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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Watching New Moon, the latest in the Twilight Saga, was for me, an
experience identical to reading the book:
Mistake #1 was the script. It was juvenile and contrived to the extent that I wondered if some misguided fool had allowed Stephenie Queen-of-the-Paedophiles Meyer to write it herself. Given the drastic amount of quotes from the book, they may as well have.
New Moon is significantly more introspective than its fellows: Bella mopes for most of the story, sans Edward. Introspection can work well on the page. However, it's much harder to transfer onto film. Montages of Bella screaming in her sleep would have been more at home in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and when her depression is drawn out for over two hours, it begins to feel gratuitous.
As for the acting, they try, they really do, but they fall short. Kristen Stewart is monotonous. She plays Bella in shades of grey, sounding exactly the same when she tells Edward she loves him as when she apologises to Charlie for her three day disappearance. Robert Pattinson equals her dullness, looking apathetic after Bella is attacked by Jasper not a shred of care or conflict in his expression. Taylor Lautner might have been good is he didn't find it necessary to pause between every other word, adding unnecessary screen time.
Props, however, must be given to Dakota Fanning and Anna Kendrickson. Kendrickson's comedic timing was superb. In fact, I enjoyed all the scenes with Bella's human 'friends' they provided much-needed comedic relief. And Dakota Fanning, with her first line, proved that at only fifteen-years-of-age she has more talent than the rest of the cast combined. If only she'd gotten more screen time.
The creators of New Moon seemed aware of the overall dreadfulness of the film, and attempted to make up for it with shirtless close-ups. Too bad it didn't work. One look at Jailbait Lautner's naked chest was enough, after that it felt like a cheap tease. Add to this Edward's entrance, which was so drawn out it was laughable.
Special congratulations to whoever chose the locations. If it hadn't been for the beautiful scenery, the film would have been even more unbearable than it already was. Also, whoever organised the soundtrack did a brilliant job Bon Iver and Death Cab for Cutie on one album is enough for me to buy it (although, I'll lie to the cashier and tell them that it's for my little sister).
Overall, New Moon was about as captivating as watching a slug crawl across the lawn, and just as slow. The precious few action scenes were sporadic and too short-lived to be interesting. Every boyfriend who let his girlfriend drag him there left with a pair of blue-balls thanks to the constant (and frustrating) sexual teasing between Bella and every other male character (which was achieved without a shred of genuine chemistry). And I wasn't the only audience member to exclaim "Finally!" with relief once the credits rolled.
Thankfully, the majority of cinema-goers aren't as dim as film executives seem to believe, and most people snickered at the ridiculousness of it all particularly the final line. I might have felt bad that I was talking during the film if it hadn't been for the fact that everybody else was, too.
As my friend Caroline so concisely put it, "One and a half stars would be too generous." Don't see it, or, if you do, do what I did, and go on Cheap Tuesday.