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Twilight: Eclipse | movie review

I thought Eclipse was the best of the three movies so far, though not by as large a margin over New Moon as New Moon was over Twilight.  New director David Slade retained the same look established by the first installment and continued, for better or worse (in my opinion worse) by the second.  The only points of non-continuity were Victoria being played by Bryce Dallas Howard instead of Rachel LeFevre, and it showed—not that BDH did a bad job, just that she’s both obviously not the same actress and she just looked too…sweet—and Jasper’s wig service going from delightfully wild fro-let to coarse 19th-century bowl chop.  All the wigs and dye jobs were as ridiculous as the Cullen’s make-up, and while the wolves looked better than they did last time, they’re still obviously CG renderings.

The acting was just as delightful—and by delightful I mean laughable—as it has always been, although at least Slade gave Kristin Stewart some voice coaching so she didn’t sound like she thought Bella had a speech impediment anymore.  Robert Pattinson didn’t look quite as bored as he did last time around, and Taylor Lautner just seemed happy to be there at all.  Billy Burke was probably the best I’ve seen him this time around, and the girl who played Leah was surprisingly interesting so I’m looking forward to seeing more of her next time if the actress comes back.  The high school kids barely had any face time at all, though they were all back, but there was more from all the Cullens, which was nice.  Jasper’s “Texas” accent slipped in an out and was uniformly bad—I should know, I’m a Texas girl—but he’s my favorite so I forgave it.  But the “tender” scenes between Bella and Edward just played flat.  Their negotiations about marriage came out of nowhere and were a bit too PG13 to convey the importance of the moment.  And that ring…holy crap.  What part of simple, old-fashioned elegance didn’t they understand?  That gaudy thing looked like it came out of the discount bin at Claire’s.  Bella should have turned him down just for trying to fob something that ugly off as an engagement ring!

The script wasn’t the greatest; there were lines that got thrown in that seemed more like they had to put them in because they come back later than because they necessarily made sense or were properly explained in this movie.  One glaring example is Jacob off-handedly saying he didn’t want to be the Alpha, with no explanation given as to why he would have been in the first place.  There wasn’t much in the way of explanation given for why the newborns existed, either, or what Victoria’s grand scheme was, so if you were new to the franchise (as my companion was), that might have been hard to follow.  They rearranged certain scenes to try and amp up the competition between Edward and Jacob that really just made things nonsensical—like when Bella cuts school to spend the day with Jake, she leaves Edward in the parking lot to do it, and there’s not any discussion between her and Jacob at all.  She just says “why haven’t you called me back?” “I had nothing to say” and then she gets on his bike.  Uh, what?

Also, there was way too much kissing.  It wasn’t particularly exciting kissing, and the abundance of it really only devalued what there was even more.  Like, in the opening scene, Edward and Bella are in their meadow and they start to kiss, and the entire theater started snickering.  Not really how you want to open a movie, you know?  And there was more sexual tension between Edward and Jacob in the tent than there was between Bella and either of them the entire time.  None of the kisses felt particularly hot or nice to watch; they all sort of looked the same, even when they were between different characters.  Slade should definitely stick to action and avoid rom-coms in his future features.

But on the other hand, the action was pretty good.  The opening sequence showing Riley being turned was actually pretty tense and kind of scary.  The filming was as good as it was in New Moon, with a few cool or mildly unusual angles to keep the visuals interesting.  The PG13 rating was a shame, because there could have been some ace ripping apart of vampires or smashing up their ice-stone-sculpture bodies with an R rating.  There was bit of that creativity in violence, but the camera always pulled away just before the image got too graphic.  The overall design look of detached vampire flesh was pretty neat, though.

One personal highlight was Jasper actually getting to tell his story (and they used flashbacks), simply because I like his story.  The ridiculous setting of where he was “riding back to Galveston” made me laugh, because that was nowhere near Galveston.  They used flashbacks for both Rosalie and the Quileute legends, as well.

Overall the movie was still not objectively good, and for die-hard fans of the books I think it lacked the intensity and portent of the book.  But it was for the most part faithful to the story, with a few scenes of the newborns in Seattle and on the move thrown in to incorporate their activities from the new novella into the events of the novel.  And it could have been a lot worse, so, overall, it’s a thumbs up.  If you’re already into this series of movies, it shouldn’t surprise or dismay you; it fits right in with the others, and ends exactly where the book does this time around to leave everything in stasis for the big finale.

By Elena Nola

Elena Nola is the imperial movie critic and the colder half of the Ladies of Ice and Fire.

10 replies on “Twilight: Eclipse | movie review”

Monroe Jackson Rathbone V is from Midland, Texas. His Great Great Grandfather was President of Exxon.

I like him even more now. But that doesn’t mean his accent on screen was right. Plenty of people lose their accent or never have it in the first place. 🙂

The Twilight series isn’t without its detractors, but a lot of mainstream critics have jumped on a celebratory bandwagon out of fear:

Yes I loved the movie!

Of course There are things I’d love to see that were left out, Bella’s crying over crushing Jacob yet again, this time finally and forever and for putting Edward through holding her while she cries but, there is only so much one can put in a movie that is two hours and four minutes long.
The story bridges the connection from New Moon to Breaking Dawn the best it can while giving us a touch of the violence and love along the way. It has held true to the fans the best it can with just enough sparkle , warmth, hopes, dreams, love and of course the humor to balance I have grown to love in the books.
Loved it! My only complaint, why can’t they work in Emmett’s back story? In Breaking Dawn when Bella’s change is so close, would be a good time to show how sweet Emmett’s story of his trip to hell with his own angel to complete the picture of the Cullen’s family story.
Liked the first film, loved the second then the third one will only deepen the experience. My granddaughter said, “I don’t care what didn’t make it to the film I read the books and I know that what I did see was great and I loved it”. So I would say they did it. It was great and yes I loved it too! I do hope they do a Bree Tanner Book That is quite a story and I would love to see it done as well.

PS
If you didn’t see “Remember Me” Rent it and give it a watch this is a movie I will Remember and lovers of Edward and Bella should love it too!

LOL Eclipse was SO stupid. It was even worse than Twilight, which is quite an accomplishment.I found myself disliking Bella more and more as the movie went on. I will always love the books, but the movies leave something to be desired.

Omg I love you. Hahaha I mean, this review was great. I felt the same way about everything.

and I must say, Linda, I was really hoping to see Bella “crying the smaller broken part of herself” out too. That part of the book really made me feel close to the story. The end scene with Jacob injured in the bed was pretty good, but Bella should’ve been crying like she was in the book, I mean this is the moment when she tells him that her love for edward is stronger than her love for him, right? lol shouldve been way more emotional, but something tells me these actors wouldnt be able to pull it off anyway so they didnt even try

I agree that there were many things left out but they have been on each show. They should have added another thirty minutes to an hour to each one. As for to many kissing scenes, I disagree. All four books have lots of kissing and the first three have more than the last one and all four have very passionate kissing even from the first kiss to the last. I agree the kisses where not in depth and passionate enough but not to many. I don’t like the director making Edward to be mean because through all the books he is nothing but a gentleman and never yells. Also Bella is never mean to Edward and in the show she was pretty hateful to him. I hope they make the last book according to the book and by splitting the book in two movies they should be able to do this. I have read all four Twilight books nine times each (two of the four I have read 10 times), watched the, DVD on ‘Twilight’ 124 times and watched the DVD on ‘New Moon’ 92 times, and watched all three movies on the big screen two times each, and I watch the two DVD’s on the first two movies at least two to five times each week, every week, and I have all three soundtracks. As soon as the DVD of Eclipse comes out, I will have it to. I truly hope they will stick with the book! I love the movies and the books and will be sad to see it all end!

good god! i’ve never read such a lousy review in my life.
Anyways despite what you say here, i think this movie was quite interesting.

The movie was a big let down,the first two movies was great but Eclipse was a let down and I hope Breaking Dawn will be better since it is the last one.

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