaks it off with Bella, telling her he doesn't want her anymore.
Devastated, Bella retreats inward, neglecting her friends and shutting herself off from anything that could remind her of Edward. But after being threatened by her dad, Charlie (Billy Burke
), that he's going to send her back to her mom, Bella discovers that if she puts herself in danger, Edward will come to her in a vision telling her to knock it off. This prompts her to buy motorcycles for her childhood friend-turned muscled hunk Jacob (Taylor Lautner) to fix up. Getting closer to Jacob helps Bella make it through the long days, but she's still pining for her brooding vampire.
Meanwhile, Jacob and his pack of friends are getting all wolfy, there's a vampire with a score to settle on the loose, and Alice (Ashley Greene) is still sort of keeping track of Bella's movements using her special power to see the future, which leads to a major misunderstanding and a life-threatening visit with the Volturi.
The Good, The Bad, and the Bottom Line
Let's start with the bad: Alice is drastically short-changed in this adaptation. Blink and you'll miss the Cullens, which isn't Weitz' or Rosenberg's fault. Meyer's pretty much left them out of New Moon
so they have next to nothing to do after setting events into motion. We don't get to know the wolfpack at all. They're interchangeable with no single character standing out. And though I call Meyer's lovey-dovey talk cheesy, I still missed the romantic scenes as she wrote them in the book.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in 'New Moon.'© Summit Entertainment
Also not scoring any points at all are the CGI wolf effects. Did you see District 9
this summer? If so, you know it's possible to create fascinating, completely CGI characters on a minimal budget. The wolves of New Moon
are totally laughable. They look fake, move fake, and jarred me completely out of the movie. If this is the best the franchise can do creating wolves, I'm not looking forward to what they do with a certain character central to the final Twilight
story, Breaking Dawn
Page 2: The Good and the Bottom Line