The Twilight Saga: New Moon Review

(1.5 STARS)

When on vacation with a group, one does things one might not normally do by his or herself. So when it was decided we would all be watching “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” I had little choice but to oblige. Two hours and ten minutes later, I wished I had gone for a walk instead. Hell, I would’ve rather hung out with the drunk kids upstairs who were peeing on our porch – anything to take back the time I wasted watching this nonsense.

In case you’ve been in hiding for the past few years, the “Twilight” saga follows the romance of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a moody teenager, and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a vampire. But Edward isn’t the kind of vampire you’re used to. He sparkles in the sunlight, and he feels human emotions. Plus, he’s dreamy. When “New Moon” picks up, Bella is about to turn 18, and she is beginning to worry that the ageless Edward will fall out of love with her when she grows old. She begs him to turn her into a vampire, but he refuses. He doesn’t have the heart to take away his girlfriend’s soul.

On Bella’s birthday, Edward’s family throws her a party. At it, she gets a paper cut and is nearly killed by one of Edward’s brothers. After the incident, Edward and his family leave town, leaving Bella behind for her own protection. She becomes depressed, and gains solace only in the company of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). The two form a deep friendship, which looks like it will become something more until Jacob starts to change. His transformation and the subsequent return of the Cullens puts Bella in the middle of an age-old struggle.

There’s a lot more to it than that (but not in a good way). There’s a group of all-powerful vampires in Italy who the Cullens find themselves in hot water with. And like the last film, this one deals with Bella’s struggles to fit in at school. But none of it matters. With a screenplay this bad, no amount of subplots, twists, and misdirection can save the film. In fact, I think a less-is-more approach would have worked much better. It’s all so mind-numbingly stupid that the pretty bare bones romance of the first film is Oscar-worthy in comparison to this convoluted “Romeo and Juliet” parable.

Of course, the acting doesn’t help matters at all. Robert Pattinson, I think it’s safe to say, has no talent. He’s not charming or charismatic, and he’s doesn’t convincingly portray any emotions. The same can’t be said for his co-stars. KristeAn Stewart has already proved herself a talented actress in films like “Adventureland.” Her talent is wasted here, as Bella spends most of the film moping around. Taylor Lautner, on the other hand, hasn’t quite proved himself a capable actor, but at least he has promise. Jacob is probably the film’s most interesting character, and despite some awful dialogue, he does an alright job. Given some solid material to work with, I think he might be capable of a half-decent performance.

I don’t really want to write much else, because one word pretty much sums up the whole film – stupid. Of course, idiotic, dumb, or any other synonym would work as well. Unfortunately, nothing I say will stop the next films in the “saga” from being smash hits. Teenage girls eat this shit up, and that’s all that matters. Still, I hope David Slade and/or Bill Condon can make something that’s at least watchable. Director Chris Weitz fails on this front with “New Moon.” This film is painful and one of the worst I’ve seen from 2009.

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