Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Director: David Slade
Running Time: 123 mins
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the third film in the Twilight saga. After a rivalry grows between Edward and Jacob over Bella, the two are forced to unite as the vampires and werewolves fight off a mysterious group of monsters who have committed several killings in Seattle.
It might not quite match the first Twilight, but Eclipse is a clear improvement over New Moon, in almost all respects. It’s a far better-written film, with better directing, pacing and tension to boot. The overall story and performances are still pretty poor, but this third instalment features much better filmmaking, which makes it so much easier to watch.
The biggest issue that I had with New Moon last time out was that it was just too boring to even care about. The story in Eclipse isn’t a huge improvement, but the reason that this is a more engaging watch is largely down to David Slade’s direction.
The one thing that he does better than any of the previous two films is introduce a degree of tension and high-stakes. Of course, that’s easier as we move further along the story arc, but right from the first scene, you’ve got a greater sense of danger and drama surrounding Victoria’s continual quest to kill Bella.
I’m not going to say that I was fascinated by the plot here, but with a degree of action and faster pacing injected into the narrative, it was far easier to care about what was going on on screen, which made the film much more bearable.
Despite those improvements, there are still a series of major issues with this film. I’ve mentioned in the previous two reviews about Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner’s poor acting, and that unfortunately continues through in Eclipse, but the main reason that it’s impossible to really like, or be emotionally engaged by the Twilight saga is the unconvincing love triangle at the centre.
Fortunately, there are a few moments here where the love triangle isn’t the centre of attention, but for the most part, we’re still having to deal with Bella’s alleged emotional turmoil. However, I’m finding it impossible to believe how she cares so much for both Edward and Jacob because she always appears to have undying loyalty for Edward.
Of course, Kristen Stewart could have done a lot more to make her characters’ intended emotions more obvious, but the story falls down on numerous occasions by showing that Bella just doesn’t care for Jacob as much as Edward.
I understand that this series’ intention is to provide a romance story rather than a generic blockbuster, but the reason that I can’t praise it is because it has failed on three occasions now to provide an emotionally engaging, or even convincing romance. The action and tension surrounding the vampires and werewolves has provided a few moments of intrigue, but this series doesn’t have much steam left, and, the way things are moving at the moment, I can’t see any improvements on the horizon in the final two films, so that’s why Eclipse gets a 5.6 from me.