Words: Alicia McBride
'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' (2010)
Director: David Slade
Cast: Robert Pattinson (OMGZ!!!111), Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner
That time of year is upon us again. Out comes the summer sun and along with it a horde of sparkly vampires and topless werewolves, ready to fight to save one girl who seemingly has done nothing whatsoever to merit this level of adoration and protection. In the name of research I have kindly sat through 'Eclipse' for you so that you never need to feel left out of this pop culture phenomenon.
I haven’t read the books. I have never paid to see a 'Twilight' film. I have seen all of the films only once (alright, I’ve got the first one on DVD and I’ve seen it twice, but that’s all, I swear). I do not understand the level of hysteria that surrounds Robert Pattinson. I don’t think vampires should be allowed out in daylight, let alone turn into a disco ball when hit by the sun. Kristen Stewart simply cannot act. And I can’t begin to fathom why the werewolves never put any clothes on. If you are finding any of these statements offensive I’d stop reading now. I doubt this is going to be the review for you.
So, now that I’ve convinced you I’m not a "Twi-hard" I’ll let you in on a little secret.....I kind of enjoyed 'Eclipse'. Sure, it’s crap, completely crap, but in places it feels like it has developed some awareness of this and is playing up to it for great comic effect. Unless the dialogue between Edward and Jacob in that tent scene, where the homoerotic tension is ramped up to 11, was supposed to be taken seriously, in which case there is no hope for 'Eclipse'. NO HOPE. There is also another genuinely funny moment where Jacob tries it on with Bella so she decides to punch him. Big mistake, mere mortal. Never punch a werewolf with a rock hard body. Surprisingly this isn’t the end of the action for 'Eclipse'.
I have been led to believe that despite being a multi-billion dollar franchise the budget for the films is comparatively much smaller than most summer action blockbusters, which could explain why the previous instalment, 'New Moon', was so dull. Well, that or the lack of storyline, but more on that later. Keen not to repeat that mistake, the budget for 'Eclipse' was bigger and this is reflected in the fight scenes at the end. They are still not as spectacular as you would expect by any means but they do give the film a much needed narrative arc and something to quicken the pulse that isn’t R-Pattz’s sparkliness or Taylor Lautner’s abs. The final battle also catches the attentions of the Volturi, who are like vampire overlords, which is going to land the Cullens in a whole lot of trouble. Not only have they formed an alliance with natural enemies the werewolves to protect a human, they’ve just slaughtered a whole load of vampires. And they still haven’t transformed Bella into a vampire, as promised. This is going to lead to a whole load of bad-assery in the final film. Probably. Maybe.
Overall, I’d say the failing of the 'Saga' is the story, which is a pretty huge failing for four films worth of narrative. I just don’t get it really and 'Eclipse' doesn’t make it much clearer. Bella is in love with Edward. But she’s also a bit in love with Jacob. But she loves Edward more and so has chosen to be transformed into a vampire. Except no one wants her to become a vampire, Edward included. A lot of 'Eclipse' is given over to people persuading her not to get transformed and, bloodsucking aside, they make a good case, which is why her stubbornness over the matter is incredibly annoying.
It's even less helpful that Kristen Stewart just cannot act, delivering most of her lines with a look on her face that suggests there’s something bad-smelling directly under her nose and rarely looks people in the eye. Bella is largely drab, uncommunicative, awkward and, ironically, lifeless on screen. This is why I find it hard to understand how not just two boys, but two entire species, are always willing and ready to fight for her. But anyway, they are, and until she makes her final decision in the last film (out next year) I guess Twilight fever is going to continue unabated.
'Eclipse' is definitely the best Twilight film so far and while it doesn’t further the story that much it does a lot to set up the fourth film. However, it is definitely not a film for anyone who isn’t already a fan of the franchise.
'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' was released in UK cinemas on 9th July and will continue to be screened for a depressingly long time.