by Rick Grant
This teen fantasy ekes out every last drop of vampire blood lust from every scene, making anyone over 17 and not a girl squirm in their seat. Yes, the saga of mortal, Bella Swan’s love of brooding vampire, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) heats up to hormonal critical mass.
As evidence that this movie is critic proof, when sullen vampire Edward makes his first appearance on screen, the girls scream and when Edward kisses Bella, the girls go into a frenzy of vicarious passion.
Much of the first half of the film drags with too many close-ups of Bella’s adoring looks at Edward. Allright already, she loves this creep, get on with the story. But no, director Chris Weitz intentionally teases the female viewers with his titillating build-up to the grand finale. It turns out that Kristen Stewart nails her role with deft acting subtlety, creating Bella’s convincing love sickness for Edward. Robert Pattinson, on the other hand, sleepwalks through his part. He seemed uninspired in his scenes.
Meanwhile, Bella is put in mortal danger and has to be saved by her protectors, a gang of werewolves who shape-shift from shirtless hunks into four-legged form when Bella is threatened with death by the Vampire queen. The werewolves had signed a pact with the Vampires to co-exist under certain circumstances. But when Bella is threatened, the pact was nullified.
Before her revelation that her best friend, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) is a shape-shifting werewolf, she goes through a terrible depression after Edward dumps her and disappears. But he hangs around as a visionary being to warn Bella of impending danger.
Bella can’t do anything spontaneously wild, like riding a motorcycle, without Edward’s apparition appearing before her. Of course, Edward’s continuing presence prevents Bella from moving on, which is impossible because Edward is her obsession.
As time passes, Bella learns the secret of the Quileutes and Edward’s true motivation for leaving her. Cut to Italy, where Bella meets the Vampire tribunal and puts herself is jeopardy to plead her case so that she can be with Edward and is not be a threat to the vampire secrets.
As the story unfolds, Bella confides in Edward’ sister, Alice Cullen in an ongoing narration. Alice defends Bella to the vampire group as their trusted friend. Bella just wants to be with Edward, whatever she has to do to achieve that. If it’s being turned into a vampire, then so be it. However, Edward is against Bella crossing-over into their world.
Yes, suspension of disbelief is a requirement for viewers of any age. But of course, this sophomoric story is aimed at pubescent girls who equate vampires with forbidden sex–a highly erotic fantasy for this age group.
Mature adults must not underestimate the power of teenage love to shape their young lives. It’s an all consuming influence on young women as they navigate the treacherous emotions of unrequited romance.
Although this film comes off as folly to mature adults, it rings true for the legions of teenage girls who want to experience vicarious thrills seeing Edward and Bella forever together. Will it happen? Well no. Not until the series runs its course. Twilight: Eclipse has already been filmed and scheduled for release next summer.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Movie Review
by Rick Grant