by / November 20th, 2009 /

Twilight: New Moon

Review by on November 20th, 2009

The reddened interior of the Savoy cinema is a broth of hormones and anticipation as a few hundred school girls squeal piercingly as the curtains roll back for the preview screening of New Moon, the Twilight sequel. Security has been tight. All mobile phones and iPods have been confiscated on arrival and sealed in ziplock bags. That the film is on general release in 48 hours from then matters little to the stern protectors of this humungous cinema cash cow.

It was never going to work out between us and New Moon. Perhaps State was at an immediate disadvantage by virtue of our age, chromosomes and orientation, but we were still stunned and impressed by how dreadful this sequel was. Its lack of atmosphere, style and any sense of gothic menace made its predecessor look like The Godfather. But where Twilight at least had some degree of dark, lustful ambience, New Moon is simply Dawson’s Creek with fangs. Already the series is being likened to the Harry Potter franchise, a comparison that must be based on the dire acting of its youthful charges and the systematic seduction of millions of young people and, vitally, their parents.

-Actors’ Robert Pattinson (looking like a slow-witted version of Batman’s Joker) and Taylor Lautner (or Taylor Six-Pack) are lantern-jawed bloodsucker Edward and dreamy werewolf Jacob, both vying for the attentions of the glum Bella (Kristen Stewart). Edward leaves Bella so as not to put her in danger and in steps Jacob Six-Pack to help take her mind off things. Bar some rubbish about an ancient committee of camp-ires (Michael Sheen disgraces himself) and a perennially shirtless werewolf gang, that’s all you really need to know. The script is piss-poor valley-girl logic (Bella: -So you’re a werewolf?’ Jacob Six-Pack: -Last time I checked.’), the special effects are sub-par for a film of this budget, and the need to cram naked male torsos and moody pretty-boy frowns into every shot verges on pornographic.

There are one or two mercies. The soundtrack – Bon Ivor, BRMC, Thom Yorke – is top-notch, and just audible over the sound of Bram Stoker spinning in his grave. Yorke’s eerie -Hearing Damage’ works wonders during the admittedly effective forest chase scene in the middle of the movie. But other than that, New Moon will be remembered either as harmless teen fluff or the final emasculating stake through the heart of what was once a sinister, dangerous and sexy area of popular mythology.

  • Haha, at last, someone else who thinks Harry Potter is a badly acted waste of time. I also think it’s based on some pretty averagely written and highly unoriginal books, since you asked… I was starting to think I was the only one. This… well, I haven’t read the book or seen the film, but just seeing how crazy my 14 year old sister’s gone for it gives me a good idea that’s it going to be… pretty much as you described it, Hil. I think I’ll give it a miss, though I am contemplating buying the soundtrack. Or at least listening to it on Spotify.

  • sean c

    Lovely review.

    Having worked in a bookshop for the past few years I have to say that this book is dross. It’s in the same vein as Mr. Dan Brown’s work – hyped up, easy to read but essentially it’s dull and soul-less. No pun intended. Just because someone is reading, it does not make them an intellectual.

    The previous film – I had endured 30 minutes of it before walking out, leaving the missus behind – was garbage. It just proved that young women are as horny as young men. And that with a pretty (read borderline syndrome-y) face you can sell anything.

    Still. Two down, two to go.

  • Kyerin

    Yeah, it was fairly dire, although good for a laugh! I’ll admit there’s not a lot to work with given the source material (I have, sadly, read all four of Ms. ‘I only know three adjectives’ Meyer’s series and can confirm that worse is to come). However, I’ve just had a look at the trailer there and they seem to have left about half of it out of the finished movie, including some decent looking fight scenes and some opportunities to flesh out some minor characters. Perhaps I blinked and missed them, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t in the finished movie. Which is a shame, because I can’t help but think that a really good adaptation could actually have made something of this story (I guess that would have had the fangirls screaming for blood though, No pun intended.)

  • I saw it at the weekend, and have to say this movie is every bit as awful as it’s touted to be. I’d actually say the review is pretty generous. Awful characters, awful storyline, the occasional decent special effect and one nice scene when the main character (I cant even remember her name, I was that disengaged) is underwater and the whole thing takes on a swirly effect that any decent program could create. I made a critical error, I paid to see this trash. At least it’ll save me suffering through any more.

  • I actually thought it was pretty good. Not as good as the first, mind, and maybe a little too long. I like how it constantly swings wildly between taking itself far too seriously and knowing self-parody.