The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
- Director:David Slade
- Cast:Bryce Dallas Howard, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart
- Release Date:July 02, 2010
- Running time:124 minutes
- Film Worth:$11.50
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While the third instalment is the most romantically overheated of the franchise so far, director David Slade commendably steps-up the film’s action.
If you were to read any interview with a cast member asking what fans could expect from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, there was a pretty uniform answer: it was darker and stepped up the action. And what do you know? The kids in the cast were spot-on. Eclipse is the most action-packed film of the franchise yet. There is both more violence and a deeper intimation of darkness but the trade-off for these elements is that Eclipse is exceptionally heavy on overheated dialogue and arguably devotes too much space to a multitude of secondary characters and back stories.
Eclipse picks up where last year's New Moon left off. Bella (Kristen Stewart) spends half her time trying to knock back the marriage proposal by "old school" Edward (Robert Pattinson) while trying to convince her sparkly beau to turn her into a vampire by graduation. She spends the other half trying to deny that she has feelings toward boy-turned-CGI-werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) who makes really intense statements like, "I will fight for you until your heart stops beating." As if this love triangle wasn't enough cause for perpetual angst, the trio must also figure out how to deal with an army of new-born vampires led by the evil Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her newly appointed second-in-command, Riley (Xavier Samuel), who are returning to Forks to wage war against Bella and the Cullen family.
After the downer that was New Moon, Eclipse swiftly picks up the pace and director David Slade invests the film with the rich sense of mood and atmosphere which Catherine Hardwicke so successfully created with the first film. Unlike the series' first two entries, which packed what little action there was into the last fifth of the film, Eclipse wisely mixes the dialogue-heavy scenes with several exciting training and fight sequences which culminate in the final battle.
With the uncompromising Slade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy) on board to direct this instalment, many were touting Eclipse as the most gripping of the franchise so far but disappointingly, it is not as hard-hitting as some may expect. This, after all, is vampires made for tweenies and Slade sticks to that. However he does bring a real menace to the new horde of vampires and the anticipated showdown between Edward and Victoria is impressively satisfying.
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of Eclipse is that Slade seems quite content to play some of the scenes tongue-in-cheek. The humour, which sneaks in at the film's edges, never sinks into self-mockery but is more of a self-aware wink to the audience, such as when Edward takes one look at a bare-chested Jacob and complains to Bella, "Doesn't he own a shirt?"
Sure, the dialogue is cheesy and unbelievable, the constant close-ups are melodramatic and the acting is unlikely to win any respectable awards, but it's hard not to get caught up in the high drama of it all. This franchise wasn't made for critics. Team Edward or Team Jacob? If you don't have an answer to that question, then who really cares what you think anyway?