Supernatural / Romance

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Distributed by: Summit Entertainment

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            So now that I had seen the movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s novel, Twilight, I just had to see the sequel, New Moon.  First of all, I had to know if the low budget effects in the first film were followed up by better special effects in the sequel now that the box office numbers had assured that the next film would be a smash hit.  I also wondered just where Meyer was planning on going with this series and so, it was off to the video store to rent The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

            In New Moon, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is about to turn eighteen and, despite her pleas for everyone to stop making a big deal about her birthday, her friends and family refuse to comply.  Even Edward (Robert Pattinson) and the Cullens get in on the act, inviting Bella over for a birthday celebration.  Unfortunately, an accident which causes Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) to attack Bella puts a damper on things.  Feeling that he is constantly putting Bella in danger, Edward decides to put an end to their relationship and leave Forks.

            Sullen and depressed beyond words, Bella is desperate for any contact with Edward.  When a dangerous incident puts Bella in contact with Edward’s “spirit”, Bella knows what she must do.  In an effort to place herself in dangerous situations that will offer her a glimpse of Edward, Bella purchases two motorbikes in a severe state of disrepair and asks her friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) to help her fix them. 

            The more time she and Jacob spend with one another, the harder it is for them to deny their feelings for one another until one day, Jacob disappears, offering no explanation as to where he has gone or why he is pushing Bella away.  Bella eventually learns that she has a knack for attracting monsters - it would seem that Jacob has the werewolf gene and has now evolved into a vampire-killing machine.

            Meanwhile, one of Bella’s dangerous stunts has put Edward in danger.  Believing Bella dead, Edward approaches the Volturi, an ancient sect of vampires in Italy, provoking them so that they will end his life.  Once Alice (Ashley Greene) explains the situation to Bella, it’s a race against time to save Edward from his suicidal mission, but will they be too late?

            As I watched this film, I began to feel a sense of melodramatic silliness coming over me.  The story was way too predictable.  Bella is studying Romeo and Juliet in school and lo and behold, she is placed in a Romeo and Juliet situation.  The love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jake is sort of strange.  How is it that Bella is so darned accepting of the fact that she seems to be attracted to people who are actually monsters, while she dismisses the other fellows pursuing her?  Could it be that there is actually a bit of monster lurking in her blood or is Bella just a thrill-seeker in disguise?  Maybe she’s got a death wish…or an immortality wish as the case may be with Edward.

            I’m happy to say that the acting in New Moon is better than in Twilight.  And I must say that I am happy that the werewolf in Jacob decided that it was time to cut his hair.  He looked ridiculous with that long hair.  The entire cast of characters have a great chemistry with one another.  I have to laugh, because while there are teams forming on all sides - Team Edward, Team Jacob, etc. - my favorite character is not actually a lead in the series.  I actually prefer Alice Cullen.  She’s fun and bouncy, a great change from the broodiness of most of the Cullen clan and has a great outlook on life despite the fact that she can see the future and these visions often tell of pain and anguish.

            As for the special effects in New Moon - well, I can honestly say that they weren’t much better than the last film.  I suppose the big budget went towards the human/werewolf morphing sequences, which I have to admit were pretty cool.  But the rest of the effects, like the vampire running sequences and the fighting sequences - eh…more of the same.

            While the undying romance in the face of greater than imaginable odds is appealing to the romantic, I find that the Twilight series can be a bit much to swallow.  I’m not really sure whether the new film will change things, but I sure don’t feel like spending full ticket price at the local theater to find out.  I think I’ll wait and see the film when it comes out on DVD - after all, I’m intrigued, just not so much that I’m willing to part with too much of my hard earned money.


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