Thursday, December 31, 2009

Review: New Moon (2009)

New Moon (2009) is the sequel to the first film, Twilight, based upon the very popular vampire-teen novel series by Stephanie Meyer. This review will reveal major spoilers about the movie’s plot. I saw this film in movie theatres in November 2009. I have finally come around to publish my thoughts.

In the beginning, Bella Swan dreams where she meets Edward Cullen, her vampire boyfriend, in the woods and perceives herself in the mirror as an old woman. Edward is immortal whereas she is human. Bella is finally 18 – officially an adult, but she has a growing distaste with growing older now that she realizes she’s technically older than Edward (he changed at age 17). Nevertheless, the Cullen family throws a birthday party for her. When she cuts her finger to unwrap a gift, Jasper Cullen becomes overwhelmed by the blood scent and attacks her. Edward realizes his family’s supernatural nature poses a threat to Bella’s life so he abruptly ends their romantic relationship. The Cullen family leaves Forks, Washington permanently, and Bella sadly does not know their new destination.

His departure leaves Bella psychologically heartbroken and suicidal for months. She would lock herself in her room in despair hoping that Edward would return someday. However, when her father, Charlie, insists that he wants her to live with her mother in Florida, she changed her behavior and resumed hanging out with her school friends. Her experiences and activities remind her of Edward who, as an apparition, warns her to stay away from danger. She seeks companionship with Jacob Black, who eases her pain and loss over Edward. When Jacob disappears for weeks and Bella searches for him, she discovers that he has joined a werewolf pack, a natural enemy of vampires. Worse, another former enemy has returned to kill Bella to avenge the murder of her mate. Jacob must hunt with the pack to patrol the area. Alone and sad, Bella continues to engage in risky behaviors to ease her sorrow.

When Bella finally discovers Edwards’ whereabouts, she races to Italy with Alice to stop Edward from committing suicide in the sunlight. In a series of miscommunication, Edwards believes Bella has died and feels he has no purpose in living anymore. Bella stops Edward just in time, but the Volturi, a powerful vampire coven, learns about Bella and believes she knows too much about their ways. She has two choices: death or become a vampire herself. Alice saves Edward and Bella with a premonition that Bella will transform in the near future. Back in Forks, Edward apologizes to Bella about his quick departure; he only left to protect her. The Cullens decide either Alice will change Bella after graduation or Edward will change her if she decides to marry him. Meanwhile, Jacob warns Edward about their treaty – the vampires and werewolves will not attack each other as long as the vampires do not bite a human.

The movie illustrated a few things: 1) growing tension between the Cullen family and werewolves, 2) Bella's fate as a vampire, and 3) preview of the Volturi. Jacob saw the most plot development as he transitions from an adolescent to a mature werewolf. Edward plays a more minor role (near the beginning and ending), so the film focuses more on the relationship between Bella and Jacob. There was not much action in this film, so it disappointed me. This was definitely made for the book fans who know what to expect (I have never read the books). I thought the film could had provided more drama and suspense. Some scenes seemed too rushed and unoriginal. Bella was too depressed and emotional for my taste. I wanted to tell her, "Don't do that because it's stupid!" However, I have to say the actress improved her acting; she played the part of a dysfunctional teenager very well. Victoria is also still on the loose, but I hope the next film will see her demise. I still recommend this film (3.5 out of 5 stars), but I think Twilight was the better movie.

Stay tuned for more updates about the third film (2010) in the Twilight Saga, Eclipse.

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