This movie was NOT meant for me. I was clearly NOT the targeted audience. I haven't read any of the "Twilight" books. I'm not a giggly teenage girl waiting to swoon over so-called dreamy male leads on the screen or looking for sappy romance. That being said, then why did I bother to see "The Twilight Saga: New Moon"? Because I bought into the hype that the trailers and some early screenings conveyed which was this one would be more action-driven. I at least hoped it would be better than the first one which wouldn't even be hard to do. I was wrong on both accounts.
In this second installment of the "Twilight" series, the vampiric Cullen family flees the town of Forks in order to preserve their secret identities (meaning they don't age so they can't stay in one place long where everyone there does). Bella (Kristen Stewart) is reeling from the loss of her apparent soul-mate, Edward (Robert Pattison) and turns to her old friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) to distract her from her sorrows. She subsequently discovers that Jacob has a secret of his own. He and certain members of his tribe are werewolves sworn to protect the humans from the vampires.
I wouldn't have minded so much if this one wasn't entirely action-packed if they at least didn't have so much wrong with it. For instance, as far as the action itself is concerned, we shouldn't have wait so long to get to it. There must have been a good 30-40 minutes that had elapsed before anything resembling any excitement took place. That is unless you count the domestic abuse scene where Edward shoves Bella out of the way to "protect" her because she' gets a paper cut from opening a present. She actually got a paper cut opening used wrapping paper.
In all actuality, the action that was present in "New Moon" left much to desired compared to it predecessor. There was no epic sequence like the conclusion of "Twilight" which was the highlight of that film. The closest this one came was a wrestling match that Edward has with the Volturi near the end and that was entirely too short. They had the perfect opportunity to give us a terrific sequence when the werewolves faced off against Laurent (Edi Gathegi). Instead, they tease us with a slow motion facade that plays like the title of a Michael Jackson movie: This is it?
Speaking of slow motion, I kept trying to place what it was that the big-headed Edward reminded me of. Especially when they shot him walking in slow motion with his pouty face. Yes...we get it. It's done like that so all of his groupies can soak it up. However, it looks ludicrous. Then that'w when it hit me. Blue Steel! This dude was essentially the Derek Zoolander of vampires! Except "Zoolander" was a comedy that didn't even attempt to take itself seriously. Unfortunately, "New Moon" is trying to.
As far as the cast, I am now even more unsure why they chose some of these folks. They are supposed to be playing high school age kids yet none of them look young enough to be in high school. Pattison is the chief offender. I guess he has somewhat of an excuse though. He is playing a 109-year-old vampire. Stewart, on the other hand, is another story. Of course maybe if she didn't spend so much time looking forlorn-- even when she IS happy --that wouldn't be the case.
The one aspect that is the trademark of this series is the romance. The relationship between Bella and Edward as star-crossed lovers is supposed to be at the focal point of "New Moon". That's why it took so long to get to any action because we had to get ambushed with moment after moment of Bella gushing to any and everyone about how much she was and is in love with Edward. It got to be a bit over-wrought with Bella declaring things like she didn't care about her soul if she couldn't be with him and the like. I know it wasn't just me because some high school girls sitting next to me (and they are the audience this film is intended for) even chuckled at the absurdity.
I'm all for romance, but they poured it on WAY too thick here. Complete with the loud violins and exaggerated organ playing to accentuate the feeling. It seemed as though they were using whatever trick they could to get us to see how much in love Bella and Edward are. The reason I just wasn't buying it was because Pattison and Stewart weren't selling it very well. They didn't appear to have very good chemistry. It could be because they are both very one-dimensional as far as their acting abilities.
What capped it all off for "New Moon" was the ridiculous ending. Could they have made it any more anti-climatic? I'm all for giving us a cliffhanger because there are still more installments to come. Stillc, that doesn't give them grounds to end the movie in such a lackluster fashion. Although to be fair, at that point I wasn't too surprised after it was just following the pattern of the previous 2+ hours I had suffered thru.
Again, I realize that I was not the target audience for "New Moon". In fact, I can see how the director and writer have a double-edged sword in that regards. They have to make a movie that will keep the true fans engaged while trying to find some way to hopefully rope in folks like me that are uninitiated. With that being the case, the sequel in an series should improve on the faults of the original. They instead took steps backwards. At this rate, I'm pretty confident if I watch the next one, it will be as a dvd release.
My rating: D+