The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

Genre(s): Drama
Summit || PG13 - 130 minutes || November 20, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-11-24

.:: F I L M ::.

Director: Chris Weitz
Writer(s): Stephenie Meyer (novel); Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Dakota Fanning

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon is the second entry, following last year’s monstrous debut for the first in the series of novels to make the big screen. The first movie introduced newcomers and fans of the book to the characters and setup the plot that we knew would happen in the second film. It’s also worth noting that the third movie is slated for a 2010 summer release already, meaning that there is no stopping the giant momentum this series is likely to have for quite some time. But is the sequel better than the first, or has the series run out of steam before it left the station?

Bella (Kristen Stewart) is celebrating her 18th birthday, of which she hates to celebrate as though for every year she gets older, it’s another year that her boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) doesn’t age at all. Her father Charlie (Billy Burke) gives her a camera for her birthday and the gift of a photo book from his ex-wife. Bella’s mother wants her to take pictures of her senior year so that way she can remember what it was like. She reluctantly agrees to and heads off to school where she meets Edward and the two embrace (awww!). Inside the high school, she’s greeted by Alice (Ashley Greene) who gives her a dress to wear to their house tonight, and sinec she’s a mind reader, she knows she’ll love it.

Later that night though, Bella cuts her finger on a present the Cullens give her, and Edward is forced to fend off Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower). Edward hurls Bella towards a wall and fights off Caius, which causes disruption in the family. A few nights later Edward meets Bella in the forest to let her know he has to leave forever, and he will never see her again. He forces her to agree to never do anything reckless (since whenever she did, he came to save her, hint hint) again. She sobs and cries, causing him to disappear for what she thinks forever and passes out in the forest. Her father has set the police force looking for her and she’s found by a man with no shirt on and boxers (this seems to be a recurring theme with some of the characters).

Too depressed to do anything of value, Bella sulks her in room until one day she leaves to meet her friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) to help her rebuild a few bikes she found for the adrenaline rush she seeks. It’s not the rush she seeks, but the hope that Edward will come back to her if she does something stupid. But it turns out though that Jacob is not all he seems, as after the two begin bonding he suddenly stops talking to her similar to what happened with Edward. She soon realizes that Jacob isn’t what he truly is, and is forced to deal with not only Edward being gone out of her life but also the new occurrences that happen with Jacob and others in the town.

If this flick could have any more guys without their shirts on for no reason what so ever then I would be heavily surprised. This is a complete chick flick in that sense of the word, but isn’t this movie meant for the younger tween audiences? By tween, I mean the 10-15 age group, and not the actual teenagers that I consider 15 plus. It’s understandable to have a few guys without their shirts on throughout the movie, but dang, I stopped counting after like ten.

There was also the shocking part that I described above in the movie. When Bella is brought back into town, at night, by a guy with no shirt on or boxers, and yet no questions him as to why he was in the forest or why he has no clothes on? I mean what the heck? How does this not raise any sort of questions in a small town when your daughter is brought back unconscious? What’s going on there? What sort of non-concerned father are you? You call the entire town to do a rescue search for your daughter, but are all of a sudden not alarmed when she’s brought back by a near-naked male?

I must say though, that on a positive note, I enjoyed how the whole “wolf/vampire” thing played out in this movie. The last flick focused more on the vampire angle, where as this one gave us way more of the wolf part of the story and also more into the back story about the wolf/vampire treaty. I was also glad to see that the roles of Victoria and the other vampire were majorly downplayed here, as they only made brief appearances throughout. Victoria is an okay villain, but not one that deserved as much screen time as she got last time around, as in my opinion Jacob made the better villain here.

I was disappointed though with the lack of character description of Dakota Fanning’s character, Jane. I haven’t read the books yet, but she has some sort of Jedi-like power to be able to cause pain without moving an inch. She could easily have ripped apart the entire room near the end of the film yet her power was underplayed and barely used. I hope that in future movies that her character comes into play more, as in all honesty I didn’t recognize it was Fanning until I was nudged and said “hey that’s Dakota Fanning.” Good job to the props and artistic department for making her look creepy as hell.

Overall though, the story-telling is decent in this one. Jacob as the kind yet dastardly friend to Bella plays out well and the lack of the vampires provided a much-needed rest for me. The downside here is the fact that I left wanting more of the movie in terms of character development from certain characters. I think this does justice for a sequel, and judging by the box-office results so far from this one, I doubt that the third film will be the last in the series.