The Twilight Saga: New Moon (M)

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Review byMatthew Turner17/11/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 130 mins

Enjoyable sequel to last year's smash hit with a stronger plot and better performances, though it still suffers from the occasional dodgy moment and some amusingly rubbish special effects.

What's it all about?
Directed by Chris Weitz, The Twilight Saga: New Moon is the sequel to last year's smash hit Twilight, based on the series of bestselling books by Stephenie Meyer. As the film opens, Bella Swan (Kirsten Stewart) is having nightmares about growing old while her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) stays the same age, but she's devastated when he announces that he's leaving her in order to protect her, despite the fact that both Bella and the majority of the Cullens are in favour of her becoming a vampire and joining their family.

With Edward away, Bella finds herself growing closer to her best friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) but she's unaware that he has a supernatural secret of his own. Meanwhile, an equally heartbroken Edward is planning a drastic action that will bring him in front of the Volturi, a powerful group of ruling vampires, led by the charismatic Aro (Michael Sheen, switching sides from the Underworld series).

The Good
The acting has improved enormously since Twilight, particularly in the case of Taylor Lautner, who delivers a strong, likeable performance as Jacob and has genuine chemistry with Stewart. The plot is much more engaging this time round too, both emotionally and dramatically, though Pattinson's legions of screaming fans may be disappointed by his relative lack of screen time.

Pattinson and Stewart are both good and there's strong support from Ashley Greene (as Alice Cullen) and Anna Kendrick (as Bella's non-vampire friend Jessica), whilst Dakota Fanning makes a memorable impression as Jane, a sinister member of the Volturi.

The Bad
The main problem is that Bella's whiny thrill-seeking (because Edward appears to her whenever she's in danger) is both unconvincing and laughably stupid, such as when she goes for a ride with the world's nicest Hell's Angel-type. Similarly, the script goes a little overboard on the Romeo and Juliet parallels.

In addition, the CGI wolf effects are good in some scenes but terrible in others, most notably in the first appearance of the pack. It's also a shame there's no werewolf equivalent of vampire baseball.

Worth seeing?
The Twilight Saga: New Moon is an entertaining, well acted sequel that sticks closely to the events of the book and won't disappoint the fans.

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon (M)
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Content updated: 21/11/2019 02:58

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