The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Contains Spoilers)

Essentially, this is almost the same deal as last time, except there’s no awesome story of how I took back both of the tickets I had and yet still managed to sneak into a fully packed cinema and find a seat near the people I came there with this time. We did it the legit way this time – booked our seats ahead of time and then turned up and sat in them. Only we also didn’t do the whole midnight screening thing either – I think one overdose of Twilight Fever is enough really! Instead, we just went to one the next morning, which is WAY less extreme, right?… Right?…

Anyway, after seeing the film the whole way through and not once laughing at any bits that were meant to be serious and poignant, I can safely surmise that The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is probably the most interesting of the Twilight series so far. The book, I personally thought, did not have much going on, as it is obviously from Bella’s point of view, and therefore you only see whats going on through her perspective. And what does go on is mostly her STILL having trouble choosing between her sparkly Vampire true love boyfriend Edward Cullen and super-tough macho Wolf friend Jacob Black, until the short pay-off at the end with all the fights happening. As such, I figured that the film would be much the same, and would consist mostly of static mid-shots of angsty looking teens trying to be all dramatic.

However, as with New Moon, all of the predictably dramatic scenes are broken up with exposition that isn’t part of the original book. This basically means that at the points that everything is getting very same-y and dramatic, the script gets broken up a bit with extra exposition that, in this respect at least, is actually pretty cool – namely scenes with Riley (played by newcomer Xavier Samuel) and Victoria (now played by Bryce Dallas-Howard), and their creation of the Newborn Vampire army that comes to attack Forks. And it’s exactly these scenes that add a more sinister element to what would otherwise be a pretty sappy teenage drama film. I’m not saying it completely redeems it or turns it around into something else, but it does provide some new viewing elements than what would otherwise be a film taken straight from the book.

On top of this, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse does provide something else alongside the main storyline that brings another interesting element to the film, and that is the exposition behind more of the main characters, in particular Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), and Rosalie. Their background stories are strong and compelling ones, and to get the insight behind them on the screen is more interesting than having it in the book as (again) it is from their perspective and done as they see it. The results of these background expositions is that you finally end up liking these characters a lot more than before. Up until this point, they have been part of the main cast but have also been kept mostly in the background – we were introduced to them in Twilight, and then in New Moon they were only in it at the beginning and at the end. Finally, we get the explanation behind their characters and start to like them more as they should have been from the first one!

As well as the Cullen family exposition, there is also the history behind the Quileutes and how they came into existence, providing even more exposition behind the characters we already know. This device of the film adds that extra amount of substance that means it ends up being a lot more than just a static viewing experience that you might expect from these films.

The other aspect of Eclipse that makes it mostly worth viewing is the huge fight sequence at the end. Surprisingly, it’s a lot more epic than one might imagine of a film of this ilk. It’s fast paced, it has Vampires and Giant Wolves ripping each other apart, and it’s pretty much the most entertaining bit of the film. Even the part where Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) ends the existence of the malicious Victoria ends up getting a bit gruesome and thusly making everyone cheer, because finally these Vampires are actually killing things like they’re meant to! It’s also worth mentioning here that Bryce Dallas-Howard’s Victoria is far more entertaining to watch than Rachel Lafevre’s Victoria of the past two films, especially as we see a lot more of her in Eclipse. It’s no wonder they originally offered the part to Bryce Dallas-Howard, only for her to turn it down and then get it re-offered once Rachel Lafevre lost her job.

Generally, there are more aspects of Eclipse that make it a lot more interesting than the other two films. Twilight started it all, and New Moon introduced the Wolves and more bad guys, but Eclipse introduces more background behind the characters and more action sequences which means you’re not just watching a love triangle for 2 hours. Eclipse also had the most kept in from the book – there were no scenes of any importance from the book that got skipped over, and there were all the right things in the right places. And the fact that director David Slade manages to work some outside humour into the film as well (such as Edward’s comment about Taylor Lautner’s Jacob “Does he not own a shirt?”, or the awkward “sex talk” between Bella and her dad) means that at least this time round, they are a few more elements toward a well-rounded film.

But, this does not mean that its obvious appeal toward daydreamy teenage girls is any less deniable. Although Eclipse does have its moments of undeniably compelling scenes (like the aforementioned fight scenes, cut-aways and expositions), it is still at its heart a film about a love triangle centred around Kristen Stewart’s Bella who still just can’t make up her mind, even though a majority of the audience would happily make it for her. And still, Stewart has that one look of confusion that she seems to wear on her face for the majority of the film even though they have obviously and undeniably prettied her up to make her less plain than the other two film, even though that’s the major part of her character. The fact that they’ve prettied her up that much obviously means that they are trying to go for the proper actress look for her, and the fact that she’s obviously wearing contacts throughout the entire film to darken and widen her eyes just goes to prove this.

At the end of the day, anyone who knows the books well enough knows that Eclipse is likely to be the last one with any kind of action in it of any kind considering the storyline yet to come in Breaking Dawn, which is now officially going to be in 2 parts considering how long the book is, thus making them even more money. And considering that Eclipse has made $121 million dollars just in its opening weekend, this series is clearly a money-making machine whether you like it or not. Overall, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has some good bits in it that I did enjoy, but for the most part I still felt the unshakeable feeling that I wasn’t watching a Vampire movie until the end. Worth a 5 out of 10 for the effects and the fight scene at the end, but it’s still best to go and form your own opinion!

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