The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart
Direction: David Slade
Close on the heels of New Moon — the follow-up to the 2008 sleeper hit Twilight — comes the third film installment based on the teen-titillating novels by Stephenie Meyer. It may be more action-packed than the earlier editions, but otherwise Eclipse remains true to the mushy tone of the source material. Obviously aimed at an adolescent female fan base, the plot once again revolves around the melancholic undergraduate, Bella (Stewart).
This time around, the wan heroine is caught in a love triangle with her chaste vampire paramour (Pattinson) and the hunky Native American lycanthrope (Taylor Lautner). While both the suitors are insanely in love with her, Bella blows hot and cold unable to make up her mind which one of them to marry. To add to the dilemma, her life is threatened by a coven of newborn bloodsuckers. It's now up to the rival vampire and werewolf factions to forge an uneasy alliance in order to combat the common enemy.
The soap-opera storyline is pap and dialogue is tedious when it's not unintentionally funny. Given that he directed the fanged-creature feature, 30 Days of Night (2007), incoming director Slade (following Catherine Hardwicke and Chris Weitz) seemed a smart choice for the material. Lucklessly, besides the technical sheen, his treatment is mundane leaving us no reason to care for the mopey characters.
The fourth and final volume of the series, Breaking Dawn, is reportedly being filmed in two parts. Meanwhile, Twi-hard fans will doubtless go into a swoon over Eclipse. Others, however, might find that the film's two-hour running time feels like an eternity.