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dir David Slade
scr Melissa Rosenberg
prd Wyck Godfrey, Greg Mooradian, Karen Rosenfelt
with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dakota Fanning, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Xavier Samuel
release US 30.Jun.10, UK 9.Jul.10
10/US Summit 2h04
Make your mind up: Lautner, Stewart and Pattinson
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Part 3 of Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster tale continues the downward spiral of moping. It's efficiently made, with a few moments of energy and levity, but everyone really needs to lighten up.
Even though they're now pledged to be together forever, Bella (Stewart) and her dreamy vampire boyfriend Edward (Pattinson) are stuck in a gloomy funk. Not only does she have lingering feelings for Edward's mortal enemy, the hard-bodied werewolf Jacob (Lautner), but vengeful vampire Victoria (Howard) is still after her. Meanwhile, an army of young-blood vampires is building in nearby Seattle, mobilised by the hot-headed Riley (Samuel). And a Vulpari delegation, led by pain-monger Jane (Fanning) is on its way to clean up the mess.
Director Slade does manage to crank up the momentum in the film's final act, but before then it's just scene after scene of painfully dull soul-searching as Bella and Edward mumble about true love while Jacob tries to convince Bella that she really loves him. The problem is that Jacob is so much more interesting that it's a no-brainer: not only is he hot-blooded, but he also has a sense of humour. And he refuses to put a shirt on over his outrageously sculpted torso.
But no, Bella yearns for diamond-skinned "old school" Edward. Maybe if Pattinson were allowed to invest a little more personality into the character we might understand why. Or if Stewart actually showed any emotion beyond sulking. Besides Jacob, the most interesting characters are Edward's lively family (including Facinelli, Reed, Greene and Lutz). And Bella's school buddy Jessica (Kendrick) is so much more engaging that we almost wish the film were about her instead.
Audiences who haven't seen the first two films will find the first hour of this one intolerably dreary, and frankly the rest of the film isn't that much better. The effects are decent but never convincing. And the lacklustre pacing, complete with several irrelevant period flashbacks, makes it tediously unfocused. But the premise is still compelling, and if you've made it to this point this chapter is an essential part of the saga. So grit your teeth and suffer through: it's not unwatchable, but it should've been so much better.
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© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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