In New Moon, the Edward and Bella opus of love, the cast is led by a new director, Christ Weitz. The About a Boy helmer, many felt, was an interesting choice to move the Twilight franchise into a New Moon.
Weitz effectively showcases the heart of the Meyer Twilight series: love, longing and loss. Whether fan of the four-book series, the first film or new to the entire New Moon madness, The Twilight Saga: New Moon delivers.
Sure it keeps faithful to the Meyer's literary saga, but what is so successful about the cinematic representation of New Moon is how the theme of love permeates. When Bella discovers that the only way she can be around Edward is to push herself beyond comfortable limits. It is exactly at that point that she sees Jacob in a new light.
Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart possess an effortless chemistry. The Twilight nation may find its majority is Team Edward (Robert Pattinson), yet the argument has to be made that during New Moon, Jacob's charisma is ever-pertinent.
In fact, as Bella permanently finds her way to Edward as the Twilight series progresses, it is her New Moon Jacob experience that truly solidifies her and Edward's soul mate status.
Edward (Pattinson) feels that his presence in Bella (Stewart), his love's life is jeopardizing her safety. In a famous and incredibly emotional scene, as played by Stewart and Pattinson on screen in New Moon, their separation is heartbreaking.
Although Edward's presence is ethereal, Bella's conflicted emotions are aided by the evolution of her old friend, Jacob. Taylor Lautner may have famously put on 30 pounds of muscle to keep his job as Jacob, but it is Lautner's lightning fast grasp of the heart of Jacob's character that really makes New Moon tick.
As the Lord of the Rings effectively captured and The Matrix failed to understand, the second chapter of the modern movie trilogy needs to accomplish three facets in order to be successful. (Yes, we know Twilight is a four-book series, but the elements that make a sequel work remain the same regardless of how long the saga runs!)
First, it must create conflict and leave the audience beside themselves with anticipation for the next chapter. Does New Moon achieve that facet? On so many levels Weitz's New Moon is that movie with the action finish leaving audiences maddeningly craving more movie.
Second, the sequel in a series has to advance the central love story amidst the conflict. As Bella and Jacob relationship changes, the passion for Edward that Bella possesses is crystal clear in New Moon.
Third, New Moon is the successful sequel in its devotion to its core. Whether it's the novels that spawned the film series, rewarding the passionate fan base, standing alone as a fabulous film or serving as a piece of work that screams a sequel of its own, New Moon is magnificent.
Out of five stars:
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