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WARNING: The opinions printed below do not necessarily reflect those of the EW staff — or anyone else on Planet Earth. Instead, this piece of work comes courtesy of a professional Twilight hater. So prepare yourselves, spider monkeys.
You can see why the folks at Summit Entertainment recruited David Slade to oversee this third movie in the stupefyingly successful vampires-and-werewolves-and-Kristen-Stewart-looking-like-someone-just-shot-her-kitten-in-the-face franchise. The director has crafted a genuinely frightening movie from a beloved work of vampire fiction that makes the most of its snowy northern setting. Unfortunately, the film he did all that crafting on was 2007’s “>30 Days of Night. “>The Twilight Saga: Eclipse stinks worse than Taylor Lautner’s werewolf Jacob apparently does. (Note to Taylor Lautner: It’s probably best from now on to avoid films that make a plot point out of your character’s b.o.). And the fact that those of the lycanthropic persuasion have a stench problem is pretty much the only thing I learned from this interminable snoozefest. Needless to say, I don’t speak for EW — you can read Owen Gleiberman’s B+ review here — but speak I must. (And you can read my previous Twilight hater’s guides here and here.)
Those who saw last year’s New Moon and weren’t lucky enough to slip into a coma before the end, may recall that the film’s third act featured both Robert Pattinson’s bloodsucker Edward Cullen asking Stewart’s Bella to marry him and the introduction of Michael Sheen’s vampire head honcho. Thus, the movie strongly suggested that its successor would feature (a) some sort of the resolution to the Edward-Bella-Jacob love triangle, and (b) someone who can actually act. But Sheen must have found a preferable way of spending his time — getting a barb wire enema, perhaps — and by the end of Eclipse, I was none the wiser as to who is ultimately going to wind up with who. Actually, that’s not quite true. A lengthy, Brokeback Mountain-evoking, scene in which Pattinson and Lautner make nice in a tent while Stewart sleeps does rather confirm my suspicion that Edward and Jacob will ultimately get married and run a little B&B in Vermont. (I’m not going to suggest what I think happens to Bella. But I will say the B&B has a very well-fertilized rose garden.)
The baddies in Eclipse are a bunch of young, and rather shabby-looking, Seattle vampires. Basically it’s like grunge all over again, except this lot wants to impress people with their ability to kill rather than with their ability to play music that alternates between quiet verses and VERY VERY LOUD CHORUSES! To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why they decide to wreak such havoc, though it may be connected to the fact that Edward and the rest of his clan dress just like Muse. Anyhoo, to defeat these bloodsuckers, the “good” vampires and the werewolves make an uneasy truce, which also involves Lautner having to communicate via growls as if he’s in an old Lassie movie. (“What’s that, boy? You’re thinking of maybe taking your shirt off again when you return to human form, but only if it’s absolutely integral to the plot? Sounds like a plan! Now, please stop humping my leg…”)
To be fair, director Slade does give proceedings a certain amount of zip while both Lautner and Pattinson seem to be having at least a degree of fun. (Not Stewart, though. That girl could win a Willy Wonka golden ticket and I bet she’d still look like she was picking cat brains out of her hair) So, yes, Eclipse is the best Twilight movie so far. But it may also be the third worst vampire movie of all-time.