So we’re here again for even more of “The Twilight Saga”. The addition of the word “Saga” depressed me in the last film, “New Moon”, because by then the idea of watching more “Twilight” seemed like a strange from of oriental torture. I’ve had the misfortune of watching “Eclipse” four times now (Through a chain of events I barely remember, never mind want to go into) and I can safely say it’s better than “New Moon”, but then again, so is strangling puppies. It’s always upsetting to find that after the last film, people still went to see “Eclipse” in droves and helped solidify it’s presence as a blockbuster. Enough about how I hate more people than I am even acquainted with and onto what I thought.
So Bella (Kristen Stewart) has a date arranged for her to become a vampire just like her darling Edward (Robert Pattinson), just after she graduates in a months time. Even after his incessant attempts to convince her otherwise, which she repeatedly shoots down with the wonderful argument of “It’s what I want”, great. So we find that Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is still doing his best to steal Bella from Edward even though he is just the biggest loser in the whole series thus far (I still don’t get how anyone could like him). Meanwhile in Seattle, an army of vampire newborns are being created and are being led by Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) to kill Bella in an attempt to make Edward feel the way she did when he killed her lover in “Twilight”. Of course between that there’s the usual lovey dovey romance that is really wearing thin by this point but again, but at least it’s an improvement over “New Moon”
Something I did like was the improved plot and thereby the sense of much grander things going on in the background to the romance. In “Twilight” things were being set up for later films so the chief concern was getting the romance going, and it was OK. “New Moon” tried to escalate things but suffered from being a cinematic parasite so that got nowhere. By now though, “Eclipse” has a crisis that genuinely threatens the main characters and is somewhat interesting. That is mainly because I like that we have a film that isn’t just Bella trying to pick which monster she wants to take to prom. There is a bit more to this one and it certainly isn’t perfect but thank God we got what we did.
Why am I so glad there is a real threat to the characters? Well, because they are all boring. In “Twilight” I said that the relationship between Bella and Edward was just good enough for it to make up for their respective lack of charisma. I have however become totally fed up of them both since then and sometimes when Edward spoke I just couldn’t help but wish that Ferris Bueller could step in and sweep Bella off her feet and take her away in his Ferrari. Actually I think I might write that down and store it for later, I think I’m onto something. Edward is boring and dry, whilst Jacob is, as I’ve said, as likeable as a tapeworm. A lot of the film is concerned with Edward and Jacobs “battle” for Bella and it is just so poorly done it’s just frustrating. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” knew how to deal with a conflict of two sides being played out like an annoyingly even game of tug of war. As ground is made in one direction, the other side brings it back, it made it tense and relentless. Of course, that relies on either side having actual merits and pros. Jacob and Edward are both lifeless cretins and I don’t particularly want to root for either of them, so I decided to root for Ferris instead. It made the whole affair vastly more enjoyable.
Something to praise is the effort made by director David Slade to give each of the characters more depth even if they are still, on the front, boring. Think about it, the vampires have lived for who knows how long, Edward alone is 109 years old. He came from an entirely different time with different ideals and we get to see how these ideals play into modern day life, I really appreciated that insight, His “siblings” also get some back story, like Rosalie (Nikki Reed) who we find was actually gang-raped and left for dead when she became a vampire and used her new powers to track down her assailants. It’s actually wonderfully dark and provides a new appreciation for her character. There is even more as well such as the origins of the werewolves and I honestly liked this extra attention the the lore Stephanie Meyer clearly set up in the books that has been glossed over by the films until now, though that is purely an assumption.
Sometimes relatively exciting, sometimes relatively though provoking, almost always relatively boring. “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” is an improvement over it’s most recent predecessor but make no mistake, you’re still watching a “Twilight” film.