“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” Movie Review

"New Moon" movie poster“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is the most inventive and clever romantic vampire comedy I’ve ever seen, oh wait, it isn’t supposed to be a comedy is it? While nominally better than the first installment, this film is only missing a better script, director, budget and actors in order to make it something worthy of any small accolade that isn’t a Razzie.

Why you’ll like this:
Gothic story of forbidden love; teen drama; good photography; easy to follow story

This sequel picks up where “Twilight” left off, or at least it’s supposed to, the time-line throws me off when Jacob (Taylor Lautner) shows up and Bella (Kristen Stewart) acts as if she hasn’t seen him in a decade. So I guess there was a summer break between the last credits rolling and the opening of this. “New Moon” opens with Bella having a nightmare (oh so cleverly foreshadowing the film’s final sequence) and waking up next to her “Romeo & Juliet” book which I’d revolt against the idea of pitting itself in the same territory as Shakespeare if a billion other awful movies hadn’t already done the same. The movie, much like its predecessor, only has one single topic it covers: Edward leaving Bella. That’s it, that’s all, just stretch it out for 2+ hours.

As far as this being marginally better than “Twilight”, I will say that watching Bella and Jacob together wasn’t quite as over the top gag-inducing as her and Edward. Of course that’s a product more of “her” (the “writer” Stephanie Meyer) wanting us to not fully buy into that romantic storyline. That’s my way of saying I’m “Team Jacob”, but if there’s a “Team Burn Every Twilight Book and Poke My Eyes Out With a Quill” then I’d like to join their side. This movie feels more like a low budget show on The CW thanks to the poor effects and general lack of character arcs. Which brings me to…

Note to Stephanie Meyer: A Character Arc is the growth of a person from the beginning of the film/book and the obstacles they encounter that cause them to change for the better or worse. Not a single character has any resemblance of growth or change, everyone is static and lacking direction in their life. The only person remotely in danger of actual growth is Jacob who discovers his werewolfness which makes him a tad volatile and prone to violence in his pursuit of protecting Bella. Now Bella is the most unflinchingly bland character in the entire universe of Twilight, she started as a hapless loner in the first film and has blossomed into a codependent narcissistic idiot who can only desire you if you’re unavailable to her. Way to grow up there Isabella, true love is Obsessive Love, isn’t it?

Why you won’t like this:
Poorly developed vampires and werewolves all love an emotionally stunted girl; bad visual effects

For the sake of finding a positive in the land of “True Blood” leftovers, I will say that I liked the soundtrack. Pretty much every part that I found myself interested was centered around a good record playing. Maybe this should be turned into one long music video, minus the poor visual effects. Wait, sorry, I almost went all “Bella” on everyone, I couldn’t possibly expect the entire universe to respond to my wants and wishes, lest someone mistake that for good drama.

2 out of 5 stars.

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene
Director: Chris Weitz
Genre: Romance, Drama, Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hr. 10 min.
Release Date: November 20, 2009