Last night, a couple of the girls and I went to watch New Moon. Our timing was good, as the theatre was bereft of legions of screaming fans. I guess even they felt this movie wasn’t worth seeing repeatedly. I suppose I should warn you that this review will have spoilers. Oh wait, it’s Twilight, there’s really no story to spoil. ALRIGHTY THEN.
So how was the movie? It was terrible. Before you get all “umm, you kind of chose to see a crappy teen-oriented chick flick?” on me, know this: I like chick flicks, even teen ones, if I am mentally prepared to watch one. They’re not usually my movie of choice, but I don’t have a problem with shallow plots and happy endings.
I guess one of two isn’t bad, right?
Here’s the movie in case you hadn’t heard: Bella and the vampire are in love. The vampire suddenly gets a crisis of conscience and feels she’d be better off living a normal life, so he tells her he doesn’t love her and takes off. (Remind anyone of Good Will Hunting? Yeah, a little, except that you don’t really like either of Bella or her vampire boy.) Bella spends six months (or that’s the implication anyway) in her room moping.
Enter the friend-since-childhood werewolf, who only just recently is realizing he’s a werewolf. Naturally, he’s her much-needed shot of “Hey, there’s more to life than moping about your (literally) ice-cold ex-boyfriend!”. He repairs her, they get annoyingly close, but because Bella has no idea who she is or what she wants, she spends the whole movie leading him on, only to crush him in the end by running back to the vampire.
What, I shouldn’t have told you that? You would have seen it in the first 20 minutes. You would then have spent the next 110 minutes (yeah, it’s long) hoping that you’re wrong, but no, you’re not, because Bella is an idiot.
I get it. Vampires are sexy. As a girl who misspent a fair amount of her highschool youth in goth clubs, I understand the pale, sinewy glamour of the vampire. (Umm, and the vinyl-clad appeal of other people who understand the glamour. We’re getting a little off-topic here.) Point is: vampires are sexy. The condition for that appeal, however, isn’t solely contained in the pointy teeth, sparkly skin and boy-eyeliner; vampires are sexy because they’ve lived for so long that they have personality. They don’t care what humans think because they know it doesn’t matter. They have their own ideas, their own tastes, their own passions, and of course, amazing hair, and that package is what makes them fantastic. Perfect example? Lestat.
Edward The Vampire, on the other hand? Has no personality. To be fair, he spends the majority of the movie in exile, but even in the first movie, you really don’t get a chance to get to know him, except that he’s a little on the emo side, and that he’s hopelessly devoted to Bella. For a two-hour movie, that’s a shockingly low level of character development. What exactly is it that Bella is so haunted by? We have no idea, and therefore, no sympathy for her.
This is compounded by the fact that Bella herself is flat and two-dimensional. Putting together what you get from the first two movies, we get that she’s clumsy, teenaged, and obsessive in nature. Occasionally, she has a sarcastic side. And… that’s it. That’s the main character? It’s a little hard to feel an attachment to a character that’s so unformed. I blame only part of this character vagueness on bad acting; I haven’t read the books, but I’m guessing they don’t flesh out the characters that much more either.
Which brings me to Jacob The Werewolf. He had a minimal role in the first movie (although I admit he was cemented in my mind thanks to his disconcertingly white teeth) but this movie centers around his “awakening”, as well as his ramping up the moves he tries to put on Bella. Of the characters in the movie, Jacob is the only one given a personality (or a competent actor), and it’s a very likeable one: he’s honest, funny, straightforward, caring, passionate. Oh, and he’s ripped. And often shirtless.
So what is my problem? It’s bad enough that Bella makes what is so obviously the wrong choice (Scarlett O’Hara anyone?) but unlike Scarlett, Bella doesn’t even have the redeeming quality of having a personality that you can like or hate. She barely exists, yet holds the hearts of these two boys completely in thrall. It breaks the fantasy, and having the two wooden non-characters end up together, while the only one who actually appeals to the audience winds up heartbroken and alone is completely unsatisfying.
I give this movie 2/9, and that’s only because Taylor Lautner is f-ing hot.