I didn’t change my New Moon review at all when I watched it a second time, I just added an extra heart. Kinda same thing here… this is the weakest of the first three (I’ve yet to watch the Breaking Dawn‘s)… practically half of it is backstory or exposition. But again it didn’t offend me as much as before a second time around – so if there is any anger in the words below, tone it down a little in your head
September 27th, 2010:
Again, I have to preface this review with the sole reason I watched it so you know where I come from and that I’m fully aware it wasn’t made for the likes of me. I saw the first Twilight because I’ll give anything a chance, it already had a huge following, and I loved Catherine Hardwicke’s previous work (not just Thirteen, but also Lords of Dogtown and The Nativity Story) and felt if anyone could make a great seriously adolescent vampire story then it was her. Needless-to-say, I was disappointed, and therefore dismayed when news came out that not only was Dakota Fanning to appear in the sequel New Moon, but also that Drew Barrymore might direct (thank heavens, only one of those rumours came true).
If you read my New Moon review, you’ll see that while it’s still to me just a huge blight on Dakota Fanning’s filmography, I did almost – just almost – begin to warm to the story, or at least comprehend why anybody would. Hearing that the third installment, now in the hands of an even more interesting director than the original’s Hardwicke (and certainly more than New Moon‘s Chris Weitz), was actually the closest to a “real film” that the series had come so far, I’ll admit I actually got my hopes up just a little here. I had issues with David Slade’s Hard Candy but it’s impossible to deny it’s a great movie, and 30 Days of Night was one of the best horror movies of recent years. They seemed like the perfect combo for Slade prior to showing the first two Twilight movies “how it’s done”. But I still came to this solely for Fanning and, this time, Jodelle Ferland. I really would not be writing about this movie if it weren’t for them lol. Damn them.
So, first disappointment: I was just a little miffed that Dakota Fanning’s appearance in New Moon was minor to say the least. But it came at the close, and hinted at a much larger role to come, therefore adding to me slightly increased anticipation of this third installment. Her appearance here is just as tiny and she appears to be, if it’s even possible, even more bored than she was there. I genuinely do not understand why she chose to be in these movies.
Then there’s Jodelle. Now, Jodelle Ferland hasn’t been as consistently brilliant as a Fanning or whatever over the years, with roles like those in The Messengers and Seed it seems she genuinely will take any work that’s sent her way, but she has made some terrifically bizarre choices in her catalogue so far. This role, like so many, really just calls for her to be a terrified young thing who barely has time to realise what’s happened to her before Fanning shuts her up for good. In other words she’s wasted even more than Fanning in a movie where “too bored to be cool for school” Kristen Stewart is the headliner. It is just wrong.
So, if you haven’t gathered, I was not impressed. The first two parts of this series didn’t upset me as much as the overpraise of them did. They were kind of inoffensive, whatever if you like it you like it and I’m not gonna object, stuff. I figured that it couldn’t possibly get worse than that, and with someone like Slade in charge and this seeming intention to “make it better”, I did just slightly believe this one might be OK. I didn’t in a million years expect it to be worse. But it is. It might be slicker (only slightly) visually, but it’s just the same meandering emo dithering that we’ve already been bored to death with in the first two instalments. It’s depressing how much passion there is for this series which is so utterly passionless. I tried thinking of it in the same terms as I have Sofia Coppola’s teenage moping movies from time to time – that is, that they’re adolescent in their portrayal of adolescence and that somehow, though annoying, that works – but that excuse just doesn’t cut it here anymore.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that these vampires seem to be made of highly flammable glass, lol. Seriously, if you genuinely love this movie, open your eyes and look around because you are in for a treat in so many other places.