So, as something of an act of penance for having taken her to see Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen over the summer, I went to see The Twilight Saga: New Moon with my girlfriend. (In her defense, she says she wanted to see it for the fun of mocking it, but I am deeply suspect of her true motive.) I have not read the books, nor have I seen the first movie, so everything I say must be taken in that context.
First, I’d like to offer an apology to Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman. I had thought that no two people could have less chemistry on screen than they did in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, however, have achieved new heights in visible disinterest in each other. I can’t imagine any two people intoning “I love you” more apathetically than them.
Not that Stewart’s character, Bella, said much more than that. Most of her dialogue consisted of “Please,” “Don’t,” “Please don’t,” and “Don’t, please.” She was completely and utterly useless throughout the entire movie. When she was dumped, she moped for months. MONTHS! This was shown on screen in what felt like real time. Then she starts leading on a guy who obviously has a crush on her, tries to kill herself a bunch of times so that she can remember her ex, and then runs off to Italy to save his unlife. By showing up. Not by doing anything active, god forbid, just by being there.
This movie was boring. The pacing was slow, and I have no idea how the giant book it was based on still failed to provide any actual content for the movie. All of the characters are completely stupid, and involved in self-destructive, abusive relationships with equally stupid people. And nobody does anything—I haven’t seen so many characters going around and asking what they should do since The Matrix Reloaded.
Even the action was boring! What could have been an awesome fight scene (where a werewolf pack hunted down what was apparently a recurring vampire villain from the first movie) became instead some running and later, a 1-second bit of flashback.
Leaving aside the ridiculous nature of the “world” of Twilight (sparkly, nigh-indestructible vampires with no meaningful consequences to becoming undead), this was more like a bad romantic comedy than a drama—minus any romance or comedy. The way it was filmed did nothing to improve the source material either—the one scene of vampire Bella and Edward frolicking through the woods in Alice’s vision provoked laughter from everyone in attendance, whether they were buying into the rest of the material or not.
This was just not a good movie. However, at least I went in with low expectations, and so I still came out less angry than after seeing Transformers 2. It may have helped that the girlfriend bought the tickets, so I didn’t spend my own money on it. But honestly, I can barely imagine that the fans of the books could enjoy this movie, much less anyone who has to take it on its own merits. And still it did huge box office business. It’s enough to make a guy cry.