Frenzied Twihard fans are so eagerly awaiting this third installment that it’s become Fandango and Movietickets.com’s top advance ticket-seller of the year. And it’s certainly better than the first two.
In the tiny Washington town of Forks, there’s a volatile love triangle. Vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and hunky, perennially bare-chested Native American werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) are both besotted by Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), who’s still pursued by vengeful vampire Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard). Smitten by Edward since she first saw him and with graduation quickly approaching, Bella seems ready to relinquish her human existence for immortality.
“Eclipse” picks up where “New Moon” left off. But Bella’s decision could ignite a conflict between vampires and werewolves, affecting not only herself but her family and friends. That raises the ominous stakes. As the villainous Volturis wait for Bella to be ‘turned, mysterious killings are ravaging nearby Seattle and an unexplained force has created a Newborn Army of ravenous vampires with unquenchable bloodlust. Could rivals Edward and Jacob possibly join forces to protect the woman they both adore?
Stephanie Meyer is the new queen of vampire lore, inheriting Anne Rice’s mantle. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg reveals more about the peripheral Cullen family, like Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and Rosalie (Nikki Reed), along with Jacob’s Quileute wolf pack, while the director, British David Slade (“30 Days of Night”), raises the testosterone level, mixing more feral action with the melodramatic teenage fantasy romance. The ferocious CG climactic battle is exciting; even the acting improves this time ‘round.
Trivia note: according to Ancestry.com, actor Robert Pattinson really has a bloodline going back to Dracula and 15th century Vlad the Impaler in Transylvania. Coming up next: “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” which will be split into two movies. And Stephanie Meyer has an unfinished novel, “Midnight Sun,” telling the sane story from Edward’s perspective, along with a new project involving other mythical creatures: mermaids.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” is an edgier, amped-up, supernatural 7. Expect a lot more bite.