Twi-hard fans can rest easy – this third instalment in The Twilight Saga series has managed to get the balance between doe-eyed romance and supernatural thrills just right. The mixture of fangs, fantasy and flirtation works perfectly and the film has box-office dynamite written all over it.
And now England have been knocked out of the World Cup there is no excuse for the guys not to join the gals, especially as the action quota has been upped to sit nicely alongside the moody vampire romance.
Yet the melodramatic romance between Bella, played by Stewart as the perfect embodiment of a tormented teen, and vampire Edward – the ridiculously handsome Pattinson – is still the beating heart of the film.
But this time round there is also plenty of action as flame-haired vampire Victoria (played this time by Bryce Dallas Howard) is out for revenge on the Cullens and Bella with the help of a new army of the handsome undead.
Both Edward and Jacob (Taylor Lautner, who still takes his shirt off at any opportunity, are on hand to
protect Bella which leads eventually to an action-packed climax between good(ish) vamps and werewolves and the newbie vampires.
Director David Slade, who has previous undead experience, having directed the far bloodier vampire flick 30 Days of Night, carefully and astutely blends back-story, action, angst and love scenes, delivering a film that is less gloomy than its predecessors and far more thrilling.
But as always it is the splendid performances by Stewart and Pattinson that drive the film. And the good news for this money-spinning franchise is that it still leaves you wanting more.