A tick for Twilight New Moon
When director Chris Weitz took on The Twilight Saga : New Moon, he took on a juggernaut.
The first film in the franchise, Twilight, grossed over $380 million worldwide.
New Moon has already smashed box office records set by ‘Harry Potter and The Dark Knight.
Indie director Catherine Hardwicke steered the first in Stephenie Meyer’s ‘girl meets vampire’ series.
Weitz (Golden Compass, About a Boy) had a tough act to follow, and a special challenge in bringing Stephenie Meyer’s second book to life.
New Moon is the part of the story where ‘vampire dumps girl’ (albeit for noble reasons) so in some ways it was always going to be a bit of a downer.
For one thing, the on screen chemistry between ordinary girl Bella (Kristen Stewart) and gorgeous vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) that fueled Twilight is necessarily missing when Edward takes off for most of the movie.
The film beefs up (literally) when teenage American Indian cum werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) steps in to befriend Bella.
Lautner had made it his mission to buff himself within an inch of his life for this role.
Judging by the squeals from the packs of younger girls in the screening I went to, his efforts didn’t go unnoticed.
Bookending Bella’s friendship/ ‘will she won’t she’ romance with the teen wolf is Pattinson’s turn as her true love Edward.
With a cocktail of tragic intensity, brooding self doubt, and yes, suicidal tendencies, Pattinson once again taps into the romantic archetypes that inspired Meyer’s fantasy in the first place.
He’s a modern movie D’Arcy, Heathcliff and Romeo rolled into one.
In press conferences leading up to New Moon’s premier, Weitz made the point that females have been a neglected audience in the prevailing boys’ wham bam movie culture.
The success of the franchise shows just how huge and fervent that female audience is.
Don’t fob us off with Aniston rom com – we want impossible love and loss, sexy heroes who ache with passion and heroines willing to die for it.
There are just as many Twilight moms swelling the book and movie sales as there are teenagers.
Meyer herself was 29 when she had the dream that led her to write Twilight and her fantasy approximates that of many women.
In New Moon, the special effects with CGI wolves and vivid fight sequences with vampire royalty are good fun, the Canadian locations beautiful and the high school kids bring light relief, but really it’s all icing on the cake.
That cake is the passion fix that will ensure every one of the books and movies continue to sell out and confound more cynical critics.
Can’t wait for part 3 ‘Eclipse’!
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