*There’s really not much reason for me to go on at length about this third (of four) installments in the review-proof Twilight series, given that the diehard fans of the franchise are second only to Harry Potter’s in terms of brand loyalty. The movie is based on the Stephenie Meyer best seller which in turn was ostensibly-inspired by Emily Bronte’s gothic novel “Wuthering Heights.”
At the point of departure, the end of senior year is fast approaching at Forks High School. But where valedictorian Jessica (Anna Kendrick) is concentrating on practicing her graduation speech, her good friend Bella (Kristen Stewart), our human heroine, basically still finds herself torn romantically between vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner).
After un-grounding his, ever-clueless Police Chief Charlie Swan (Billy Burke), gives his blessing for her to date the latter, but she instead flies to Florida with the former in order to visit her mother. The messy love triangle starts to take an emotional toll Bella on after she secretly accepts Edward’s marriage proposal while subsequently allowing her relationship with Jacob to escalate from platonic to physical.
The plot thickens when it comes to light that vindictive, Bella-hating Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) will soon be descending upon Forks from nearby Seattle with an army of newborn vampires intent on avenging the death of her boyfriend. This urgent state of affairs leads to a temporary truce and some comical sniping between Edward and Jacob as they join forces to protect the fair maiden whose hand they both seek.
“Doesn’t he own a shirt?” Edward asks Bella about his buff, shirtless competitor. “Let’s face it, I’m hotter than you,” Jacob retorts, in a remark meant to be taken both literally and figuratively. Needless to say, they bury the hatchet to fight the newborns, a bloody battle which merely serves as a distraction from the palpable pressure ratcheting-up on Bella’s to decide which guy will get her heart.
So, what’ll be Bella? A bloodsucking vampire or a rabid werewolf? That’s a tough choice when they’re both packaged in the hot bod of an adorably cute teen. Overall, a compelling enough sequel certain to enthrall the target demographic apt to agree that it’s a big improvement over Twilight 2, though not nearly as enchanting as the original.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for intense violence and some sensuality.
Running time: 124 Minutes
Studio: Summit Entertainment
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