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Twilight: Does it really suck? Part 3: Eclipse

the-twilight-saga-eclipse-movie-poster

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.

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  • PK-S.

    This has been a thoroughly enjoyable series, Jordan. You’ve turned your keen film student’s eye to look at an abhorred series and come to the conclusion that it is indeed appalling.

    So I take it you won’t be looking at the first and second part of Breaking Dawn?

    And one nitpick – you referred to Melissa Rosenberg by her first name and sorry to pick at minor details but you really should have either said “Rosenberg” or “Melissa Rosenberg” but not by her forename; it’s too personal.

    • http://flowingriverproductions.weebly.com/ Djornad

      Thanks. I understand what you’re saying on that last point, I’ll try to confine the first names of cast and crew to jokes or witty statements in future.

    • ShalkaDoctor

      Yeah talk about nitpick… Can I just ask why are you always critiquing the other writers and acting like people’s superior? I often see you on this site or Doctor Who TV and you are either criticising others or coming across as patronising. I’ve read your articles and they aren’t faultless you know.

      • PK-S.

        Because I’d rather not say something was amazing if I thought it wasn’t. My articles are far from faultless, I grant you – what I gave to Jordan was advice.

        When you’re writing a critical/analytical piece then you should refer to cast/crew by their surname not their forename. It’s just a tip for him to help improve his writing.

  • http://cultfix.co.uk/doctor-who-is-she-23563.htm GoodYear92

    The first instalment of this should have read as follows: ‘Yes. Yes, it does.’ It would have saved a lot of time and effort.

    In all seriousness, well done. These Twilight articles have been some of my favourites to read over the last few weeks. Impeccable stuff. I’m a wee bit sad that this is the final one, to be honest, but I completely sympathise with you not wanting to/seeing the point in carrying on with them.

    On your point about Kristen Stewart, I heard from someone who detests anything Twilight that she is rather good in a film called, Into the Wild. It’s no surprise to me that this godawful series of films would bring out the worst in otherwise competent actors and actresses.

    • http://flowingriverproductions.weebly.com/ Djornad

      It really would have saved me a great deal of time. I don’t suppose you’ve seen an indy film called “How to Be”? I think it’s Robert Pattinson’s finest role to date. He plays a young man with depression I think? He’s quite humerous in the role, but also sort of sweet in his naivety and innocence.

      • http://cultfix.co.uk/doctor-who-is-she-23563.htm GoodYear92

        No, I haven’t seen it (is it good?). But then again, I didn’t have a single issue with Pattinson in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (which is the only other role of his I’ve seen). He had Cederic Diggory down to a tee.

  • ShalkaDoctor

    Why not do a final article comprising both films?I’ve enjoyed reading these.

    • http://cultfix.co.uk/doctor-who-is-she-23563.htm GoodYear92

      Well, he sort of explained why in the article. If the series was just a retrospective look at the Twilight series, then there would be every reason for him to finish where the films themselves did. But the feature is titled, Twilight: Does it really suck?, and at this point he’s already reached a firm conclusion to that question, so there’d be very little point in him taking it any further. It’s a shame, as like you I’d very much love to read some more of it, but I can fully understand why he’s felt the need to end it here.

  • http://cultfix.co.uk/the-mortal-instruments-city-of-bones-review-23589.htm TardisBoy

    *Standing ovation*

    Bravo, Jordan! Fantastic conclusion to your immensely enjoyable series! I must commend you for putting up with these atrocious films (Seriously you deserve a medal! XD…), and I am very satisfied with your conclusion, I agree with you whole-heartedly! Twilight does indeed suck!

    So let us lock these films (and the books of course) into the abyss where they shall never see the light of day again; because quite frankly they are an insult to the film making industry!

    Well done again, Jordan! :)

  • ThePowerofNine

    I think it did so well because these ‘hopeless romantics’ went to see it 4-5 times in the cinema XD

    • http://flowingriverproductions.weebly.com/ Djornad

      You’re damn right they did!

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