One of the most anticipated films of the year finally arrives… and it turns out to be surprisingly enjoyable in an EMO sort of way.
Regardless of what we say, Twilight: New Moon will be one of the biggest films of the year. It may be aimed squarely at a certain demographic but the fan base has proven to be loyal and more importantly willing to invest in their literary hero’s big screen outings.
Bella Swan (Stewart) is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen (Pattinson), but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with Jacob Black (Lautner). Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested.
As Edward quickly disappears from the scene, Bella spends much of the first half of the film sullenly trying to forget about him. Kristen Stewart captures the raging hormones and emotions of a teenage girl and manages to make this seemingly tedious process very watchable. This is aided by the welcome addition of Taylor Lautner’s Jacob who now no longer is a minor character watching on passively.
The trailer tells you about the big surprise Jacob is hiding, but to be honest it’s still very well done. Of course most fans will have already read in great detail about all the twists and turns (probably more than once) and it will be these people who will be hardest to please. Prior to seeing the film i had been warned by them that this was the slowest of all the books and featured only two big set-pieces. Whilst this is true, the film still moves along at an acceptable pace and it’s steadfast commitment to keeping Edward out of the picture whilst Jacob and Bella develop their friendship has to be applauded. It would have been very tempting to give the film’s biggest star more screen time purely to please his fans but director Weitz handles this dilemma well and in essence creates a new superstar.
Some of the new names added to the franchise are given little to do in this film however the likes of Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning are sure to feature heavily in future installments and the film once again makes no bones about being part of an ongoing series leaving questions unanswered and issues unresolved. On a positive note you can’t really claim to be left waiting too long as the next Twilight is out in the summer of 2010 leaving a wait comparable to the time in between series of your favoutite TV show… I’m sure we’ll cope.
It’s not quite in the guilty pleasure category as I neither felt too guilty about liking the film nor entirely pleasured (ahem) by it… but it is still a highly polished and well made film which so far has ticked more boxes than Harry Potter. The influx of Vampire films and TV shows might well be down to a number of factors, but Twilight is surely one of the most significant. Again it seems to trump other likely contenders with Vampire’s Assistant and True Blood failing to impress after much hype.
There is no point in trying to make these genre defined exercises too clever or revisionist. Twilight has picked itself a familiar story and it’s not the vampires and virgins one you might expect. Bella and Edward play out a tragic love story (we are given heavy hints early into this film that a Shakespearean tragedy might be on the cards) and their angst ridden turmoil will still seem familiar to almost everyone watching.
Whether you’re already queuing in the rain to see this or happy to catch it at a later time the chances are you won’t regret watching it… even if you won’t admit it in public.