Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DEATH OF Vampires

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DEATH OF Vampires

Article excerpt

Byline: weary David Sexton

ITHINK I need a break from vampires," Stephenie Meyer confesses on her website. And so do we all. Vampires have become little more than a common or garden pest over the past few years.

Still, we're on for one last hurrah for the vampires before they vanish for ever: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn T Part 2 has its West End premiere tonight and opens across the country on Friday. It's one great big farewell parade.

In Breaking Dawn Part 1, Edward, the caring veggie vampire, and Bella, the warm-blood babe, got married and then on honeymoon finally shagged, smashing up the furniture in their enthusiasm but forgetting to use any form of contraception.

Bella immediately became pregnant with a voracious, superhumanly fast-developing baby. She only survived giving birth to it by finally becoming a vampire herself.

In Part 2 she discovers what fun it can be. Now she's special too! The Cullen vampire family adore her and, as a "newborn", she's the strongest of them all. She can zip through the forest and bound up cliffs, while appreciating nature as never before. The baby, unbelievably cute, can communicate her thoughts just by stroking a cheek, and no gruelling childcare is needed because she grows up almost instantly.

Jacob, the doting werewolf Bella keeps as a spare, has "imprinted" on the baby, so he's still around in both incarnations, being an absolute brick, getting his shirt off on cue. And the Cullens have given Bella and Edward the keys to a dreamy little woodland cottage, mini-break heaven, complete with a crackling log fire, grandfather clock, botanical prints, a Sheraton sidechair and a double bed.

"Vampires don't sleep," observes Bella. "It's not meant for sleep," says Edward meaningfully. And, slightly wastefully ripping off her dress, they set to it, quite safely this time, both from the contraceptive point of view (female vampires don't menstruate, perish the thought) and as equal partners in superhuman speed, strength and endurance at last, so Edward no longer has to worry about breaking her apart accidentally.

We don't see much but can guess how splendidly it's gone. "You really were holding back before!" Bella compliments him afterwards. Then a thought strikes her. "We don't get tired, we don't have to rest or catch our breath -- how are we ever going to stop?" Perhaps they're not, Edward suggests, mentioning another vampire couple who went at it so hard it was "a solid decade" before you could safely get within five miles of them. Cor! Or: dream on.

This blissful prospect is interrupted by the threat of an attack by the ancient Volturi coven (led by Michael Sheen, just like Tony Blair but worse) enraged that the Cullens seem to have created an infant vampire -- strictly forbidden since mini-vampires can't keep a secret and are prone to tantrums. To counter the T Volturi menace, the Cullens gather up sympathetic vampires from all round the world in a perfect model of preternatural multiculturalism that even includes a pair of particularly helpful and colourfully dressed Neanderthal lady vampires, as well as more trad types from Transylvania.

An almighty battle ensues, an outrageous stroke of having your cake and eating it too from the film's creators, it turns out.

Then all's well again, with Edward and Bella canoodling in a flowery mead and revisiting their own gloriously romantic history in a sort of showreel, like the ones you get when you're evicted from the Big Brother House. "Nobody's ever loved anybody as much as I love you," whispers Bella. …

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