I survived another episode of the “Twilight Days of Our Lives” with Eclipse, the next installment in the ridiculously popular teen angsty, vampire love story. If you don’t know what ‘Twi-Fever’ is all about then you probably are in jail, or dead, or even worst, a male over the age of 30 (which is ancient in Twi-years). The Twilight Saga has been exactly that, a saga. It’s one of the few phenomenon’s that has been able to frenzy its fans to a Star Wars level of fanaticism. I had a pretty bad experience with the first movie Twilight. The awful dialogue and wooden acting was about the worst I have seen in years. The second part, Twilight: New Moon, was an overall improvement under new direction and with more experienced actors. Would Eclipse ‘imprint’ on me or would it be the kiss of death?
Eclipse continues the story with Edward trying to convince Bella that it is time to make their relationship official by marrying. From the last movie, in order to avoid getting in trouble by the vampire police, the Voltaire (whose superpower is walking in slow motion), they promise to marry after she graduates high school. The love triangle that also started in the last movie with shirtless Jacob continues to thicken as Bella’s ‘love’ for both of them increases. Meantime, their vampire nemesis Victoria, who is Hell bent on revenge, is hatching a scheme to destroy Bella and the Cullen family by creating and manipulating an army (more like gang) of vampire newbies. Forced to work together, the cold-hearted Cullens and the hot-blooded wolf pack join forces to defend against the incoming adolescent threat.
Overall, this isn’t a bad movie although I think I enjoyed the last one a little more. With each installment, you can see a honing of the genre and a more economical use of storytelling. Each actor portrays their character with a stronger awareness and confidence than before. The drawn out, sappy scenes are kept to a minimum and there are a few genuinely funny moments which helps not to take itself too seriously. In particular, there is a scene where Edward is forced to allow the ‘overly hot’ Jacob to help keep Bella warm in a snow storm. He turns to Edward and says, “I am hotter than you”, which gets a good lauch. He should have winked and smiled at the camera while he was at it. The CGI (computer generated imagery) continues to improve and blends more realistically into the environment. There is also a pretty strong abstinence message which is refreshing and is unique in this modern age of teen movies. This third chapter, seemed to be pace better and builds to a natural climax.
With all that being said, I still don’t enjoy these movies very much. With even less action than the last, Eclipse dragged a bit for me. But my disdain for the Twilight Saga has less to do with movie making and more about believability of this absurd scenario. Like my review of New Moon, this emo goth, teen soap opera really pushes the boundaries of what real (and immortal) people would do for love. These two warring families, who HATE each other (for generations mind you), set aside their differences just because of one teenage girl. These two families risk everything they have been built up without hesitancy or dispute because of teen romance?!?! That’s just not what sane adults, supernatural or not do. It’s not like the Matrix Oracle said Bella was the ONE or Yoda foresaw her bringing balance to the Force or Frodo bestowed the one ring to rule them all. Bella just happens to be dating boys from both sides- and everyone is okay with that!!! I dunno, I think someone with centuries of wisdom would have suggested kicking her to the curb. a couple of movies ago.
I see the horrific brilliance in this tale. It creates a fantasy of a lonely, awkward girl to be the object of affection between two supernatural dreamy guys. Both boys are honorable, with honorable families and their devotion for Bella is never-ending. Their love stirs up conflict that has never been equalled throughout time and could have cataclysmic results. Nothing of substance is every really discussed but rather just how much each boy loves this one girl. It’s every girls dream (and every boys nightmare). If I ever met Stephanie Meyer, I would probably judo chop her on the nose with one hand while shaking her hand in congratulations with the other. With cunning skill, she has catered to a very specific audience and continually delivers a perfect ‘made to order’ product that will never be out of demand. I don’t HATE Twilight since it spawned a generation of new readers but I do loath it for what it is teaching those same readers. Being a previous teen boy, I know it’s hard enough as it is to have a semi-healthy relationship in high school without all the unrealistic expectations that Twilight injects.
Eclipse is much of the same as New Moon. If you liked or hated it, you will probably have the same opinion of this one. For me, while gritting my teeth in agony, I also found myself applauding it’s shrewdness in successfully connecting with its target fan base (which was clearly not me by a couple of decades). I will more than likely see the next one and my review will probably be similar to this. My only hope is that this Twi-coaster will all be over soon and we can get back to normal, healthy fanaticism over things like Star Wars and Star Trek. 🙂
Check out my review of New Moon and all of the lively discussion that spawned from it.