While vampires tend to live on forever, maybe the same should not be true for vampire sequels. What was inaugurated as a densely erotic, even if twisted take on underage stifled lust and rebel teen screen romance with the first Twilight venture, by New Moon started to become fairly old hat. And has now in its third incarnation Eclipse, entered into sudsy when not adolescent creature temper tantrum, enough already territory.
Seeming less spine tingling horror fare and more like spoiled rich kids elaborately decked out for wilding in the woods on Halloween, Eclipse mixes in some new and old adversaries to turn the heat up on the action. But at the center of it all for some unfathomable reason, is still the same old stale trophy teen Bella and her whining codependency issues, while playing off rival vampire and werewolf boy toy objects of postponed desire. Not that there aren’t plenty of hints dropped here and there about more R rated leanings in this girl preteen magnet perpetual teaser. In other words, the reigning appetite is more a hunger focusing on skin than blood.
Eclipse finds Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan facing life-altering decisions. No, its not about curriculum or career choices, but whether she should settle down like forever with infatuated doe-eyed Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a wimpy vampire who still does homework. Or go for the male wolf that’s been making moves on her, that wild pig-snout guy in the woods Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) with those scary when not sexy animal instincts.
But intermittently running interference on Bella’s extra-curricular obsessions with her personal love life, are stand-ins for those schoolyard bullies known as the Newborns. Led by Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), the thirsty death squad is a kind of unstoppable mutant vampire posse taking over supernatural Seattle to the burbs and beyond, and they’re after Bella too. Which leads Cullen and Black to put aside their competing libidos for the time being, to confront the trespassing menace.
Director David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) does his master of multiple CG disguise best to pour new life into an already overly rehashed story that, like the characters who want to have their abstinent taste of immortality and drink it too, inevitably resists wrapping things up. And while struggling for sustained suspense towards the ferocious ready to rumble, but predictable finish line.
2 [out of 4] stars