Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Is it better than the previous two? Yes. Is that saying much? Not really. The story of Bella, Edward and Jacob continues as painfully as you remember but thanks to the action sequences and focus on the Cullen family members, at least the franchise is finally more tolerable.

A director with a short but decent resume (David Slade, who did Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night) is able to bring a semblance of personality out of Kirstin Stewart, an almost believable emoting from Tyler Lautner and a slightly dialed-downed but still emotionally-retarded Robert Pattinson to bring us the best he could provide with what he had to work with: a decent Twilight movie.

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THE SETUP:
(big breath) It’s only a month until graduation and Edward (Robert Pattinson) has begrudgingly agreed to turn Bella (Kirstin Stewart) into a vampire at that time. While Edward tries to talk her out of it, part three of their love triangle, Jacob (Tyler Lautner), is doing his darndest to make Bella accept that she loves him too. While all this is going on, Victoria is targeting Bella for execution to avenge her former lover and an army of newborn vampires is creating havoc in nearby Seattle. The Cullen family mounts an investigation into how the two incidents are linked while members of the ancient vampire coven Volturi prepare to make their presence felt. (I just made the movie sound better).

THE THOUGHTS:
This is the second Twilight movie I’ve had to review since starting Good Film Hunting. After watching this, I think I’d have to go back to my previous review and demote it to a half a ticket. Sorry, it wasn’t even worth a rent. This one however…surprisingly OK.

If you’re looking for Academy-level performances, you’re looking to the wrong place. The acting really isn’t much better than it’s been but I can say there feels like more of a purpose. The weakest link has always been Kirstin Stewart’s Bella. She always felt weak and insubstantial…which makes it harder to believe a vampire and werewolf are fighting over her. This time around, the idea of her turning into a vampire in a few weeks and the challenges she will face gave her character weight. Well a light weight.

One thing I really liked was the fleshing out of the Cullen family. We really never had any sense of them previously. But, with Jasper and Rosalie ‘s backstories on how they became vampires did more for me in 5 minutes than Edward’s has in 3 movies. I want to see a Cullen movie.

Why they replaced Rachelle Lefevre with Bryce Dallas Howard as Victoria, I have no idea. Rachelle did a fine job in the last two movies and the role of Victoria certainly wasn’t so substantial that they needed a high-caliber actor (if that’s what Howard is).

The one scene that really stood out was the climactic action scene at the end. Far more violent, intense and far more with a sense of danger slick than anything we’ve seen from this franchise before. If the whole movie had had this tone, and the looooooooong (I could add more Os) schlocky melodrama had been minimal, I would have liked it a lot more.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Rating:
2 stars – it’s a renter The best outing so far for Bella, Edward and Jacob…not to say that it’s a good movie but it finally moves the franchise forward and toward a conclusion. Sadly you have to slog through a lot of over the top melodrama, unnecessary voice-overs and minimalist acting to get to the great action scene in the end. If you love Twilight, it won’t matter what I say. If you don’t, barely worth the rent…but worth more than the previous two flicks.

Random Recommendations
I try to find movies that are some how linked to the main feature that I would recommend. Whether through the actors, the director, the genre… This was the hardest one I’ve ever done. Most of the actors in this have either done very little or mostly crap. I still stand by these recommendations but they were the best I could do.

30 Days of Night (2007) – I’ve already recommended David Slade’s Hard Candy so this movie about vampires taking over a small Alaskan town seemed far more appropriate. Intense, scary and a fresh visual of vampires makes it a recommendation…yes, even with Josh Hartnett. The ending isn’t as great as its source material graphic novel but Danny Huston pulls out a kickass performance that makes up for a lot.

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Butterfly Effect (2004) – Ashton Kutcher in a good movie? Let’s say “interesting.” The premise of how one move in our lives can drastically change everything is played to full “effect” (get it) here. It’s a solid renter that you won’t be disappointed with.

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 Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
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Comments

  1. This is just a hunch, but I suspect Rachelle Lefevre pulled out when she saw how terrible the second movie was. Just sayin’.

  2. HotVampireDadFan says:

    Haven’t seen it…don’t really plan on it….if they told me that the hot vampire dad was getting nude than I might go on a cheap Tuesday to see it.

    PS. 30 Days of Night was fantastic!

    Peace Out Lolacher!

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