It’s official: New Moon, the highly anticipated sequel to the Twilight phenomenon has hit movie theatres across the nation today, November 20, 2009. After attending the midnight showing alongside a holy armada of screaming, squealing and altogether overly excited young females, I have decided to take the opportunity to critique this teen-drama-vampire-wannabe flick from every possible angle, therefore revealing my true identity as a not-so-big Twilight fan (As you boo me from your easy recline computer chair, clutching to your Edward Cullen action figures and Rob Pattinson posters…you people make me sick).
I must admit that I have not read Stephenie Meyer’s novels upon which the films are based (though I’ve heard great things about them). However, I found the first film more substantial and enjoyable than this. In fact, the first film seemed to do a much better job at developing characters on a deeper level (depending on your definition of deep, right?). Edward’s constant inner struggle of fighting his vampiric (yes, it’s a word, look it up in an online unabridged dictionary, you ignorant fool) nature seemed to assert his identity as a more intricate character. Unfortunately, this was not the case with Edward’s role in New Moon.
**Warning: Plot Spoilers Ahead! (If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to have anything ruined, stop here. If you really could care less, feel free to read ahead with utter exuberance).
Wait? Why did I say “plot spoilers ahead?” Gosh darn it. What was the plot of this movie anyway? Or did it have one at all? I couldn’t tell. It was pretty hard to see any resemblance of a plot through the haze of continual male-shirt-stripping-off-contests that seemed to be occurring at every five second interval of the storyline.
Oh yeah, back to the “plot”-the dude that definitely gets the award taking his shirt off the most consecutive times ever in the history of motion pictures (and all to please a purely sixteen and under female audience) is none other than actor Taylor Lautner (insert mad applause here). Lautner plays Jacob Black in the flick, a Native American looking dude from the mysterious Quileute tribe who turns into a werewolf whenever he gets pissed off (sort of like the Incredible Hulk, only not green and with more fur).
After Bella’s (actress Kristen Stewart) 18th birthday party, she finds herself confronted with having to let go of her beloved Edward (yeah, her vampire boyfriend that has to fight himself so he doesn’t suck her blood). The entire Cullen family winds up getting out of Dodge (Dodge here being the little town of Forks Washington if you’re keeping up with trivial plot details). Bella pretty much falls into a catastrophic state of depression during the rest of her senior year of high school.
And wouldn’t ya know it? Bella ends up falling for Mr. Jacob “I can bench press a car while turning into a werewolf and eating a vampire” Black. That’s right. Edward believed himself to be leaving out of a love for Bella, in an effort to protect her from himself. During Edward’s time away, Bella develops a deep connection, bond and intimate friendship with Jacob. The kind of friendship where you can go find an old motorcycle in a scrap yard, fix it up together, and then go for a ride. Who could ask for more, right?
Bella eventually discovers that she can summon Edward’s voice and face whenever she places herself in jeopardy, causing her to take excessive amounts of risk with her own life (I think we’re bordering on obsessive relational behavior issues at this point). Caught between her newfound relationship with Jacob (werewolf) and her undying love for Edward (vampire), Bella is the epitome of a girl who can’t seem to date a normal guy!
Upon reentering Bella’s already screwed up life, Edward confronts Jacob and the two stand at odds with one another over their affection for Bella. Ultimately, Bella discards her fling with Jacob and decides she wants vampire boy back after all-and she even wants him to bite her and make her immortal so she can live with him forever (talk about a weird fairy tale).
And just to spoil the ending: Edward closes out the last, brief, fleeting moments of the film by asking Bella the four words every tween and teen girl in America would like to hear from the mouth of Rob Pattinson: “Will you marry me?” (as I gag on my leftover popcorn).
So there you have it: my raw, real and honest critique of this latest installment to the Twilight movie saga. If a shallow plot mixed with overkill on male-pectoral-muscle-screen time and overly dramatic dialogue pauses between characters is your thing, then take it from me, you will love it!