“New Moon” only enjoyable to die-hard “Twilight” fans

Sean Buckhorn

Admittedly, I expected little from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”. This was, after all, a movie planned, filmed, and edited in a little less than nine months; a movie based upon a poorly-written novel; a movie that compelled one female fan to shriek “Team Jacob” across the theater halfway. I was determined, though, to give “New Moon” an objective review. But after sitting through this lifeless, awkward, 130 minute drag, I can say objectively that my expectations were mostly justified.  

After a near-tragic paper-cut incident, vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) decides that, in order to protect his mortal girlfriend Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), he and his blood-sucking family must move far away from Forks, Wash. Lonely and inconsolable, Bella turns to her friendly neighbor/closet werewolf, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), and soon Bella becomes embroiled in a supernatural love triangle. What seems like an interesting premise turns for the worse very quickly––the pace is slow, the dialogue is awkward, and it’s far too long.

However, “New Moon’s” intended audience––swooning teenage girls––will pay this no mind. The almost constant presence of shirtless werewolves makes sure of that. It’s upsetting that a movie with little substance but plenty of brawny heartthrobs can reel in upwards of 100 million dollars in its first weekend.   

While Pattinson’s windswept hair and brooding good looks may be enough to tide over the female audience, his short performance is incredibly lifeless and dull. The same goes for the listless Stewart; she goes from moping to sullen to gloomy, and then back to moping again. Their interactions, though brief, are also forced and mushy (“You give me everything just by breathing,” says Edward at one point. Yuck.)

Lautner, in comparison to his co-stars, seems much more relaxed and warm on screen. His nasally voice and oft-exposed abdomen were a bit distracting at times, but he is generally far more tolerable than Pattinson. I guess that makes me a member of “Team Jacob” too, though not in the same sense as my fellow audience members. 

I enjoyed Michael Sheen (“Frost/Nixon”) as Aro, the leader of the the vampire court. Pattinson could stand to learn a thing or two from Sheen––in a brief role, he manages to capture the eeriness and menace that Pattinson’s Edward lacks. The action scenes were also much improved in comparison to Twilight,” though are still nothing remarkable. 

“New Moon” knows its audience, and gives them exactly what they want: teenage melodrama and hunky guys. For fans of the books and the previous movie, “New Moon” will undoubtedly sate their “Twilight” obsession. But for average people––casual moviegoers like myself––New Moon” sucks in more ways than one.