(No longer in theaters)
Nov 20, 2009
Mass hysteria has turned The Twilight Saga: New Moon—a turgid romantic horror film that under different circumstances would barely attract notice—into the biggest event of the millennium. Which isn’t such a bad thing. I loved watching it with an audience that screamed when Bella (Kristen Stewart) and the vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) first appear. The essential dullness came later.
The last one, Twilight, was fun but shallow compared with the momentous adolescent hormonal feelings flooding Stephenie Meyer’s novel. In New Moon, director Chris Weitz tries to slow things down, which means the unrequited lovers stare longingly at each other and just … won’t … say … their … lines. The hook for young girls is the fantasy of men fighting over them. First, two vampires fight over Bella, then two werewolves. Then werewolves fight vampires. Then a vampire fights more vampires. Bella saves Edward, Edward saves Bella, and the Native American werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) tries to save Bella from Edward. Whereas Edward is a pale aesthete with the highest brow in movies, Jacob is a dark, hairy biker dude with a very low brow and a trapezius the size of a watermelon. He looks like a Nautilized caveman.
Stewart is lovely and believable, but Pattinson is better in gorgeous repose than when he speaks. The movie has a few good flourishes, like the werewolves’ whooshy overhead chase of an evil red-haired vampire woman. But Weitz’s pacing is so limp you’re going to need the electricity generated by a live audience to keep from yelling, “Hurry it up!”