NEW MOON - Skinflick For Young Girls
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON (supernatural romance)
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz
Director: Chris Weitz
Time: 125 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: I enjoyed Twilight because it offered a new kind of romance - between an (supposedly) ordinary human and a new breed of human-friendly vampire. It was even touching to see how a blood-feeder goes against his nature to sacrifice for someone he loves. Alas, how fast novelty fades... and ambitious greed takes over.
While Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke concentrated on the story and character build-up in her US$30 million film, Chris Weitz's sequel uses its bigger budget to splash on effects and locations - at the expense of elements that really count. In his eagerness to please the franchise's hordes of teenage fans, he has turned New Moon into a softporn for young girls.
THE SKINNY: It is Bella's (Kristen Stewart) 18th birthday and what is supposed to be a celebration at the home of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) turns into a near disaster. The result of this is that Edward and the Cullens leave town so that their presence would not pose a danger to Bella anymore. Poor Bella is heartbroken, numb and all alone.
No, wait. There's the hunky Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) who is also in love with her. He is delighted to help Bella refurbish her motorbike and accompany her to the movies. While Bella's frozen heart starts to thaw in the warmth of Jacob's high body temp, she learns the gawdawful truth about her childhood friend! Yes, this sequel brings in the alter ego of the Quileutes in a triangle love tussle for Bella and Edward. Boy, how unlucky can one girl get?
THE REVIEW: I have not read the book, but going by Weitz's rendition, am I to conclude that Edward moves in slow motion, Jake goes about topless in a town that's mostly near freezing temperature and up to now Sheriff Swan (Billy Burke) still has no idea who's causing the brutal murders in Forks? And am I to conclude that Edward has supernatural powers that allows him to keep watch over Bella when she tries to be reckless - but has no idea if she is dead or alive at a crucial moment? And that the 'surprise' ending is supposed to make even bigger hordes of teen pack the cineplexes for the next sequel?
And more than before, New Moon exposes the leads' acting abilities. Stewart goes through the whole movie with just two expressions, and consciously flutters her eyelids for the benefit of her fans. Pattinson, on the other hand, seems to compete with her on who's looking cuter! As for Lautner, I don't suppose the young girls would care how he acts as long as he flexes those biceps, pectorals and abs. I was on the lookout for Dakota Fanning (right) as a European vampiress but her role is so brief and uninteresting, it must have been a walkover for her. And don't get me started on Weitz's direction or his version of how fast the months fly...
THE LOWDOWN: For those who still swoon over the franchise after New Moon, I pray they grow up soon...