Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: Eclipse for Tom Magazine

The Twilight Saga: EclipseDirector: David Slade.
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner.
Reviewed by Anna Angel.

I am in two minds about the third film instalment of the widely criticised, and secretly (often fanatically) cherished world of the Twilight Saga. It is the best adaption of the franchise, surpassing the dead-in-the-water New Moon by far, but the film’s premise is ridiculous, often unbelievable and stunted. It is not the film’s or the actor’s fault that Stephanie Meyer did a job on her characters in the latter parts of her saga, pushing the believability of their choices to the limit and providing little in the way of action. Eclipse is saved by increasingly winning characterisation, shirtlessness that makes grown women squeal in embarrassing pitches, and gooey moments that don’t feel as forced as in the first film.

Picking up where New Moon left off, Bella and Edward are still madly in love, and evil vampire, Victoria is hunting Bella to avenge the death of her one true love. Victoria is leading a vampire army into Cullen family territory. Meanwhile, a love triangle builds; here’s where it gets a little sticky. Bella must choose between her love for Edward and ‘friendship’ with werewolf, Jacob. She agrees to marry Edward if he’ll turn her into a vampire so they can literally spend eternity together. Isn’t it safe, then, to assume she isn’t lying when she insists she has no feelings for Jacob? Vampire and dog continue to debate who is ‘better’ for her, even after she makes her feelings known. No, means no, werewolf. Although he may actually be the saner choice - Edward’s obsessive behaviour steps over the line into ‘abusive’, at least according to the government’s warning signs - telling her what to wear, restricting where she goes, reading her text messages, etc.

This time around, Pattinson and Stewart have great chemistry, and the dialogue feels less stilted than before. They manage to lighten up occasionally, with moments of flirty teenage romance and humour in amongst the heavy soul-mate business. Lautner does a commendable job as the bronzed, chiselled shirtless eye candy, and earns double points for pulling off the lame one-liners included in his dialogue. This chapter also provides a chance for supporting roles to step into focus, with good performances given by Nikki Reed and Dakota Fanning. None of these points will affect ticket sales or public opinion one iota, though. You love Twilight, hate it, or love to hate it.

Eclipse is in cinemas now.

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