Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Directed by: David Slade
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Rating: 3/10
I’m sorry to report that this third installation in the infernal Twilight franchise is disappointingly similar to its predecessors. I had been hoping that director David Slade who is responsible for the fang-tastic 30 Days of Night might have injected the franchise with the dose of blood that it so desperately needs. Unfortunately, it seems he is as sanitised as the others. It is very clear that these film are so desperately in need of the tween audience that the filmmakers refuse to allow any glimpse of gore; even going so far as a focus pull when the villainous Victoria bites someone’s neck and making it so vampires heads smash like glass when they die! No blood n guts here, no sir!
This instalment follows Victoria planning vengeance for her boyfriend’s death at the hands of Edward (way back in the first movie) by trying to kill Bella. Of course this sparks a war between the evil vamps and the veggie vamps. As the evil vamps recruit an army of newborns the veggie’s join forces with the werewolves in a truce formed with Bella’s best interest at heart.
Meanwhile, Bella must choose between the very lovely Jacob who will love and protect her forever and ever and Edward who will make her a vampire and she can fend for herself. Bella’s decision to become a vampire, thus losing her soul, for the love of a boy is made even more troubling by the fact that she seems hardly distressed by the thought of ending her life. Despite pretty much everyone telling her it is a bad decision, she is staunch in her determination to do it. I dread to imagine the suicide tallies in a few years time if this is the stuff that is feeding our young teenagers imaginations.
Although this is certainly the least boring of the three films so far, it is as still almost completely devoid of humour, and the story structure is bafflingly tedious. The problem is that every dramatic setup is merely a way for the audience to gain insight into how much Edward and Jacob love Bella. There’s never a sense of danger, because we know that none of them die and despite the beautifully desolate cinematography (by Javier Aguirresrobe, fast becoming my favourite), there is not enough darkness to ever really thrill the audience. Eclipse tricks the audience into thinking that there is a dark, fearsome story going on but really it is just sanitised nonsense with no bite to it whatsoever. I cried for sex, blood and rock n roll after the first two films and hoped this film might give us some of that but unfortunately it has become clear that this franchise just doesn’t have the balls!
If you’re a Twi-hard you know not to bother reading reviews anyway, but this is definitely the best of the bunch. For those of you who haven’t been seduced, this probably won’t be the one to do it. That being said, Eclipse is shot beautifully, there are topless werewolves aplenty and it is far less boring than the last two films.
-          Charlene Lydon

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