Let’s just cut to the quick, shall we? Straight to bare bones of the situation? New Moon is a lifeless film.
For those who have been buried under a rock (perhaps a gravestone) for the past year or so, New Moon is the second filmic instalment in Stephanie Meyer’s hugely successful Twilight book series. The franchise has made vampires cooler (and more cold-skinned) than they’ve been since Buffy; romanticising the beautiful bloodsuckers for a whole new generation of tweens.
New Moon picks up where its predecessor left off, following the tragic romance between Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Bella is just your typical 17 year old and Edward will be 17 forever. In the film, Edward realises that dating an un-dead dude might not be the best thing for Bella’s future, and dumps her. She proceeds to sink into a deep depression for a number of months, only to be roused to life, by her best-friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who is unrequitedly in love with her. Oh, and he’s also a werewolf. Throw in a last minute plot line where Bella has to save Edward’s life, and you’ve got yourself a typical love-triangle film.
It’s unfortunate, but this film really sucked – pun intended. Suffice to say the script (clunky dialogue), direction (obviously rushed scenes), and art direction (ghostly apparitions of Edward) leave a lot to be desired. Perhaps most dangerously, for a film as character-driven as this, is the sub-par acting. Taylor Lautner does an admirable job, with a great sense of timing and intense sexual gaze. And by that I mean, SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD gaze. He can’t quite handle some of the more intense dramatic scenes. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are both as uncharismatic as ever, twitching and mumbling their way through the film.
Although it’s hardly surprising, New Moon is just as essentially anti-feminist as its predecessor. A vehicle for Meyer’s Mormon beliefs, abstinence is still sexy. Bella’s sole personality traits still consist of her loving Edward unconditionally and cooking dinner for her father. In New Moon, it is perfectly acceptable that when her boyfriend breaks up with her, Bella gives up on life. And in fact, is only able to carry on with her painful existence when another male enters her life, in the shape of best-friend Jacob. Talk about being dependent on men.
New Moon will satisfy the blood-lust of hardcore Twilight fans. But for the rest of us, you may leave the cinema feeling a little dead inside.
New Moon is screening nationally in Australia now
Director: Chris Weitz
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke