By Fred Topel | Image property of Summit Entertainment
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Well, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the first Twilight movie I liked. That means, within a series of stories I don’t like, they made one that I didn’t mind. I still wouldn’t watch it if it weren’t my job or a cultural phenomenon. It’s still Twilight but it’s getting better.
Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
At least there’s a shorthand in this film. They’re not re-explaining everything. That lets them get to the point of some of the conflicts better. Edward doesn’t have to go over all the reasons he doesn’t want Bella to become a vampire, because that’s been covered.
The awkward relationship dialogue works better now because it’s supposed to be awkward. They’re talking about marriage. That’s weird stuff to discuss, I can tell you from experience. The line about the divorce rate between humans and vampires is hopeful, though I’d say if you count the Highlander immortals, you’d get closer to the 50% human figures.
I kind of liked that there was real parenting in this movie. It’s still not terribly exciting to watch a dad ground his daughter and check up on her boyfriends, but it’s admirable. Bella’s super sweet with her mom. Charlie’s sex talk with Bella is good too. It’s supposed to be as awkward as that always is, but that scene is actually reinforcing the values of marriage, and using protection. Girls should know that sex is important. If you think you can have a complete relationship without it, you’ll probably end up with a soulless vampire.
I like seeing Edward frustrated by Bella’s individuality. He can’t control her and make her do what he wants. This “perfect” love is actually totally incompatible. They’re still going to go for it, but at least they get a hefty dose of reality and those of us that know better can imagine their eternity full of mundane bickering.
I should have been patient with the mopy romance. Two movies later, the series finally reveals the reality of their relationship. The stare downs between Edward and Jacob are deserved, although Jacob’s entry into every scene is exactly the same. He turns to camera looking slightly down with that look. But hey, if I looked that awesome I’d do it all the time too. You sort of get to linger in the life of vampires and werewolves. At least you linger in their procedure dealing with an impending vampire army attack.
The action actually builds in this one. That’s partly inherent in the story. It’s about gathering the team and training them for the big battle. The vampire chase is thrilling. At least you can follow the progress. The battle is another shaky cam deal, so it looks like all the other movies. Crushing vampire heads is cool though.
I really like the scenes of recruiting newborns. That’s the sort of vampire mythology that’s interesting. They handle a rape scene with maturity and the character’s revenge is cool.
The whole movie looks better. There are moving shots where people appear without cutting. As I’ve mentioned before in recent reviews, that’s basic filmmaking. You’re supposed to do that. Now when basic technique appears, I’m thrilled. The faint sparkle is way better than the overblown original diamond skin, and the wolves look better too, until they fight with vampires.
I suppose it just happens that Eclipse is about more things that I like than the other ones. Truces and teamwork are cool, and that’s what this one is. I just found more to busy myself with in between all the broody teenage love talk.