The Twilight Saga: New Moon is finally upon us, and fans of the franchise are eagerly awaiting the next film. While the previous installment did relatively well at the box office, the film failed to live up to the Twilight’s unprecedented popularity. The film’s box office performance was significantly lower than that of the first Twilight film, with the second installment not even matching the first in terms of total US box office sales (1.3 million vs. 1.7 million). Regardless, the Twilight films remain one of the highest-grossing series of all time.

Was the film as good as its predecessors? Let’s take a look at the evidence.

The Performance

The first thing that comes to mind when considering New Moon’s performance is the film’s editing. If you compare the two films side-by-side, you will notice a significant difference in terms of the amount of time that it takes to get to the point. As a whole, the film moves at a much faster pace than its predecessor, largely due to the fact that it is told from the perspective of a character who is actually in the story rather than from an omniscient third-person point-of-view.

In stark contrast to his previous films, director Chris Weitz did not shoot the majority of New Moon on high-spec movie sets. Instead, they were filmed on small sound stages using real locations and practical effects. This allowed him to keep the film raw and intimate, and it obviously paid off as the film, with its low budget, still manages to look quite convincing. One of the locations used for filming was the London apartment building where Sherlock Holmes once lived.

Of course, the real star of the show is Taylor Lautner, who finally gets to show off what he can do as an actor outside of the world of Twilight. As the film’s protagonist, he has the chance to display a wider array of emotions and actions than in his previous outing and does not disappoint. Lautner also gets to work with some of Hollywood’s best, including Naomi Watts, Ed Norton and Michael Caine, with the supporting cast also boasting some great names (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Danny DeVito).

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the film’s villain, Christian Berkhart, who does not live up to the hype and is neither scary nor convincing as a bad guy. This being said, the good guys certainly do not suffer from an abundance of talent either, with everyone in the cast and crew working hard to make this film the best it can be.

The Chemistry

One of the reasons why New Moon seems more intimate and faster-paced than its predecessor is because it was co-written by Stephanie Meyers, who also penned the first film. Even though the second film is based on the same basic story as its predecessor, it is evident that this is now the work of a team rather than the solo efforts of one person. Despite this difference, the chemistry between the film’s leads, Taylor Lautner and Rob Pattinson, is essentially the same as before and fans will be pleased to see that their relationship has not changed at all over the years. In fact, it seems as though their partnership has only strengthened.

The chemistry between Lautner and Watts is also very good and it is clear that the actresses enjoy working together. This is also the case with Michael Caine and Norton, who seem to get on well despite their different characters. In addition, the ensemble cast pull off their respective roles with ease, with DeVito even impressing with his comedic timing. This is especially impressive since he is the only actor who has appeared in all six films.

The music in New Moon is also fantastic, with John Debney and James Newton Howard, the composers of the first two Twilight films, returning for the third installment. The music blends seamlessly with the action and is very memorable, adding a layer of polish to an already great film. Even the songs that are not in the film feel like they belong there, creating an atmosphere of epic proportions.

The Production Design

The visual effects in New Moon were created by the same company that did the effects for the first Twilight film, Industrial Light & Magic. Even though many of the films share a similar look and feel, the production designers for New Moon did a fantastic job making the world of The Twilight Saga: New Moon seem unique and individual. This is largely thanks to the fact that they were given free rein with the designs and were not bogged down by restrictions imposed by a production team or A-list stars.

One of the most notable changes is the setting, as the sequel is set in modern-day London rather than the medieval England of the previous film. However, this was not the first time that Watkin’s design team had worked on a non-medieval project. They previously designed the sets for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, so it was natural that they would apply this knowledge to a story set in modern-day London.

The production design for New Moon was also greatly enhanced by the inclusion of many practical effects, as previously mentioned. For example, the camera work for the film is very impressive, with many scenes almost feeling like they were shot on the silver screen. The use of practical effects also adds a layer of authenticity to an already great-looking film, making viewers feel that they are truly witnessing history being made.

The Acting

The acting in New Moon is incredible throughout, with all of the stars giving memorable performances. Some of the film’s funniest lines and most entertaining moments come from the work of Michael Caine, who plays a supporting role as Robert’s (Pattinson) father. The scene in which he teaches his estranged son how to box is a particular highlight, not to mention his performance as a whole. As mentioned, Caine is the only actor to appear in all six Twilight films, the previous five of which were not directed by Weitz, meaning that he gets to show off a wider range of characters than in any of the previous films. He does an excellent job at playing different characters, which is probably the reason why he has been asked to appear in more movies than any other cast member.

Similarly, Jake Gyllenhaal is outstanding as vampire-hunter, Bill, and his scenes with Nina Dobrev, who plays a supporting role as his partner, are among the best in the whole film. In fact, Dobrev is quite possibly the best thing about the film, which is a feat considering that the only other strong female character is Queen Elizabeth, played by Rebecca Ferguson. Ferguson’s Elizabeth, who is a national treasure, is mostly here to look stunning and give some wise counsel, which is what most fans really want to see.

The performances of everyone else are also quite good, although it is clear that Weitz, Meyers and Debney had a lot of fun writing and directing this film. In particular, Danny DeVito and Ed Norton, who play supporting roles in the film, should receive major kudos for their work. Both actors play the roles of mob bosses and do an amazing job embodying these two powerful and intimidating men. It is also worth mentioning that DeVito, who has a limited acting range, puts in a ton of work here and does an admirable job portraying a real-life villain. The fact that he puts in this much effort shows that he is serious about his craft and is committed to giving the role his all, which is what made him so memorable in the first place.


Considering its low budget, New Moon is quite an achievement. The film completely lives up to its predecessors and then some, with its fast pace, intimate setting and memorable performances making it stand out even among other Twilight films. The only downside is that there is not really much for kids to do other than sit through the whole thing. The film’s final act does feature some scary moments for those who are not yet 21, so it would be best to wait until you are of legal age to go see it.