US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A
Here we go again with the Twilight thing. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire beloved Edward (Robert Pattinson) are all about the chaste smooching, Eddie’s trying to convince Bella to marry him, and she’s checking off days on her planner until graduation, which is when she’s all set to let herself become a vamp. The only wrenches in all this undead revelry are that Bella’s best buddy Jacob the werewolf (Taylor Lautner) is so sick of her fickle pickle nature he’s quit speaking to her, AND there’s a pissed off and vengeance-bent vampire named Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) making an army just to come and kill her. The moral of the story is that everyone has to work together to save boring Bella, and once she’s saved, she has decisions to make.
So, I’m no Twi-hard. I like my vampires dark and broody or evil and soulless–not sparkly and in love. I don’t have a “team,” and don’t even get me started on Bella, an empty shell of a mumbler whose only attractive feature is hair that seems surprisingly healthy to spend so much time in gloomy Forks, Washington. But I get it, sort of, the crazed obsession that follows this franchise around. Ive been pretty geeked out in my time for some weird things, and I fully support the right of everyone whos Team Edward or Jacob or Dudley or whatever to wear their colors proudly. I just dont get why.
Somewhere in this series are some intriguing stories and charactersthe best bits of Eclipse detail the back stories of Cullen clan-mates like Jasper (Jackson Rathbone deserves better than this and The Last Airbender) and Rosalie (her scene with Bella in particular stands out as one of the so-far trilogys best, and only serves to deepen my disdain for Ms. Swan)but the focus is always on those dull, moony lovebats. As a character, Bella is both flat AND selfish, a strange comboI cant even blame Stewart, because shes proven in other films that she can act. Same for Pattinsonhe has talent, he just needs better material. As the third wheel on the tricycle, Lautners wolfie never stands a chance, which is glaringly obvious and renders all that team talk moot. Hes also the weakest of the trio as far as performance, and yet, still somehow the most compelling and the one we root for. Since everyone knows there are more movies to come, the suspense of live or die is gone, and though the whole protect Bella at all costs theme still seems overdone (why again do they all love her so much?), the Edward/Jacob rivalry makes for some funny moments. Fans are going to love this one, and theres even enough to keep the rest of us entertained (Dakota Fanning with red contacts is all kinds of creepy), but just know, this aint no vampire movie.
It's Got: Billy Burke, Funny vampire vs. werewolf banter, Bryce Dallas Howards hair
It Needs: More Cullens, Better enunciation, A rewritten heroine
Alternatives:Buffy the Vampire Slayer, New Moon, Twilight
Bella and Edward fans will love it, and the Team Jacob members get lots of shirtless wolf guy, but its all a little too sparkly.