THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE is everything that your expecting and nothing that your not. That’s really the easiest way to sum this one up without angering either the people who hate the series or the Twi-Hards. Something else that should be noted is that I actually don’t hate the TWILIGHT series. Sure, the first flick isn’t that great, what with the wonky camerawork and a seriously off-kilter performance by Robert Pattinson, but I do think that NEW MOON is some kind of teenybopper romance epic.
ECLIPSE, for what it’s worth, is actually pretty good…if you’re a fan. If you’re not, there’s nothing here that will convert you and if you’re new to the series, you’ll probably be a little confused. Not severely confused, mind you, but a basic knowledge of the TWILIGHT series up until this point is required before tuning for this third installment. That having been said, Edward (Pattinson) loves Bella (Kristen Stewart), Jacob (Taylor Lautner) loves Bella, Bella kinda loves Jacob but loves Edward more and here we are. Oh, and Edward’s a vampire and Jacob is a werewolf, but I’m sure you already knew that.
One of the biggest problems with ECLIPSE is that it is a definitely a middle chapter of a series. In other words, there’s tons of character stuff but very little in the way of actual plot movement. The biggest moment of actual plot development here is the death of a character who really should’ve been dealt with back in NEW MOON. That’s about it. The stuff with Bella, Edward and Jacob, while interesting in a teen romance kinda way, really doesn’t go anywhere. ECLIPSE ends (SPOILER ALERT!) the same way that NEW MOON did, with Edward proposing to Bella. That’s it.
Fortunately, ECLIPSE piles on the character development pretty high and the movie works due to these scenes. Previously boring characters like Rosalie (Nikki Reed) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) actually get their moment to shine, while everybody else takes a backseat to give them their moments. Jasper, in particular, is really the MVP of this flick, delivering a almost fully-formed character right in the middle of blandville. His flashbacks and the training montage are the best part of ECLIPSE (Rosalie‘s flashbacks also rock) and you almost wish that he was given more time to grow and that the whole Edward-Bella-Jacob threesome was given less.
Now don’t get me wrong, I dig the teen romance angle with those three. Problem is, ECLIPSE does very little with it. All of the tender moments between Edward and Bella seem to have been recycled from the previous two movies and while Jacob does get some decent moments here and there (nice 1st kiss, buddy), anyone who has even a cursory knowledge of the series knows that he doesn’t get the girl. Honestly, I think that’s the biggest problem here, Jacob doesn’t get the girl. What’s worse is that he’s obviously the better choice and Bella knows it, but script demands that she be the most wishy-washy girl on the planet and….forget it. I’m not going to Twi-Hard rant about the ins and outs of the love story in TWILIGHT. Not going to happen.
Let’s just say, Bella needs to ditch the whole “get married” bit, go alternative and have herself two guys. You can tell she maybe wants to. Hell, she accepts a proposal from Edward and promptly kisses Jacob in the most EPIC kiss of the entire series, so it’s not really a “maybe”, Bella definitely wants both of them. So, throw the PG-13 out the window, dump the tweens, say good-bye to Brigham Young and his teachings and let’s push this series into hardcore land. Can you imagine how hot a werewolf/vampire/human threesome would be?
Oh yeah, review of ECLIPSE, better get back to that. Honestly, there’s not much to really complain about here other than the lack of plot development. While I wasn’t crazy about the whole Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle stuff, I wasn’t put off by it. Everybody does their best in these scenes and you really buy that this is a true love triangle. In particular, Pattinson has toned down the creepy aspect of Edward that was prevalent in the last two flicks and has definitely become more, I dunno, cool. You get why Bella is so hung up on him and that’s something that was definitely lacking before now. As for Lautner, dude is on a roll and I definitely see him becoming the next big thing. If only he’d keep his damn shirt on. You’re making all us softies look bad, man!
Outside of those three, ECLIPSE has some pretty kick-ass moments, including a full-on werewolf/vamp battle towards the end. Not sure why vamps explode into glass when they die now, but hey, whatever works. The reappearance of the Volturi was also quite welcome, especially since Dakota Fanning has grown up into a full-blown evil hottie. Question though, where was Aro (Michael Sheen)? The other four popped up, but Sheen sat this one out. Maybe he was busy shooting TRON: EVOLUTION?
Listen, the best thing I can say here is that if you’re a fan of the series, ECLIPSE will not disappoint. It’s exciting and full of character development, but it really does feel like an appetizer to BREAKING DAWN. It’s not quite filling enough to satisfy as a full movie, but when coupled with NEW MOON, it probably works better. And that’s really the problem here, ECLIPSE isn’t going to convert any new fans to the franchise, despite being more guy-friendly with all the vamp-on-werewolf action. Could’ve been better, could’ve been worse, ECLIPSE gets a four out of six adamantium bullets.