The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) (part 4 of 6)
Woken up by a tapping sound, Bella takes her sweet time getting out of bed, and finds Jacob outside her window throwing pebbles to get her attention. He wants to talk now, and without waiting for permission, he makes a spectacular series of jumps up a tree and off the outside of the house and jumps in through her window. And yes, he’s shirtless. Still, that was a pretty neat trick.
He and Bella greet each other awkwardly, and Jacob apologises. He tells her he wishes he could explain, but “literally” can’t, because it’s a secret that can’t be shared with anyone, a secret that isn’t his to share. He implies that he’s “bound” in some way, and honestly? Taylor Lautner’s acting here is much better than a lot of the performances we’ve had in this series. It’s amazing what an actor can do when he actually gives a shit.
Bella touches him sympathetically and says she hates what “they’ve” done to him. But Jacob spots the bite-scar that James left on her arm in the last movie, and informs her that she already knows his secret.
He starts to hint at it, reminding her of the first movie when they walked on the beach together and he told her the story about his tribe. For a refresher, see my previous recap. Bella remembers, or at least she remembers the part about the “cold ones”.
Jacob unhappily remarks that of course that’s the part she’d remember, and gives up. Bella tries to tell him there must be some way he can get out of whatever trouble he’s in, but he says he’s “in it for life”.
She suggests that the two of them could just leave together. Jacob is touched, asking her if she’d really do that, and yet again she’s (perhaps unwittingly) leading him on. Some people have called her continual almost-flirting with him cruel or selfish, but I don’t think Bella’s a bad person, per se. She’s just an idiot.
She tells him she would do it, for him, but he’s still upset, saying he can’t run away from it all. But he would run away with her, if he could. He’s almost in tears as he says this, and honestly, my heart goes out to him. He says he has to leave, and gives her a hug, whispering to her to “try and remember”.
With that, he makes another breathtaking leap out of the window, and lands unharmed on his feet two stories below.
Ominous Music™ starts up, and Bella has yet another nightmare. This is, what, nightmare #5 so far? Good fuck, movie, there are other ways to get a plot point across!
I sigh as she dreams she’s in the woods again, and Edward is there. She tells him she’s scared, and he kindly tells her she should be. Then Jacob is suddenly there, and she starts hearing his flashback voice from that day on the beach. Just an old story… descended from wolves… not supposed to talk about it… yadda yadda.
And then in her dream there’s a wolf, a real live one, standing over Charlie’s body. Then she sees another wolf, a giant one, watching her from the shadows and growling. And yes, this is just an analogue to the “she figures out Edward’s a vampire” bit from Twilight, albeit a slightly more, er, dreamlike one.
Bella, having finally blown this conspiracy wide open, goes back to Jacob’s house the next day and knocks on the door. His father Billy (you know, the wheelchair guy) answers. Bella asks to see Jacob, but Billy says he’s not home. Bella, for once showing a spark of intelligence, sees through this and barges past him and into Jacob’s room. Sure enough, there’s Jacob fast asleep in bed. She’s about to wake him up when she hears a wolf bark, and she looks out the window to see Jacob’s shirtless friends coming out of the woods together.
Bella leaves the house and rushes over to the Shirtless Friends, furiously demanding to know what they did to Jacob. She even shoves one of them hard, which is refreshingly assertive.
They flare up, asking what Jacob’s told her. She snaps that he said nothing, because he’s scared of them. The shirtless guys laugh at this, and Bella responds by smacking one of them in the face. You go, girl!
Unfortunately, that just pisses the guy off. He starts growling, while the other guys try to calm him down. It doesn’t work, and he transforms into a giant, angry wolf.
The wolf snarls, and shit looks about to get real, but the racket wakes Jacob up. He comes running out of the house to help Bella, and she runs toward Jacob, yelling at him to get away.
But Jacob keeps coming and makes a huge leap of his own, and in midair he turns into the red wolf seen earlier. He lands in front of Bella, ready to face off against the other wolf.
They fight, while the remaining shirtless guys look on nonchalantly. The two angry wolves end up tumbling off into the trees, apparently knocking the camera down in the process, since our viewpoint suddenly goes thudding to the ground.
Back at the edge of the trees, Sam orders his two pals to take Bella to “Emily’s place”. Seemingly unconcerned by this turn of events, they step forward to escort her away, with one of them remarking, “Guess the wolf’s out of the bag.”
They head off to Emily’s Place, while Bella VOs (argh) to Alice again, asking if it’s possible that “everything” is true, like all the fairy tales and stuff. Well, fair enough. She knows vampires are real, and now she’s found out that werewolves are also real. I’d be questioning reality, too, if I were in her place.
The two shirtless guys (we never see either of them with their shirts on, by the way) drive Bella in her truck, and pull up at Emily’s Place. Bella wants to go back and see if Jacob’s okay, but the Shirtless Guys aren’t having it. One of them even says he hopes Jacob gets good and bitten, because it would serve him right for gabbing off to a human.
The other guy, however, has his money on Jacob. The two of them rib on each other like a pair of football players in a locker room, which is a recurring feature with the werewolf pack. The Spoony One said he thought the werewolves were an analogue for gay guys, but to me they come off as a bunch of teenage boys in love with their own testosterone.
Bella passively goes into Emily’s Place. At the door, one of the shirtless guys advises her not to stare at Emily, who’s Sam’s fiancée. Apparently, it bothers Sam. Inside, we see why people might stare: Emily has some incredibly phoney scarring on one side of her face. Wow, she’s hideous.
Bella stares anyway, and Emily greets her as “the vampire girl”. Bella returns the favour by calling her “the wolf girl”. Zing! Emily then offers her a ginormous muffin, before remarking that Jacob must have found a way around Sam’s “gag order”.
Bella says Jacob didn’t tell her anything, and one of the Shirtless Guys says of course he didn’t, because part of being a werewolf is that the “alpha’s” orders are obeyed without question. Also, they can hear each other’s thoughts. But of course.
The Shirtless Guys keep up with their bantering, with one telling the other off for sharing too much information, especially given that Bella “runs with vampires”. Bella says it’s not really possible to run with vampires, ‘cause vampires are… fast. And that’s pretty much how she says it. The Shirtless Guy brags that werewolves are faster, so there!
Bella tells him that he and his shirtless compadres are “not the first monsters I’ve met”. Oops! Not a very delicate choice of words there, Bella.
Sam arrives, still shirtless, and makes out with Emily for a bit. Shortly afterwards, Jacob and the guy he fought with arrive, both human again, and for some reason Jacob’s clothes are back in one piece, making him the only shirt-wearing guy in the entire group. He and the other guy, Paul, are both laughing and pushing each other playfully, so I guess they got over their little tiff, whatever the heck it was about in the first place.
Paul, looking totally unharmed, makes a casual apology to Bella. Hmm.
Cut to that evening. Bella and Jacob walk along a rather nice little sandy creek and onto the beach. Bella opens the scene with the memorable line, “So… you’re a werewolf.” Jacob says he is indeed, and that apparently some members of his tribe have the gene for it.
He says that when a vampire arrives in the vicinity, it brings on the transformation. He seems perfectly happy with the change, but Bella asks him if he can just stop being a werewolf, because it’s bad. For some reason, Jacob takes offense at this.
The hell? Just what the world needed, lycanthropy as an analogue for homosexuality.
I’m not sure of what the intent was here, but it’s really hard not to see this as a “coming out of the closet” analogy. Especially when Bella goes on to say that “it’s not what you are, but what you do”. But eventually, it becomes clear that she’s saying all these things because she thinks the werewolves are killing people.
Jacob tells her they’re not. Instead, they’re hunting the vampires, who are the ones really doing the killing. And she needn’t worry about them attacking the Cullens, who have a treaty with the werewolves and are therefore safe. Leading me to wonder, how exactly does one family have a treaty with an entire Indian reservation?
Bella says that vampires can’t be killed, but Jacob points out that they did in fact kill Laurent without much trouble. To emphasise the point, we flash back to them doing just that.
Victoria is next on the hit list, and it seems Jacob and his pals have been going after her for some time, and they chased her all the way up to the Canadian border the other night. She keeps coming back, but they don’t know what she’s after. Bella comes clean and admits that Victoria’s after her.
Cut to Jacob taking her home, and assuring her that he and his pals have the place covered, and Victoria won’t be able to get close to her. Bella warns him to be careful, but he’s confident that he’s got it handled. More amazing dialogue follows:
Bella: You… gotta go.
Jacob: Yeah. Got a vampire to kill.
Cue [sigh] yet another montage, and yet another letter-to-Alice voiceover, where Bella outlines what’s going on. Meanwhile, Jacob is hunting Victoria, and Charlie’s hunting the wolves, and everyone has left poor old Bella on her tod yet again.
This montage, by the way, consists of Bella moping around (again), and seeing a spectral image of Edward with his car, walking toward her like he did at the beginning of the movie. But this time, he fades away. Amusingly enough, this very image was used in a recent Volvo ad campaign, sans fade-out effects. The tagline was “Own the car from New Moon!” Or something like that. Really.
Another annoying pop song plays, and Bella mopes around in her bedroom. And this movie continues to make me feel like it’s never going to go anywhere at all. Half the damn running time is spent in this room, watching Bella mope, or have nightmares, or scream like a frigging addict. Argh!
Meanwhile, in the woods, Charlie and his guys walk around looking for signs of the giant wolves. Harry the Quileute guy finds a huge paw print, but covers it up. I think he might know something.
Bella’s VO says that she’s figured out how to see Edward again. She then drives off to where the Shirtless Guys were cliff-diving earlier. I foresee more stupid stunts ahead.
Back in the forest, Victoria perches in a tree and watches Charlie pass below with his hunting rifle. She drops down behind him, and is about to make short work of him, but Harry sees her and aims his gun at her. Victoria turns and comes after him instead, and lifts him up by the shirt.
But the werewolves are on the case, and she lets go as they attack. Jacob the Wolf charges at her, but she somersaults over him and runs off with him and his friends in pursuit.
Meanwhile, Charlie sees his friend on the ground and goes to see if he’s okay, but as it turns out, he’s dead. Bye, Harry.
Victoria keeps running, to the literal strains of a stupid pop song. For some reason, we get a stylish CGI crow flying overhead in slow-mo, while we hear the cry of a Red Tailed hawk. Y’know, they usually play that particular screech over a shot of a Bald Eagle, since it sounds much more eagly than the Bald Eagle’s twittering. But this is the first time I’ve heard it dubbed over a friggin’ crow.
The song, by the way, can fuck right off. Maybe it’d be alright on its own, but it’s not right for this scene at all. Plus, the band that recorded it seems to have accidentally left out the melody.