EXCELLENT ECLIPSE: NEW TWILIGHT FILM REDEEMS THE SERIES

Robert Pattinson as Edward

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE

Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner

Directed by David Slade

Written by Melissa Rosenberg

E1 Films

The fact that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse makes me want to see the next instalment, Breaking Dawn, fascinates me. It’s horrified some of my Facebook friends, who don’t believe me when I say Eclipse is a good movie.

Let me repeat that: Eclipse is a good movie.

Jacob confronts Bella and Edward

I wasn’t expecting it to be. New Moon was overlong, short on action, and featured some bad acting, mostly courtesy of Taylor Lautner. And even die-hard Twihards I know think Twilight was a disaster.

Thankfully director David Slade knows genre (he made 30 Days of Night, an excellent vampire film with some brutal kills) and is working from a strong script from Melissa Rosenberg which balances action and drama with the requisite romance. While the film has its fair-share of Edward (Pattinson) continuing to obsess over Bella (and vice versa), the plot is driven forward by two interesting developments: Victoria’s (Bryce Dallas-Howard) ongoing quest to destroy Bella (Stewart), which sees her turning Forks teen Riley (Xavier Samuel) and using him to create an army of vicious “newborn” vamps to destroy the Cullens, and Bella’s decision to let Edward turn her into a vampire, against Jacob’s (Lautner) wishes.

And Eclipse, while steadfastly clinging to author Stephenie Meyers’s Mormon belief in no sex until marriage, at least broaches Edward’s anachronistic desire to wait until he’s turned and married Bella, who wants to make love to Edward as a human. There’s also a touching scene between her and her father Charlie (Billy Burke) where the two discuss her love life which is as awkward and embarrassing as that talk should be.

Riley leads the "newborns" into battle

As to the horror elements of Eclipse, there is some well-choreographed vampire-on-werewolf and vampire-on-vampire violence which is absolutely brutal, and speaks well to the producers’ decision to hire Slade; simply put, the man knows how to make vampires look scary on screen. The CG wolves are still unrealistic but they don’t provoke laughs the way they did in New Moon. Here their actions have physical weight and their attacks have real bite.

Some things don’t work. Much of Bella’s narration is intrusive and unnecessary, and Dakota Fanning mistakes blank-facedness for menace in her portrayal of the Vulturi Jane. But much that was wrong has been fixed: the humour is intentional, Lautner has become a better actor, the action is truly exciting, and the love triangle doesn’t overwhelm the film. Yes, there were audible sighs from the teen girls whenever the story turned to Bella and Edward’s upcoming nuptials, but there was enough drama and darkness to keep me from throwing up even a little.

The Volturi

So how many days until Breaking Dawn comes out?

Rating: 4/5

3 Responses to “EXCELLENT ECLIPSE: NEW TWILIGHT FILM REDEEMS THE SERIES”

  1. Good post…i really like it

  2. I would go see this movie, in spite of the fact that I laugh scornfully about the books every time I think of them. Great review!

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