Twilight wouldn't be Twilight without its soppy, confused love triangle and, indeed, this is where that pretty much properly began.
In this second installment of the Saga, Bella is afraid of growing old while Edward remains the same and Edward is worried he won't be able to protect Bella for much longer. Turning Bella into a vampire would make too much sense so instead the couple break-up and Bella goes into depression before bonding with a bulked-up Jacob (Taylor Lautner, Sharkboy). Edward spends most of his time off-screen or as some kind of smoke-ghost Bella can only see when she goes and does something dangerous and intense-TO-THE-MAX like riding motorcycles and jumping off cliffs. And... riding motorcycles. Yes, when Bella realizes she can catch a glimpse of her vamp ex whenever she is being absurdly stupid she proceeds to do that.
New Moon is often quoted as being the best of bunch purely because we're introduced to those darn werewolves and therefore the path is finally laid out for even more goofy shenanigans. As a film, it's pretty morose. We spend most of our time with the increasingly alienatingly dislikable Bella who really doesn't take this break-up very well at all and instead of being mature about the whole thing is exposed as being a bit of a selfish, immature brat as she not only forces Edward to basically kill her but also pisses off the Volturi (super old, super camp ham vamps) and treats her friends and her father (good old Billy Burke) like garbage. Incidentally, Jacob is revealed to be the best dude around and finally we're given a character we can actually sort of... like. Thusfar we've been stuck with Edward, a guy with little to no personality, no goals or aspirations, no sense of humour, a guy who mumbles everything he says, so Jacob is a welcome addition to the soporific duo. Oh sure the latter's hair is no match for Edward's Brylcreem-ian masterpiece but at least he opens his mouth when he talks!
The film is very slow-paced barring a couple of action sequences (I'm being generous) but even those are shot in slo-mo. The third act, however, feels pretty rushed as Edward learns that Bella might be dead and instead of checking it out, making sure, he instead decides to show himself to the world in order for the Volturi to rip his head off. As if a sparkling man would translate directly in people's minds as "vampire". Why not just fight the Volturi right there and then, lose and call it a day? The more you think about it, the more New Moon falls apart plot-wise. But whereas the first Twilight could have almost passed for an indie movie, this sequel actually feels more like the beginning of something bigger. There's not much more at stake but with the whole werewolf/vampire treaty not to mention the threat of the Volturi, you're starting to feel like the Saga might actually be building up to something more substantial than a love triangle.
Of course, it DOESN'T, but that'll be for another review...
Overall, New Moon isn't bad in Twilight standards: Jacob is likeable, some of the special effects are ok and parts of it are melodramatically acceptable. That said, there aren't too many lols and the whole thing is much too long. Actually, you could have easily merged parts of this one into Eclipse since the whole Victoria subplot is mentioned but abandoned in New Moon then finally tackled at the end of Eclipse, an otherwise derelict flick. The Twilight Saga should have realistically only been a trilogy but hey, money's money.
A clunky script and abnormal pacing aside, New Moon is watchable, which is more than I can say for what comes next...