The second film in the Twilight series, appropriately enough titled The Twilight Saga: New Moon, came out over Thanksgiving. For those of you for whom this is news, allow me to welcome you to back from the rock you’ve been under.
Before getting too deep into this, I’m going to say that I have not read the books, nor do I have any intention of ever reading them.
I addressed the primary issue I have with the Twilight mythos in my article about vampire movies. I find that the kinds of vampires present in Twilight seem too awesome for their own good: beautiful pallid immortal superhuman creatures that glitter in the sunlight and blessed with a collection of powers and a weakness to being ripped apart and set on fire (a weakness which most of us non-immortal non-superhumans have as well.) It sort of ends of playing out like somebody’s game of Vampire: The Masquerade gone horribly awry.
I would try to avoid putting spoilers here, but, really, I doubt I could even if I tried. The story, excised of it’s supernatural elements, is all very much a staple of melodrama: Edward and his love Bella are torn apart, there is some romantic tension between Bella and her friend Jacob (played by Taylor “Sharkboy” Lautner,) circumstances and misunderstandings lead to a potential catastrophe that has to be solved by Edward and Bella reuniting, and then Bella then has to choose between Edward and Jacob. Adding in some scenes with werewolves, vampires, and many shots of shirtless men, this takes about two hours to unfold.
The movie was professionally made, and not lacking in technical execution, although I think Twilight was made better, at the very least it captured the kind of fervent young obsessive attractions that make up most high school romances. Sure, there’s a lot of topless male parading going on is this movie (especially from “Sharkboy”) but it didn’t seem to capture the same kind of madness Twilight did. As someone who hasn’t read the books, I’m still curious just exactly what is coming from this series: I feel as though I’ve watched two movies that seem to be setting up for something later on, and in the interim I find it very hard to actually care about any of the characters or wait long enough for this set-up to pay off into something.
I would probably wait to rent this movie, although I imagine the target demographic wouldn’t mind the chiseled male forms projected to the size they are on a big screen. I don’t think you actually need to see the first movie to make sense of this one (it does make reference to events from the first, naturally, but nothing so complex that you couldn't figure it out without having seen it.)
I’ll be giving the film a proper review in a week on 11 Word Movie Reviews.