They definitely dropped the ball with this one. While the movie had a few scattered moments of well-timed humor and a fairly engaging cast, the story was weak, as was the script. I also intensely dislike when they recast roles. If you're going to recast, just give them a different character altogether. That way the audience doesn't feel like you're treating them like idiots. I didn't appreciate the dramatic shift in dynamic between Percy and Annabelle. They were clearly headed into a romantic situation in the first movie, and all of a sudden in this one they're just best buddies. In fact, none of the character dynamics in the movie were explored well at all... Overall, a disappointing sequel. But if you start to watch it, you'll probably finish it and be mildly entertained.
Well, I stand corrected. After being forced to watch this by my annoyingly Meyer-crazed friends, I have to admit I didn't hate it. Don't get me wrong, at times the dialogue was so laughably cheesy I thought for sure the movie was meant as a satire. The love triangle was shaky at best, since neither relationship is explored properly. The cast had some weak links, and the screenplay in general could have used some major editing. Nonetheless, Ronan gave a compelling performance both as Wanda and as Melanie, and there is something endearing about the concept in general. If you go in not expecting anything, you might just not experience crushing disappointment.
Critics are being overly harsh on this movie. I thought it was well accomplished. I've never read the books but had no trouble following the storyline, so they did not target the movie solely to readers of the series. The acting was fairly good, considering it's a teenage romance fantasy flick, and the special effects were impressive at times. I liked the photography work, and the story itself seems fairly intriguing.
This was a valiant effort to revamp an old classic that, in my opinion, failed. While the acting and the special effects were both pretty great, they made some pretty significant changes to the original story that changed it from something interesting and unexpected to a typical sci-fi flick. If you've seen the original you will likely be disappointed, but it's still worth a watch.