The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

twilight-eclipse-posterLove it or hate it, the Twilight beast rampages on, as book number 3 gets the movie treatment mere months after the release of predecessor New Moon.

In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, emo-vampires and weightlifting-werewolves are forced to form an uneasy alliance after nutty vampire Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) breeds an army of ‘newborns’. Vampires are at their most aggressive and lethal just after they ‘turn’, and Victoria plans to unleash this army on the sleepy town of Forks, with the ultimate goal of killing the frighteningly miserable Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).

Victoria is miffed at sensitive gentleman vamp Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) because he killed her partner back in Twilight, and she believes the best way to exercise revenge would be to kill his beloved Bella. Meanwhile, stroppy werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), aggravated by Bella’s preferred choice of lover, continues to insist that he is the right man-type-creature thing for her. Bella, to Jacob’s dismay, would much rather be a vampire with Edward, which happens to be part of an agreement made with super-vampires The Volturi, during the last instalment.

With the newborn army, and the aggrieved Victoria, on the warpath and heading straight for Bella’s neck, the awkward alliance of werewolves and vampires trains together for about 30 seconds, as they attempt to sharpen their tools enough to defeat the army before Bella is turned into soup.

Eclipse retreads so much of New Moon, and considering that New Moon was shockingly awful, this has not gone well. Eclipse may be following its source material, but that doesn’t mean that the exhaustive exploration of the love triangle translates well to the screen. The dialogue between Jacob, Edward and Bella is at times excruciating and wouldn’t be lost in a daytime soap opera.

Eclipse was marketed as the action-packed instalment that would be more accessible to those who have not been blown away by the surprisingly popular notion of emo-vampires. Considering that these films are about vampires and werewolves, the first two instalments haven’t seen a lot of action from either party, with the movies focusing mainly on Bella mulling over her oh-so-difficult life, whilst two men vie for her affections. In Eclipse we see more of Jacob trying to win her over, more of Edward being very dull and apparently uninterested in premarital sex with the gorgeous Kristen Stewart, more trees and fields, more shockingly bad CGI werewolves doing very little, more topless men and more of Bella being man-greedy, indecisive, morose, selfish, thoughtless and generally irritating.

We have seen so much of Eclipse in the other films, so perhaps it would have been best to cut down on these elements and bring the focus to some of the saga’s new story threads and themes. Unfortunately there is nothing else to the story, other than a weak plot about an advancing army that turns out to be somewhat of a pushover, so there’s nothing to fall back on that could provide the film with something refreshing.

However, the presence of a good scrap does help to give the film something more enthralling than the dreary mess that was New Moon. Twilight, as a series, has some real problems; there simply is not enough going on to translate into several movies, the characters stink and are a group of uninspiring, miserable dullards, the dialogue could have been written by George Lucas and the director of each instalment has the unenviable (but well paid) task of trying to successfully pace a film where nothing happens.

Yes, romantic films are not action-packed, but if Twilight is simply supposed to be a romantic series then the vampire-werewolf aspect is just a gimmick to try and sell a boring, unoriginal story framework.

Vampires and werewolves are exciting, entertaining mythical creatures, popular with the masses and great fun to watch. Unfortunately self-loathing dominates this film, and thus is perfect for the woe-is-me emo generation, but these classic creatures deserve a bit of flair and that is sadly lacking.

A further grievance is the character of Victoria, built up to be the ultimate vampire adversary during the last film, but her dramatic entrance towards the climax of Eclipse is as about as exciting as listening to Edward talk about watching paint dry.

Whilst Eclipse is nowhere near as painful as New Moon, Bella and her two suitors continue to move the wafer-thin plot along at the pace of a dead slug, and by the end it’s hard to care about anything that has happened, or will happen, to this tedious collection of characters.

The fourth novel, Breaking Dawn, will hit the big screen, and will also get the two-movie treatment. Hopes are not high, bearing in mind that the novel includes a talking vampire baby, and is told from the separate perspectives of Jacob, Edward and Bella; as if seeing these stories objectively is not enough, we are to be subjected to something far worse for the finale. Oh dear.

We would choose Underworld any day of the week.

Image: Empire

3 Responses to “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”

  1. petermurphyfan says:

    I can’#t beleive that you didnt mention that the AMAZING Peter Murphy is in this film!!!! If only for a few second.s. I love Bauhaus and of course all of PM’s solo stuff 😉 please can we have a review of ‘The Hunger’?:

  2. sarah giffin says:

    am i the only female that is not OBSESSED with twilight?? firstly, robert pattinson is not attractive, he is pasty and skinny!!

    and lets not even talk about how bad the acting in this film is – BORING!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Madge Nielson says:

    No, I agree. I think it’s the worst of the Twilight Saga films so far. I feel I have to watch these movies because I’ve read all the books, loved them and am just too curious not to. But Eclpise was pretty disappointing. Maybe it would be ok if you haven’t read the books.

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