MOVIE REVIEW: Twilight Saga

Acting has improved somewhat

 

By Brittany Radakovich

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Review

 

            The Twilight movies have become a cultural phenomenon since its first film debut and is one of the biggest moneymaking movies to date, breaking box office records for every opening. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the third installment of this franchise and it doesn’t disappoint.

            The storyline for Eclipse, which is based on Stephenie Meyer’s novels, is packed with action while also giving viewers a deeper view into the past lives of vampires. Director David Slade does a commendable job of bringing the story to life.

After missing for most of the last movie the famous vampire clan, the Cullens, are back including Edward Cullen (Rob Pattinson). He’s reunited with love interest and human, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), but there’s still the problem with werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who’s head over heels in love with Bella.

            The two enemies put aside their differences to form an alliance to protect Bella from an attack of Newborn Vampires, created by vampire Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), who has a score to settle with Bella.

            One of the most satisfying things about this film is the fight scene. The movie really builds up your anticipation to the end result of a battle between vampires including a few werewolves. While the werewolves are an added bonus to see, it’s much more interesting to watch the vampires fight since they’re real actors rather than a CGI animation.

            Aside from the fight scene, though, there were some dull moments that involved prolonged silences and substandard acting. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s the acting that’s bad or the written dialogue.

            “We’re in…as long as we get to kill some vampires.” Jacob says in one scene. Screenwriter, Melissa Rosenberg, could have chosen these words more carefully or it could just be the way he says this line that makes it laughable rather than believable.

The acting has improved somewhat though for Stewart since the last film. She no longer bites her lip awkwardly in silence, but rather comes out of her shell a bit more especially in the scenes where she’s conflicted between her love for Edward and Jacob.

The one small exception to this is during a scene where she becomes tired of having to choose sides between Edward and Jacob. She exasperatedly says, “From now on, I’m Switzerland here.” Readers of the books will understand where this line comes from, but it’s so awkward and random it’s hard not to laugh.

            Another minor annoyance throughout the film is Bella’s shabby wig. It’s so noticeable it’s a wonder why they even used it, but I don’t think diehard Twilight fans would even acknowledge it.

            Pattinson, on the other hand, is the best actor in the movie. He somehow gives the whole brooding, torn and anguished character a natural feel. It doesn’t look like he’s trying too hard.

            Putting aside the main plot, there’s also a subplot involving the love triangle between Edward and Jacob and also the decision to turn Bella into a vampire. Eclipse is filled with passionate love scenes including a scene where Edward has to reject a sex-driven Bella. The sexual tension between these two is almost palpable in these scenes. Pattinson and Stewart have such great chemistry on-screen it sometimes feels like you’re intruding on an intimate moment.

Eclipse seems to be geared more towards readers of the books rather than an outside audience because viewers who have never read the books may not fully understand why it’s necessary to include the background information of two of the Cullen family members. We get to watch the history of how Rosalie (Nikki Reed) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) Cullen became vampires. It’s interesting to watch these scenes and it really takes viewers to a different era outside the mystical world of Forks, Washington.

            Another positive aspect of the film is that compared with the last movie, New Moon, which was full of teenage angst and heartache, Eclipse has a lighter feel. The characters get to smile and laugh a bit more and even crack some jokes.

            “Doesn’t he own a shirt?” Edward asks in one scene referring to Jacob who’s shirtless the majority of the movie due to his werewolf characteristics. Eclipse added more witty remarks that turned out to be quite amusing and gave the movie a lighter tone to soften up some of the serious scenes.

            This romantic action-packed continuation of the Twilight Saga franchise is the best film thus far. It will leave audiences thirsty for more vampire and werewolf action and fans of the Twilight Saga will not be disappointed with the on-screen adaptation of the novels.

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