New Moon is what happens when a franchise has an over-performing first entry. The studio is thrilled, audiences want more and the scramble is on to fast track future adaptations. Chris Weitz stepped into the director’s chair, as Catherine Hardwicke moved onto other projects. The key creatives returned to help this one hit screens, but something was off. You can tell that sequel pressures were hitting this one hard due to the fact that it had 8 minutes cut rather fast before release. So, what’s the deal with New Moon?
World building is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, it invites fans into a well-defined universe that can open and expand to tell a number of stories. Other times, you’re sitting on a horse taking ages to get around the Old West. Fast-travel, Rockstar Games! It’s called fast travel! Anyways, the idea behind this Vampire Teens in Love outing is that Edward wants to protect Bella from his vampiric nature. So, they break up and we get half of a movie of sullen teens being mopey.
Bella’s dad has no idea what to do with her because Teenage Girls be Crazy, amirite? Edward decides to go on an Italian vacation to have Pope Nosferatu XVII give him the George Hamilton treatment. But, something happens this time! We get shirtless Native Americans that change into werewolves. While this might have your 16 year old cousin riding the washing machine, it does have a gross implication.
Given that Stephanie Meyer is from the Mormon faith, her people tend to have a sketchy relationship with Native Americans. Feel free to Google that on your own, but the inclination to make the only Native Americans in the film into shirtless beasts is “problematic”. Especially when they are used as palpable alternatives for Bella to fixate on after Edward leaves her for his European suicide vacation. That being said, Taylor Lautner has never been a better actor than playing a second banana to Robert Pattinson.
It’s almost like his entire performance is based on being a werewolf version of Milhouse. Anna Kendrick also returns because contracts are a bear to get out of in Hollywood. Imagine signing a multi-picture deal for these movies and then having Up in the Air come out. Yeah, you got an Oscar nomination but you get to be the designated dork friend in Teen Vampires in Love. Hindsight is 20/20, people.