Review — Our Two Cents
Well, we will give “Eclipse” this: It’s definitely better than the first two installments in Summit’s “Twilight Saga.” But, while “Eclipse’s” mediocrity places it on top of the Twilight heap, it remains just that – a mediocre movie sitting atop a heap of steaming dung that is the ridiculous Twilight franchise.
The movie actually begins with some action — something SMeyer knows nothing about, and therefore it’s already a (welcome) deviation from the book. In the opening minutes, we see Riley (later to become Victoria’s pet newbie) running and then getting attacked by a vampire. While we highly doubt the logic behind having Riley being bitten on a public dock (if it takes roughly 3 days for him to “turn,” isn’t someone likely to notice him writhing around there?), we’ll let it slide simply because we can tell director David Slade is at least trying.
The next scene, however, reminds us of the drivel we’re watching. Edward and Bella are canoodling in their flower-dotted meadow. Bella is reading a poem about fire and ice (the Frost poem that appears in the beginning of the book), and Edward is sparkling faintly in the buttery sunshine. They talk about love and marriage, blah blah blah, and the “Eclipse” that we remember (the really shitty one) begins.
Robert Pattinson looks as unattractive as ever as Edward, with his pasty skin and broody eyebrows. He still only manages to look constipated at all times. Kristen Stewart actually looks marginally healthier than she has in the past two films. And she even manages to eke out a facial expression or two; we didn’t notice nearly as much lip biting or hair fidgeting this time around. Good for you, KStew. We’re all proud and stuff.
Jacob’s entrance a few scenes into the movie is laughably epic. There’s this really badass music, and then his baby face turns around, wearing this “serious” look. Ha. He fixes Bella and Edward with a stare, to which the Destroying Angel exclaimed, “I bet he’s imprinting on her uterus right now!”
Taylor Lautner’s workouts must be seriously stunting his growth, however, because the poor kid still barely measures up to KStew. Which makes him look a bit silly, especially since he’s supposed to be like 6 ½-feet tall. But whatever.
The majority of “Eclipse” follows closely to the books — right down to word-for-word dialogue — thanks to Melissa Rosenberg’s script. This actually really hurts the film, because it means there are so many unnecessary scenes. Like the one where Bella and Edward go to visit Bella’s mother in Florida. While we do get to see Bella saying “goodbye” to mommy dearest, the scene feels just as out of place here as it did in the book. This scene — along with countless others — could have (and should have) easily ended up on the cutting room floor.
But Rosenberg and Slade do deserve some credit, because certain scenes actually did work. Or at least almost worked, which is essentially a success in this franchise. The flashbacks (to Rosalie’s past, to Jasper’s story) weren’t half bad, and the newbie fight training was much more interesting here than it was in the book. Of course, it was never actually described in the book, so anything would likely have been an improvement on that.
However, for every mildly-successful scene, there were at least three unsuccessful ones. Ones that made us snort out loud in the theater when they clearly weren’t supposed to. Like the scene where Jacob has a Meredith moment and begs Bella to “Choose me!” And then Bella punches him in the face and breaks her hand. Ha. Or how about the almost-sex-scene, where Bella begs Edward to “Just try!” to bone her? It’s so awkward, and we’re sad (and slightly sickened) to think that TwiMoms the world over probably got all tingly in their Team Edward panties over that scene. And then, of course, there was the part where Edward and Victoria fight, and Edward snaps off Vicky’s head. More than two people laughed during this “climactic” moment — meaning we weren’t alone.
This last-mentioned scene was made extra ridiculous by the still-lacking special effects. Really, Summit? This franchise has netted you millions and millions of dollars, and you still can’t afford a decent effects guy? If you’re going to have a movie that includes giant horse-sized werewolves, you should probably make making those look believable a priority. Just sayin’.
As with the last two Twilight films, though, the soundtrack stands out as the one shining beacon of redemption in this movie. “Eclipse” has a great soundtrack, and we won’t deny that. It’s just too bad the rest of the movie is just so-so.
But, since we actually were more amused by this movie than the last ones, we decided to throw in a few extra tidbits to this review. Here are three corny moments that actually broke us out of our stupor and made us laugh like they were intended to:
Edward making note of Jacob’s perpetual shirtlessness by inquiring, “Doesn’t he own a shirt?” Score one, Ed.
Charlie responding to the news that Bella and Edward are headed to Florida for the long weekend with, “Super. So excited about that.” Oh Claude. You and your porno stache are our favorite. We’re thinking of making “We Heart Claude” T-shirts.
Jacob pointing out to Edward that “I am hotter than you” when they’re up in the mountains during a snowstorm (in June, remember??) and Bella is shivering her lip-biting habit off. This scene just begs for a Brokeback Mountain parody, don’t you think?
So, in summary, “Eclipse” doesn’t suck quite as much as “Twilight” and “New Moon” did. But it’s still not very good. If we had to give it a rating, we’d perhaps give it 1 star. Maybe even 1 ½. You know, because Claude’s mustache deserves at least half a star on its own.