ReviewWriter: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
In place of "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke, "New Moon" has gone to "The Golden Compass" director Chris Weitz who graciously injects more humour (intentional or not) with plenty of cringe-worthy dialogues like "you give me everything just by breathing" and scenes deliberately meant for Taylor Lautner to show off his hard-earned washboard abs, such as the awkward moment where he takes off his shirt just to dab away the blood on Bella's head. Outgrossing its predecessor with US$383 million worldwide, the film weighs heavily onto Bella Swan's (Kristen Stewart) prepubescent emotional heartbreak after being dumped by her bloodsucking boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) a day after she turned 18. Lost without her lover, Bella takes up dangerous hobbies in hopes that Edward will return to protect her. Eventually her actions bring her closer into the arms of Native American dreamboy Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who is actually a werewolf.
Lautner reportedly packed on 30 pounds of muscle, which is clearly proven on screen as well as the many gasps and squeals from the audience - mainly girls. The digital transformation sequences from boy to wolf is none too shabby and a distinct improvement over the effects in "Twilight". It may look over CGI-ish, but nonetheless, it was pretty interesting to see the transition and they've also incorporated a lot of facial expressions. Moreover, the battle between wolf and vampire is an entertaining sequence to watch. With far more scenes of Lautner, Pattinson fans will be slightly disappointed as his onscreen appearance is reduced and emerges mostly as an apparition when adrenaline junkie Bella struts out on her reckless hobbies.
With a slow paced storyline, this reviewer finds that Kristen Stewart is just as insipid as Bella as her acting technique tends to revolve around hair flicking, lip biting, eye flickering and constantly looking down. It's hard to make believe the passion between her and co-star Pattinson when her acting capabilities seem limited, whereas Pattinson does a fairly good job at looking stern and in pain. Lautner is by far the most memorable showing a good range of emotions, apart from just transforming into a wolf. Dakota Fanning dons a small role as Jane, a vampire with the power of pain that is honestly a pretty cool character to watch during the sequence at the royal Italian vampire council (known as the Volturi) in the beautiful location of Italy. If only she would have an even bigger role to play as Fanning deserves it.
Apart from that, there is way too much running involved by the three leading actors that the film can definitely see a potential shoe advertisement tie-up in future, bearing the tagline "Run with Robert Pattinson" or possibly even "Jog with Jacob Black"? It would be such a pity to let that opportunity go to waste. Overall, this sequel would have a hard time nailing the adult's interest with its terrible soppy dialogues, but would highly entice teeny boppers with the heart-melting love triangle.Cinema Online, 26 November 2009