The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third movie adaptation of the wildly popular Twilight book series, has been breaking weekend box office records and fluttering the hearts of countless teens and Summit Entertainment executives.
Directed by David Slade, this installment moves the film’s central triangular romance forward. The triangle is between ‘normal’ teen Bella Swan, her childhood friend Jacob, who was recently revealed to be a werewolf, and her high school main squeeze, Edward, part of a local family of vampires.
Bella continues to yearn to join Edward in his eternal life, so as to be in love forever. Jacob looks for every opportunity to dissuade her from becoming a vampire, including in this plotline, forcing a kiss upon her! In addition, the vengeful vampire Victoria returns, played this time by the lovely Bryce Dallas Howard (Lady in the Water) – yes, Opie’s daughter ! Victoria is looking to kill Bella to avenge her own lover’s death at the hands of Edward (which took place in the last film, Twilight: New Moon). Howard is a fine actor– it would have been more fortunate for the film if the writers and director used that talent towards just a few more lines of dialogue in this film, as Howard can act, as well as fly thru trees. But she was a bright spot in an otherwise ‘middle’ and middling film whose main purpose is to move everyone towards the final drama of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, which, like the Harry Potter finale, will be split into two (lucrative) films.
For those movie goers who have already read the books, and this reviewer is one of them, this film seems short – a bit of romance, one big battle and then the portents of what we know are to come. For anyone who comes into this series with this movie as their first viewing, the plot will seem confusing and yet slim at the same time. So it is highly recommended that you rent the other two films, or read the books before jumping into this film; you will certainly enjoy the nuisances of the plot, as well as understand the inside jokes much better.
(Our favorite inside joke piece of dialogue: Jacob to Edward when he must lie beside Bella to save her life during a snowstorm: ‘After all, I am much hotter than you.” Yes werewolves are warm-blooded and vampires are dead cold, but they are, of course, really referring to the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob PR campaigns….)
Kristen Stewart (Bella), Robert Pattison (Edward) and Taylor Lautner (Jacob) are more comfortable with their roles this third time around – and you can see the roles and actors maturing in front of you. Plus the makeup is dramatically better in this film. The vampires look really good; more sparkly than pale, and the werewolves are less sweaty, more sculpted. So the series has truly evolved. The audience, however, is still gasping over small emotions but perhaps that is the appeal of the series itself. It plays out teenage drama on a large scale – for after all, it is dramatic to die for love, even if you don’t really die, but live ‘forever.’ And who wouldn’t want vampires and werewolves fighting over you?
Three out of five stars. Best for fans of this popular series. Rated PG-13 for scenes of intense violence – the good news? Vampires don’t bleed when they are killed. The bad news: you have to sever their heads to kill them. So perhaps not a good film for very young girls, some of whom were sobbing in the theatre during the one big battle scene. Safe for most 12 year olds. The PG-13 rating also covers ‘some sexuality’ but what was there was extremely tame. Lots of intense gazes as well as some serious kissing and of course begging (on Bella’s part) for you-know, going all the way. Especialy likeable was the scene where she tells her father she is still a virgin. When was the last time any of us heard that word uncoupled from Madonna?
This film is playing locally in the Bridgeport area at the Showcase Cinemas in Bridgeport, the Fairfield Cinemas at Bullard Square, and at the Bowtie Cinemas in Trumbull.
Other recent film reviews you may enjoy:
Iron Man 2
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Out on DVD:
The Blind Side
Up in the Air
The Hurt Locker