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July 7, 2010

2

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

by Franz Patrick


Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The (2010)
★★ / ★★★★

I can always rely on the “Twilight” series to be consistently mediocre despite the fact that each movie released was better than its predecessor. In “Eclipse,” based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer and directed by David Slade, the love triangle between Bella (Kristen Stewart), Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) reached its peak but the vampire and werewolf camps decided to join forces in order to protect Bella from newly-born vampires led by Riley (Xavier Samuel) and Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard taking over for Rachelle Lefevre). Like the first two movies, “Eclipse” suffered from far too many ways Edward and Bella expressed how much they loved each other. I understood that the whole thing might have worked on paper or else the novels wouldn’t have been as successful but it just did not work on film because it quickly became redundant. Even when the movie tried to explore the romantic relationship between Bella and Jacob, the picture lacked energy and, to be quite honest, I started noticing the make-up, editing and the lighting. In other words, it lost my interest despite my best intentions of sticking with the story. The movie would have benefited if it had more action sequences. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy but I did enjoy the climax when the werewolves and vampires came head-to-head with the vampire army while Edward and Bella faced Riley and Victoria. Victoria was probably my favorite character since the first movie because I thought she was menacing but enchanting at the same time. Unfortunately, even though I could tell she was trying her best, Howard’s interpretation of her character did not work for me because she lacked Lefevre’s subtleties (which the series desperately lacked). In this installment, Victoria felt like a pawn instead of a rogue vampire who was full of malice and thirst for vengeance. I also enjoyed the tent scene when Edward and Jacob finally connected not because it was touching on any level but because it was very amusing to the point where people were actually laughing out loud in the theater. There was something purposely homoerotic about the very intense glares the two sent each other. Even though that scene wasn’t very effective, I admired that the material was aware enough to make fun of itself. Furthermore, I can criticize the film for not being a good example for teenagers in promoting marriage considering the characters’ ages but I won’t because it simply tried to remain loyal to its source. I can only hope that the final installment (divided in two) will have more suspense and action than romance. It needed less cheese and more bloodshed.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jul 8 2010

    I loved the opening and closing lines of your review, although I don’t necessarily agree with the closer. You did a great job of pointing out the weaknesses of this series. Even though I find the movies generally entertaining, sometimes it’s not in a completely intentional way. You are absolutely right that the scenes featuring only Bella and Edward are tiresome. I know it’s sort of the point that Edward is supposed to keep his cool at all times, but I just don’t see any passion there at all, and nothing of the menace that can be so attractive about vampires. But I guess that can be attributed to the very limited acting range of Robert Pattinson. If he hadn’t already been established as the face of this franchise, I would have replaced him in an instant.

    Unfortunately, I’m not interested in the larger vampires v. werewolves struggle at all, which leaves me with the love triangle. Like you, I enjoyed the efforts at self-mockery, which gave a lighter touch to a story that has at times taken itself way too seriously. In its best moments, it reached something resembling the mood of ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’, balancing fantasy with romantic comedy. This may be the way forward for Twilight, considering its universe will never be fascinating or threatening enough to carry the franchise on its own, at least not for me. Despite its flaws, however, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. I will be lining up to Breaking Dawn as well.

    Great review.

    Reply
    • Jul 10 2010

      If only Bella, Edward and Jacob were as interesting as Kristen, Robert and Taylor during their interviews.

      Oh, that’s what I forgot to mention: the forceful recognition of the history between werewolves and vampires. Like yourself, I wasn’t that interested in it and my cousin actually got up to take bathroom breaks during those scenes.

      May I suggest watching TRUE BLOOD? ;) I’m so glad there’s new episodes during summer.

      Reply

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