(2009) dir. Chris Weitz
The second film of the “Twilight” (2008) series, New Moon is the second in a current series of four stories, originally young adult novels by the author Stephanie Meyers. It’s one of the biggest phenoms in a rather busy field of series of novels for the young reader set. I’ve never read any of the books, nor do I currently plan to read any of them, but I did see Twilight and for some reason felt like keeping up at least on DVD with the teenage Joneses.
But frankly, New Moon is a major yawn of a film. Directed by Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass (2007) and About a Boy (2002) among others), the film has no major strengths, following in the casting steps and narrative directions set in the original film. But perhaps most challenging is the namby-pamby-ness of the narrative. There just isn’t a lot going on here.
Bella, the human girl who fell for the teenage-forever vampire Edward in Twilight is still seeing him here, but as she turns the ripe old age of 18 is already fearing the future when she’s an old lady and he’s still and young and vibrant as ever. She wants him to make her a vampire but he doesn’t want to do that because she’ll lose her soul (which she doesn’t believe in). Their little romantic scuffle leads Edward to flee with his family from the area (to protect Bella from other vampires that seek to kill her to piss him off). And so, Juliet is bereft of her romeo.
Step in Taylor Lautner, along with his massively chiseled body, the local native-American lad, who is as sweet and true as purity itself. Bella, mourning her relationship with Edward, starts a solid friendship with Jake (Lautner), but still she holds him at “friends'”-arm-length. But then he literally “gets hot” for her and has to run off to discover what’s going on in his teenage body. Turns out that he’s a werewolf and the werewolves typically fight the vampires to save humans, but nobody knows this big secret.
Long story short, Edward appeals to a vampire Vatican to kill him, when he believes that Bella is dead. This leads to some other dramas around saving him, Bella wanting to be a vampire, laws, rules, regulations, and ultimately, only at the very end, a near skirmish between the two beaus, vampire and werewolf.
Mostly the film is a lot of romantic innuendo, bad moody pop songs meant to convey tone and emotion, lots of sullen brooding. You see, like the bloodless vampries (who don’t drink human blood), we also have sexless teenagers. Not only is nobody having sex, they hardly ever get to kiss without interruption. It’s all love without the sex. I noted before that this is not surprisingly why this flies so well in middle America. Abstinence is truly the best method of protection against pregnancy, STD’s, and vampire bites.
But really, the whole thing is BORING. B O R I N G ! B O R I N G ! B O R I N G ! B O R I N G !
I don’t know. Maybe I’m just not your typical teenage girl, but I just cannot sink my teeth into this series. I did manage to like Kristen Stewart a bit more than before, which I’d started to do after Adventureland (2009). Lautner is a nice hunk. Robert Pattinson (Edward) is a modern day, emo version of Luke Perry. Heck, in reality, Beverly Hills 90210 had a lot more drama and complexity in one episode than this series manages to pack in. Will I be back for the next installment? Probably. But not enthusiastically and not til DVD.