ROMANTIC FANTASY; 2hr 4min
STARRING: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
When you’re sort-of smiling: Stewart and Pattinson
Separating the film from the ballyhooed franchise could have been a problem for Eclipse, the third book and movie in author Stephenie Meyer’s va-va-vamp series. Well, no worries there. Director David Slade’s visual razzmatazz rocks along on a charge of Edward (Pattinson), Bella (Stewart) and Jacob (Lautner) heat, boosted by action and effects. It’s basically grown into itself — the characters are so familiar in their yearning and turmoil that a revisit to the chilly forests of Forks, Washington state, is like catching up with impossibly pretty friends.
Of course, werewolf Jacob Black is still smitten with Bella Swan, who loves him back but is eternally bound to broody-britches Edward Cullen and set on going the vampire road after her high-school graduation. If she lives that long! The vengeful Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) returns with a ravenous army of newborn bloodsuckers, and Bella is their target. Wolves and Cullens must shelve their differences to protect her and lay waste to some newborn hide.
Who said country life was dull? This dishy intrigue sure isn’t. And from time to time it even lightens up in a deft reprieve from the angst.