By Sunny Tse
It is crystal clear The Twilight Saga: New Moon has been created with the loyal fans of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling series in mind. It includes all the key events in the book, with little change in the plot and its twists. If you have read the second instalment of the four-part Twilight series, you'd love this movie.
Director Chris Weitz dedicates a fair amount of airtime to soppy dialogue and romantic scenes - those are what young readers love about the books but the melodramatic scenes can be a drag and drive away the ordinary filmgoer.
While Robert Pattinson is still unconvincing as Edward and Kristen Stewart's Bella wears a perpetually sullen expression (possibly because she is heartbroken after being dumped by her boyfriend), the young couple definitely look more comfortable together in the sequel. There's also a pleasant surprise in the form of Taylor Lautner, who plays Bella's best friend, Jacob. His acting is so natural and convincing, you may be rooting for the charming werewolf before long.
The story-telling depends heavily on dialogue but there's only a phrase or two to explain events that are worth a chapter. The plot holes are even more obvious as the film moves towards the save-Edward-from-Vulturi climax. Things become so rushed and abrupt that you may not be able to follow the story unless you have read the book.
Just like its precedent, New Moon has a strong supporting cast that steals the show. Michael Sheen shines as the intriguing and terrifying head of the vampire royalty Vulturi, while Dakota Fanning makes a brief but chilling appearance as the ruthless torturer Jane. The newly introduced wolf-pack is also well-cast.
The other plus factors are the intense, breathtaking fight scenes and the impressive CGI in the werewolf transformation.
Overall, the movie deserves an encouraging 'pass' simply because it has achieved its goal of making Twilight fans happy. Hopefully, the young cast's potential will be unleashed in the third attempt and finally do justice to Meyer's books.