Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by David Slade
Bella and Edward are at it again. Gazing longingly into each other's eyes. Sharing awkward kisses and adamantly declaring their love to all who care (and judging by tickets sales from the last two Twilight instalments, a lot of young teens and their mums care).
Yes, Twi-hards rejoice! Another six months have passed and another Twilight film has hit our cinemas with the speed only a movie producer worried about the fickle lifespan of fads could produce.
Eclipse kicks off pretty much where the last two films finished - Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Patterson) in a meadow musing over how wonderful (yet deadly) their relationship is.
Bella wants to become a vampire. Edward wants to save her soul, so he asks her if she wants to get hitched. She says no. Edward asks her again and she still says no and around and around we go for 124 minutes.
This time, however, reluctant werewolf Jacob (Lautner) sporadically breaks up the "I love you", "No, I love you" dialogue by making his feelings for Bella heard, more often than not while shirtless.
The ensuing love triangle is as heated as a film meant for teenage consumption can get, but one werewolf can't draw the attention away from Bella and Edward for long, no matter how gallantly he tries.
Unlike the other two films, there are no comic one-liners from the rest of the Cullen clan to break up the gushiness either. There's hardly any screen time for the other members of the Cullen family at all.
Instead they brood in the background waiting until they're called upon to recount how they became vampires with misty eyes and cliched flashbacks.
Not even impending doom at the hands of newly born vampires could distract Bella and Edward from their all-consuming love. Victoria (brilliantly played by Howard) is out for revenge, forcing the Cullens to bite the bullet and team up with their arch enemies, the werewolves.
But even as enraged and bloodthirsty vampires climb out of a lake, Bella and Edward continue to make goo-goo eyes at each other, leaving the rest of the supporting cast to gear up for a battle that almost makes sitting through the rest of the film worth it.
At this point, most fans probably can't see the problem. Anyone who has read Stephanie Meyer's books knows the Twilight saga is really all about Edward and Bella, with a bit of action on the sidelines to fill the pages.
It's just that Bella and Edward have lost their spark in Eclipse. Sure there's more tongue action, but the lovebirds no longer have the chemistry that made you squirm in the first film.
Without that chemistry, this film's rambling and slow-paced storyline is bared for all to see, leaving you at the closing scene, also set in a meadow, feeling extremely unsatisfied.
Not that any this matters to true Twilight fans. For them, the cast could have slept on screen for two hours and they would have declared it a roaring success.
But for everyone else, Eclipse simply isn't worth the trip to the cinema.
2.5 out of 5