Teen monster drama, to the extreme

Vampires and werewolves aren’t enough to wake up this sleeper

The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13.
Rated 2.0

The first film in this series was simply titled Twilight. The fact that they added the word “saga” to the title of the second should be a precursor of what is to come: drama, lots of it.

New Moon opens as teens Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are starting senior year. Things are obviously good between the couple, at least until Edward inexplicably drops the bomb that he and the rest of the Cullen vampire clan are leaving Forks, Wash., never to return.

This turns Bella into a basket case and she generally remains that way throughout the film. She sits at the Cullens’ table during lunch, not eating, just moping; she stops seeing her friends; and has night terrors. This literally goes on for months on end, until Bella discovers that when she gets her adrenaline going (by doing something reckless) she sees visions of Edward. So, she goes on an adrenaline kick, which brings her to the doorstep of Jacob (Taylor Lautner), the Native American boy she met in the first film.

Much of the movie is concerned with the relationship blooming between Bella and Jacob, though she still very much holds a flame for Edward. Now, instead of vampires, she becomes immersed in the world of werewolves. Jacob makes a stunning transformation, from quiet, long-haired teen to werewolf/full-on heartthrob (he rocks his killer abs, sans shirt, for the entire second half of the movie).

Unfortunately, nothing that happens in the film—not even those abs—is enough to perk Bella up. She’s either whining about not getting to become a vampire or the fact that her vampire boyfriend left her. Of course we haven’t actually seen the end of Edward, and even he is a drama queen here.

The theater, of course, was packed with teen girls. But even putting myself in the state of mind to try to enjoy a teenage flick, it was difficult to get past certain things. For one, Bella’s sourpuss mood is just too much. Put that in conjunction with major movie clichés like showing Bella reading Romeo & Juliet at the beginning of the film, and the sheer length of the thing (more than two hours), and it’s actually almost a bore, despite some cool CGI and action scenes.