US Rating: ** 1/2

In this smash sequel, Edward (Robert Pattinson) flees town to protect Bella (Kristen Stewart), who almost died after vampires attacked her at Twilight's end. While he's gone, Bella grows closer to werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner). That girl sure can pick 'em! Serious fans will continue to adore the semi-supernatural threesome, and Stewart, Lautner and Pattinson remain sexy and alluring. Still, the intensity of teen emotions that characterized the first film has been sacrificed here for more sophisticated special effects. Now, when Jacob goes from boy to wolf, it looks more believable, but the story is less nuanced and compelling. (Summit Entertainment, $33)