"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
After two films setting up this fictional world of vampires and werewolves, the Twilight Saga finally delivers a film that combines the two worlds totally, resulting in the two different species to team up to protect Bella Swan. While audiences have received glimpses of what to come between the two classic monsters through interactions between Edward and Jacob, this film fully dives into both worlds, and brings around the classic question - are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
"Eclipse" picks up right where "New Moon" left off, with Edward (Robert Pattinson) returning to Bella (Kristen Stewart) in the small town of Forks. Now feeling betrayed and used by Bella, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) will now stop at nothing to win back the heart of the girl he loves. However, when vengeful vampire Victoria (now being played by Bryce Dallas Howard) is assembling a team of "New-Borns" to hunt Bella down and kill her, the two monster species must put their differences aside to save the girl that started it all.
"Twilight" sets up the relationship between Bella and Edward, with Jacob receiving very little screen time. Then, for the second film in the series, the roles are reversed, and the relationship between Bella and Jacob is set in motion. Finally, in this third installment, author Stephenie Meyer added all the elements together to put together the plot of her book and subsequent film, making it very exciting and moving. Some fans love the the relationship with the vampires and some love the one with the werewolves, and this movie kind of gives something for everyone to enjoy.
Unlike the predecessor to this film, the plot moves along at a pretty quick pace, not slowing down or giving the audience any time to feel bored or tired of the movie. At the same time, the movie contains that unique charm and element about it that makes fans swoon over the characters in this movie. It is borderline edgy and emo, acting like a modern-day Shakespearean play in a way. While this movie is no where near the quality of a play of that magnitude, I do think it was the best direction for the filmmakers to go in.
This film may be better than the previous two and and is wickedly entertaining, but it still contains that cheesy and awkward vibe to the entire thing. Some of the dialogue just doesn't hit like it is supposed to, and some makes the audience just cringe at what the characters are saying. One thing I did like better about the previous installment than this one was Lautner's performance. I don't know if he is trying to be more edgy or more intimidating, but he seems very fake and wooden, and his performance is laughable even. It's hard to take his character or what he's saying seriously as the acting for this role absolutely misses the mark.
This is the first movie in the franchise where we actually see the vampires fight to the death, and I think it is really cool how the filmmakers captured the battles and the deaths. It is very high-energy and exciting, and it is hard for the viewer to peel their eyes off the screen. Unlike the second movie, they were able to set up the villain's motives much better, as well as showing quite a bit of the antagonists and their motives and plans. This movie features two separate groups of antagonists, and they are both executed greatly in this film.
I really liked the love triangle present in this movie. Obviously, everyone is going to have a preference for who they want Bella to pick in the end, but the movie is able to make cases for both sides. Pattinson and Lautner do a good job of going toe-to-toe with one another, neither of them backing down or being intimated by the other. They have some good dialogue and argument scenes together, and I think this is perhaps the most memorable part about this franchise as a whole.
With the first two movies building up to this third film, I think the filmmakers pulled it off and didn't disappoint. They were able to take all of that build-up and translate everything into this third film that is ultimately the deciding factor in numerous cases. In addition, they were able to also set up the final installment of this franchise very well, tying up loose ends and opening new doors for the characters and the story to continue. The filmmakers definitely took everything they had from the books and the previous two films and made a great sequel to this huge franchise.