EEEEEEEEE! It's time for The Twilight Saga: New Moon! Are you ready?! Before going into the theater, there are a few things you're going to have to shove to the back of your mind—your love of witty repartee, your knowledge of monster folklore, your hatred of CG animals, and your intelligence. New Moon goes deep, deep, deep into the uncharted forest of TEEN MELODRAMA, and if you can't handle it, you're welcome to join Team Get the Eff Outta Here.
As most non-cave-dwellers know by now, human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart, still looking like a pretty stroke victim) and her boyfriend, sparkly vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, still an alabaster centenarian), are in love: deeply, madly, truly, annoyingly in WUV. Sometimes you wonder why, since Bella is always mopey and whining about wanting to be a vampire, and pasty Edward displays a few traits that're pretty domestic abuser-y, and.... shut up brain!
Anyway, at Bella's 18th birthday party, the Cullens surprise her with a party—but after a fateful paper cut (I shit you not), the vampire family decides it's best to get the hell out of Dodge before Bella loses any more blood. Bella, naturally, goes into hormonal lockdown over this news, sleepwalking through her life without Edward and spending her nights screaming with night terrors.
Enter New Moon's sole purpose for existing: hubba-hubba, muscle-ripped Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who makes Edward look a pile of regurgitated baby food. Half-naked Jacob helps Bella recover from "the huge hole punched through her chest," mostly by working on motorcycles in his garage and facilitating her adrenaline junkie impulses. (Turns out whenever Bella does something stupid and dangerous, you see, she hallucinates an ectoplasm-y version of a scolding Edward. Again, I shit you not.) Besides Bella's new daredevil turn, throw into the mix the fact that Jacob and his homies are a bunch of hot, half-naked werewolves, and you'd think that New Moon would have enough action and suspense to blaze through its two-hour-plus runtime. But there's surprisingly little drama in New Moon—it's just a straight-ahead version of the novel, terrible dialogue and a rambling plot intact.
What New Moon really excels at is funny little bits of humor that break up the earnest adaptation of author Stephenie Meyer's stiff dialogue. Director Chris Weitz also reuses a few tricks from his little-seen The Golden Compass (namely huge, clashing über-beasts), and does an admirable job of acknowledging that, yes, this vampire film is silly, but goddamnit he's giving it everything he's got. Much in the way that every teenager is the world's biggest self-mythologizing drama queen, New Moon is the perfect incarnation of every teenager—over-earnest, clumsy, and occasionally amusing.