Wherefore Art Thou, Edward?
I’ll never learn. My expectations for sequels usually exceed all sense of reason. Take New Moon, for example. Having been totally captivated by Twilight, I could hardly wait to see the second offering in this popular franchise. Sadly, much of what I enjoyed about the first movie seems missing in the overly depressing follow-up film, which comes across like Romeo and Juliet on extra downers.
First of all, like millions of his fans, I wanted to see more of Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, the brooding, sexy vampire. But this character fails to receive the screen time he deserves here. Okay, maybe that’s the way things happen in Stephenie Meyer’s novel. Still, why not pad his part in the film? Worse transgressions have occurred while transferring stories from page to screen. I hated to see so much emphasis placed on all those werewolves and on Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) funk after being dumped by the “good” vampire she loves -- who thinks he’s protecting her by leaving. Granted, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), Bella’s attentive best friend, looks all buff and terrific, but he’s not Edward.
Next, what happened to exciting sequences like the vampire baseball game in Twilight? Nothing in New Moon comes close. Yes, those dramatic changes from boys to wolves are interesting to watch, but they’re not extraordinary, especially considering the amazing visuals special effects are capable of today.
And speaking of excitement or lack thereof, the pace of New Moon almost lulled me into a cat nap more than once -- something that never happened while watching Twilight. How exciting is it to see a teenage girl sink deeper and deeper into a state of lovesick gloom, then behave irresponsibly as she tries to connect with her "true love" again? Although Stewart shows some talent for displaying these troubling emotions, she frequently mumbles her lines and becomes difficult to understand. However, I had no trouble with her articulation in Twilight.
Two bright spots emerge in New Moon. Dakota Fanning (Dreamer) commands the screen for the few minutes she’s on camera. Looking all grown up and mysteriously dramatic, Fanning surprised me with her turn as Jane, a powerful vampire consultant. And the closing scene left me hopeful about Pattinson returning with more camera time for Edward in the next installment. If you’ve read the the third Twilight Saga book, please don’t dash my hopes by telling me if I’m wrong, for that would put me in a deep funk too.
(Released by Summit Entertainment and rated "PG-13" for some violence and action.)
For more information about his film, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.