The two critics on indieWIRE‘s blog network, Todd McCarthy and Leonard Maltin, both tackled the latest Stephenie Meyer adaptation, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” this week. Though they both survived the two-hour vampire tale, neither had too many nice words to say.
For McCarthy, “The only thing that makes the “Twilight” films tolerable for non-fans of the Stephanie Meyer franchise is the constant presence of Kristen Stewart, an actor who never seems to be doing much but is almost unfailingly bewitching doing it.” He notes what he sees as a misfire, “Because exposition is now mostly out of the way and the rivalry for Bella between Robert Pattinson’s courtly vampire and Taylor Lautner’s more physically imposing werewolf is equally balanced, ‘Eclipse’ arguably has the best story of the ‘Twilight’ entries. But while the action and the male conflict does lift the film’s second half, a general, modestly swooning lethargy still prevails as the dominant trait of this series.”
Maltin begins his review with a confession. “I haven’t read Stephenie Meyer’s books, but I liked the first Twilight movie, so even though I’m not a card-carrying Twi-hard I have no axe to grind where this series is concerned. That said, I thought this new installment was incredibly boring.” “At two hours, the movie feels long, yet I’m sure screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg labored mightily to whittle Stephenie Meyer’s 640-page novel down to size. I don’t know where to point an accusing finger, but something is missing from ‘Eclipse.'” In recognition of what he sees as the main impulse driving audiences to theaters for the film, Maltin notes, “Even if all one seeks from this movie is the opportunity to stare at its youthful stars, there are nits to pick. Kristen Stewart’s appearance has subtly changed, while Robert Pattinson’s makeup seems more obvious than ever.”