Twilight: Does it really suck? Part 3: Eclipse
By Jordan Goodier
I’m half thinking that reviewing the final two movies in this saga would be a waste of my time. The likeliness of me not enjoying them is very high. Yes, as you’ve probably guessed, I did not enjoy Eclipse. I thought Melissa would continue to improve her writing, but no; she did not. Everything that I enjoyed about the second film is taken away in this one. I really wanted Melissa Rosenberg, scribe of every screenplay in The Twilight Saga, to keep going from strength to strength. I wanted to like this film, I really did.
Eclipse is the third film in The Twilight saga, the worldwide phenomenon about a love story between a human and a vampire. The film is directed by David Slade and, as mentioned above, is once again written by Melissa Rosenberg. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner all star as the bland human (Bella Swan), the bland vampire (Edward Cullen) and the bland werewolf (Jacob Black) respectively. The film focuses on Bella’s choice between her love for Edward and her love for Jacob. It also focuses on the final battle with Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) who has been plaguing Bella since the first film.
I didn’t really enjoy Eclipse. I didn’t hate the majority of the scenes in the same way I did in Twilight, but I found little to enjoy in most of them. I can’t really recall which parts of the film belong in which parts. The film was simply a big build up to this final battle with Victoria. Bella graduates within the first half of the film, and the Cullen’s begin training the werewolves to kill the vampire army that Victoria is building. There’s a sort of rivalry between Edward and Jacob for Bella’s love. The film had really bad pacing really. I also had a massive problem with the main hook of the film. Bella’s choice between two guys. Really? She puts them both through hell for her and she doesn’t have the decency to be straight with them until the very end? And how horrific would you feel if your partner came up to you and said they loved another person? But it’s alright, because she “loves you more”. I can’t recall who said it, but one critic noted that the film was effectively “Choosing a Boyfriend: The Movie”. And I don’t know about you, but that’s a horrific message to send out to the younger people in the audience. You don’t put two people that have those feelings for you through that. Anyway, I digress.
Bella’s school friends are all but non-existent in this film. They have minor roles in a couple of scenes and that’s it, so there’s really not much to say about them. They don’t stand out at all. Good ‘ol Charlie Swan (Billy Burke) has very few scenes this time as well. Basically, most of the supporting cast of the past two films are sidelined in this. Jacob’s wolf pack are given bigger roles and we see more of the Cullens again. Jasper (Rathbone), who’d been mostly silent during the first two films gets his origin story told and his character is expanded. Rathbone gets to do some pretty solid acting in the scenes that he’s in and this was a welcome breath of fresh air to the increasingly dull slog that is this movie. Carlisle (Facinelli) continued to be one of the more capable actors in the series, but still doesn’t get a great deal to do. The supporting antagonist of this film, a newborn vampire by the name of Riley Biers (Xavier Samuel) did a fairly decent job, though he wasn’t exactly a scary vampire. His relish in his new abilities came across very well, I thought.
As tired as I am of having to say it (and thus the reason I’m not entirely certain I’ll review the last two films) the main problems of this film are, yet again and with no surprise whatsoever, the golden trio; the three actors leading the movie, and also Melissa Rosenberg’s writing. Their dull and brooding performances continue from the last film. Sure, there’s a scene in which Jacob and Edward have a “heart to heart” (if you can call it that) that was slightly enjoyable and finally gave a decent idea about how the two felt about each other, but it could have been much more. They basically hate each other because they both want Bella for themselves. Selfish buggers, she’s not a possession. Other than that, there’s nothing new in any of their performances; they’re as bland as ever.
David Slade’s directing is average. Passable. Run of the mill. There’s nothing unique in his interpretation of the Twilight Saga’s world. He handles the final fight scene pretty well, in all fairness. The limbs being torn of all the newborn vampires made for some entertaining battle sequences, without the film becoming gory in the slightest. Which is alright, they need to appeal to a large audience and the battles aren’t supposed to be bloody. There’s one visually striking sequence that takes place at the top of a mountain, in which Bella, Edward and Jacob all camp, but no other scenes come to mind.
There really isn’t much else to say about Melissa’s writing, from what I’ve said in the previous two films. She dropped her cheesy or unrealistic sounding dialogue, but that’s where the improvements seemed to have stopped. There’s nothing remarkable about her writing, the whole theme of the film annoys me, though I suppose that’s not her fault. The blame for the silly themes of this film belong to the writer of the original story.
From watching three films in the Twilight franchise, I really can see that I don’t need to review anymore. They’re bad. They’re regarded as bad by virtually every filmmaker within the industry. Does Twilight really suck? Yes. They really do, they’re a piece of filmmaking that hasn’t done anything unique other than connecting with every love struck sap around the world and becoming a success due to their love of romance. I wanted to like Twilight, I really did, but they’re bad films. They are. However, is Kristen a bad actress? I don’t think so. I think she has the potential to be a great actress, she doesn’t deserve the shtick she gets for this film series. As poor as her performance was throughout these first three films (and more than likely the last two). The same goes for the other two actors. I hope they go onto do better things. Much better things. The directors that did the first three films could shine if they were given decent scripts. I truly believe Melissa Rosenberg should stop writing though. Just stop.
Why do people love Twilight? They’re hopeless romantics that want their own Edward Cullen or Jacob Black and a love life that’ll last forever. Probably. Why were the films successful? Probably because there are a lot of hopeless romantics in this world. Why do many people hate the franchise? For every damn reason I do. They know a mess of filmmaking when they see it. This is the conclusion I’ve come to asking all sorts of people on all sides of the Twilight fandom.