Howling for New Moon
A mom clutches the New Moon hardcover in front of me. Adolescent girls behind me wear black shirts with Edward Cullen emblazoned on their chests. Am I the weird one of the bunch? The vampires are back in the second installment to Twilight, but they have taken a back seat to make room for the wolves.
Directed by Chris Weitz, New Moon continues where the first film left off: High school student, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) settle into their bittersweet relationship, while the vengeful vampire, Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre) still chases after Bella for the demise of her vampire mate, James (Cam Gigandet).
During Bella’s birthday party, when the occasion should be a happy one, everything goes awry with the reminder that Edward will always put his human girlfriend in danger. And when the inevitable break-up comes, Bella deals with it in agony after Edward leaves her in the middle of the forest. She turns to her best friend, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) to take her mind off of her pain, yet her vampire ex remains in the back of her mind. The more Bella puts herself in danger, the more she realizes Edward will appear as an illusion.
Meanwhile, Jacob undergoes obvious changes himself. His transformation from a teenage boy to super wolf almost looks cult-like in Bella’s eyes. Even though Jacob shows off his strength and agility in front of Bella in the beginning, she has a difficult time figuring out his behavior change. Jacob can hint at being a wolf, but it is up to Bella to piece the information together from the past.
Just when Bella starts “healing” from her break-up, a surprise visit from Edward’s sister, Alice (Ashley Greene) pulls her back into the vampire world. To make matters worse, Jacob tells Edward over the phone that the Swan residence is in preparation for a funeral, and Edward assumes the worst has happened to Bella.
Ridden with guilt, Edward cannot live with himself and travels to Italy, where the powerful vampire clan, Volturi, resides. Edward wants to ask the Volturi to kill him, but will they? Once Bella finds out, what can she do even if she arrives on time to save Edward?
Aside from the trailer spoilers that give away most of the plot, New Moon is not for anyone looking for surprises. For fans of the Stephenie Meyer books, this movie is for them; it is not for middle-aged film reviewers or those who do not understand the melodramatic tone of the books. New Moon, surprisingly, is better than Twilight.
Despite the film running over two hours long, parts of it seem rushed. Does anyone believe that Bella, stewing in her depression, sits on a chair in front of her window for months? If this movie is supposed to develop Jacob as a worthy candidate to woo Bella in the future, it is sorely failing. Jacob and Bella seem like nothing more than friends, so here is hoping that Taylor Lautner has a stronger romantic chemistry with Kristen Stewart in Eclipse, the third movie in the series. If not, at least Robert Pattinson and his hair will appear more in the next one.
FUN FACT: RCG mag EIC, Nikki Roberti is on “Team Edward.”