Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Rebound Sucker

I have to admit that I was quite entertained with the first Twilight film, despite it being steeped in teenage puppy love, and breaking plenty of established rules about vampires, such as sunshine giving them a funky glow rather than turning them to ashes, or them being without fangs, so it's a good thing though that their thirst for blood was left intact. And well, being the completist that I am, I just have to continue with the franchise, and New Moon suffers from the usual middle-movie syndrome, inheriting and choosing to dwell on what its predecessor did without adding any significant meat, and yet not being the second last movie to have increased its pace and intrigue, if any to begin with.

Instead, New Moon are for Twilight fans who support the other hairy side, where hot boys run around half naked almost all the time to show off their toned bodies, driving female members in the audience into a gasping frenzy each time a shirt is taken off. Yes, Mr Metrosexual Vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) really pales in comparison (pardon the intentional pun) in the buffed body campaign, so thank goodness there wasn't much of a pissing competition between him and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner, who was very close to being dropped).

Otherwise we''re where we left off, with the initial scenes recapping some of the issues the lovers Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward face with her being the tempting meat hanging around a pack of reformed vampires, and her incessant whining about wanting to belong to the immortals, because of her innate fear that Edward will leave her once she turns old and wrinkled. In a sudden about turn, Edward and family decide to leave her for her own good and protection, given the events from the first movie, they think it's for the best so that they do not implicate her, or rather, wanting to risk their own lives and limbs to save her from other vampires out for easy meat.

So yes, Edward dumps her in the most unceremonious of ways, and is quite the liar for continuing to appear to provide sound advice to stop her from taking risks, and basically from having a good time. Talk about selfishness. His retribution? Being as stupid as Romeo from Shakespeare's classic, a character whom he loathes, and frankly the third act of the film based on the same level of stupidity, having to fulfill his own suicidal tendency. Once dumped, our girl then spends the rest of the movie moping, whining, and being depressed, that she inadvertently leads Jake on, and quite timely too as he was on the verge of finding the other strutting half-naked boys too attractive to resist. The wolf got let out of the bag, and Bella learns of the secret of her best friend, along with plenty of rules and regulations governing the truce between vampires and werewolves.

If compared to the earlier film, New Moon is quite the bore, with the never ending indecisiveness of Bella. It's not that she doesn't know who she wants to end up with (no prizes for guessing she wants to remain youthful forever), but then the short term appeal of a hot bod bad boy may prove to be too hard (heh) to resist. Furthermore, on one hand you have a vampire who's such a new age metrosexual with a penchant for heavy foundation and lipstick, but on the other the tremendous power and rage of an angry were-man would potentially leave one physically scarred in any moment of insanity. So if you're a rational person, the choice is rather obvious, despite wolf-boy always wanting to hang around to play hero, being sworn to protect the human race from evil vampires. With great powers come great responsibility, we understand.

Set action sequences were severely limited in this installment, although they were designed for the wolves to spring into action. And these wolves are really huge, almost Ultraman sized as they hunt for their vampire prey in fast moving packs. Transformation from Man to Wolf is effortlessly done and happens in a blink of the eye with shirts and pants ripping into nothing, though you don't get to actually see the reverse happen, because this is a family friendly movie, and the filmmakers chose not to give young teenage girls too quick a start into the anatomy of our hairy friends. The vampire battle sequences here were also nothing to shout about, preferring to overuse slow motion because, well, they move fast.

In any case, this film is review-proof. Immediately when the end credits start to roll, I heard a few female voices around me proclaiming to want to watch this again. God knows this is their umpteenth time already! It ends with a cliffhanger, since the next film was shot back-to-back, and what a wonderful way to make you anticipate its release. I only hope for more sensible action given the introduction of Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning's oh-so-powerful Volturi council characters reliant on tourism to bring in the bacon, rather than another ai-mai-ai-mai (want-don't want) tussle on the affairs of the heart. Make a decision people, like means like, so stick to it.

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