New Moon is currently basking in a pile of critical distaste. It’s currently a sad and deflated 30% on Rotten Tomatoes and has 70% of listed critics giving it stink eye. Not that critical ire matters in terms of films like these. New Moon will make its money and add further fuel to the “critics are out of touch” fire– just like Twilight’s spiritual cinematic brothers G.I. Joe and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen did this summer. Critical loathing won’t make a bit of difference.
And really, critical loathing is fine– it’s a collective strength of disparate film criticism. But I’m beginning to wonder if the critical hate for New Moon is legitimately aimed at the film or, as stated in my review, if it’s based on fighting to maintain disgruntled predisposition, groupthink “street cred” and the abhorrence of associating with an estrogen-fueled pop phenomenon. A dissenting review is legitimate, but the smarmy strain at repugnance I’m seeing in so many New Moon reviews seems at least partially inspired by a personal beef with the phenomenon more than the film itself.
When legitimate and thoughtful critics like “Mr. Beaks” from AICN concoct racism and fault “queasily chaste narrative”, I wonder where they’re coming from. It’s one thing to dislike the movie for its technical merits, thin narrative or theme– it’s another to inject criticism for lack of sexuality and racism when it’s all based on concoction. Amorous tension has never been the exclusive domain of gettin’ it on. Twilight doesn’t need a horny infusion of crotch rubbing sexuality punctuated by violent necro-sex and bloodgasm. It’s not that kind of story. If that’s your bag, your fix is waiting on HBO’s True Blood.
And the accusations of racism? Really?
The accusation feels more like projection (or conjuring). Why go there? Why insist Jacob is the “exploited Indian” who’s “the cure for the white girl blues” instead of a dude who simply knows how to repair motorcycles and is called upon by a friend? And maybe the “black vampire” becomes Alpo not because he’s “black and might harm the white girl”, but because he’s a villain. Why inject invented racial stereotypes by insisting they’re present?
Because it’s nitpicking to further justify a predispositional stance, and it’s dumb and dishonest. The amount of Twilight loathing that’s critically peaked over the last 24 hours shows a ridiculous converse that rivals the similarly ridiculous blind love shown by the most rabid Twihards.