The Twilight Saga: New Moon is a vapid exercise of insipid love between wax figures whose dialogue is written by the wax sculptor as a means of getting his inanimate objects to communicate. How dreadful are the characters of Bella, Edward, and Jacob? They are three youngsters chucked into a story that doesn’t care at all for the integrity of their feelings and emotions. Every action they make is meaningless. Every word they utter is empty. How this franchise lasts another three movies is beyond me.
It’s sad that three rising stars — Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner — should find themselves in a story like this. I have not seen them flex their acting muscles in many other films, but I am sure they are good actors. You’d never know it from watching New Moon though. Here, for the better part of 2 hours, they are reciting words and phrases, and are conveying disturbing emotions in such a way as to inform us that yes, they are in fact not at all interested in one another.
Consider Edward’s entrance. Bella is in the school carpark as he pulls up in his glorious Volvo SUV (what happened to his Volvo coupé from the previous movie?). He walks toward her in slow-motion. A mystical wind sweeps his hair and jacket. He’s got that smouldering look going on; his eyes are piercing her soul. Ooh, this vampire’s a sexy beast. He is more in love with himself than he is with her. The stupidest thing about both these buffoons is that neither of them knows it.
Bella, for the longest time, believes that she is truly in love with the glittering dead man. That may be so. He is, after all, a vampire, and vampires by default are fatally charming. But why does Edward love Bella so? What does he see in her? She is not a vampire, even though she so desperately wants to become one — “You’re not gonna want me when I look like a grandmother” — neither is she all that sexy. She is, on the contrary, painfully annoying.
Edward leaves her because he thinks he’s not good for her, or she’s not good for him, or whatever. She spends the next few months glued to her chair, gazing out of her bedroom window in one of those cool visual effects shots that has the camera changing the seasons with every 360˚ turn. Poor girl. She’s so lost and alone without her man. But don’t worry Bella. Another man is lurking just around the corner, and you’re going to fall madly in love with him too because he spends most of his time topless. And the plot requires it.
He is Jacob, and I don’t know if I should tell you his true identity. If you’re reading this review, you’re either doing so for fun, or you’re a die hard fan of the series. Either way, you’re not bothered by spoilers, or everything I’m about to say is spoiler-free.
Jacob is a werewolf.
He is a hot-blooded tub of testosterone. I find the contrast amusing; Edward is as cold as ice. That the two should become enemies is by no means an act of God. They engage in a beastly tug-of-war. The ultimate prize: Bella’s two front teeth. Are we meant to believe this rivalry and feel for both men?
Many of the narrative threads from the first movie carry on into this one. Wicked vampires are still prowling for Bella blood. Bella’s dad, Charlie (Billy Burke), is still the chief of Forks’ police department, and he enforces his authority by grounding her for the rest of her life after she sneaks out of the house and flies to Italy to save Edward from self-flagellation and death. Way to go, dad.
Why Italy? That’s where the Volturi are. The coolest of all vampire families, headed by the invaluable — but ultimately misused — Michael Sheen. Their policy is simple: Stay out of sight and don’t let the humans know they exist. They kill in secret. If a vamp exposes himself or herself, death awaits. It’s a wonder how they managed to hire out what looks to be the Hollywood equivalent of the Pantheon to act as their stronghold. Not to mention that it’s right smack in the middle of human society, surrounded by vampire-hating fanatics. I’d turn myself in if I were them. I’d much rather throw myself into the fire and burn than to be a part of this overly long, emotionally and intellectually drained piece of garbage.
Best Moment | Edward getting his butt whipped by another vampire in Italy. Cool fight scene. Kinda.
Worst Moment | The first time Jacob reveals his ridiculous body, an act that inspires the line, “You know, you’re kinda beautiful”.