Movie Review: Twilight Eclipse- Another Dreary Chapter in the Twilight Saga That Depends on Stated Emotion Rather Than Exploring Developed Character

What is there to critique in a film series that is as overrated as The Beatles in the first stages of their career and has an obsessive blinded fan base that fails to see the blatant, rigid filmmaking that progresses on the screen? Well a lot actually, and who knows if five paragraphs can get the job done. The newest segment of the beloved Twilight series, Eclipse, is really just more of the same that you received in the first two parts except with a lot more going on action and relationship wise. But what is more of the same? Stated emotions rather than being able to successfully show them, weird and creepy vibes now emanating from two male leads instead of one, drastic plot conveniences, bad dialogue and even worse delivery, as well as mediocre camera work and action sequences. It seems the 2010 summer season is really proving that it can be the worst in recent memory by offering us another film that doesn’t have to bother with focusing on quality when it already has a manipulated fan base that it can just take money from. Twilight certainly isn’t a great vampire movie, especially in comparison to some extremely fascinating and original concepts delivered by Chan-Wook Park (Thirst) and Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In), but Twilight also fails miserably as a compelling love narrative. With each passing chapter in the Twilight saga it becomes more and more apparent that they are merely just over exaggerated and poorly written attempts at copying Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet and La Traviata. Sure a lot happens on the screen in Eclipse but nothing that really makes you care unless you’re already tapped into the aura that is the Twilight obsession.

The latest chapter of Twilight opens up with two fairly cliché cinematic moments, the ambiguous horror attack sequence and two stated lovers in an open field reading poetry. Eclipse has set out to show that George Lucas’ horrid love scenes in Attack of the Clones aren’t the most formulaic and tiresomely familiar to be in the movies (Splendor in the Grass anyone?). So Bella is torn between two questionably attractive moody monsters, one a dead vampire with a boring demeanor and the other a werewolf with a dead personality. Gee, one can be immediately convinced of this difficult choice in front of her as the love triangle becomes less interesting as it increases in drama. This isn’t even close to the complexity of character that Marcel Carne’s Children of Paradise could deliver through its intricate love journey, which actually can explain a great deal as to why Twilight gets less interesting as each of its chapters unveil more. In Children of Paradise, Garance has many suitors but each of them possesses a defining characteristic and become more than just mere objects chasing after her desire. Looking at how the two male leads in Twilight behave shows how unconvincing their acting is while at the same time proving that they are merely just objects, not characters. This is what results in such an unconvincing love story for those not fascinated by the mystique that is Twilight. Basically as things get more complicated for our protagonist Bella, as she is still being hunted by an angry Victoria who is creating an army of new vampires to kill her, the film’s lack of built upon character makes it suffer from maintaining interest. The failure of the first two films to actually create characters rather than basing it on stated beliefs and feelings makes the majority of Eclipse suffers in the end as each action sequence or side character off shoot just passes the time rather than being thoroughly engaging.

Alright again the harshness can be felt and perhaps it’s unwarranted. People love these movies and love for movies is subjective despite none of them being able to defend why with reasonable examples. Eclipse was looking as though it could start getting better than its two predecessors for the mere fact that it began to contemplate the idea of Bella’s decisions and how it could result in negative consequences. But just like every other emotional or complex moment in Twilight it is just explained or discussed in dialogue rather than visually or subjectively felt making for pretty boring cinema. And the dialogue on top of that is awful without much vigor or talented acting behind it to try and make it convincing. The things said here in a relationship setting would make for a pretty uncomfortable situation in reality, pointing to the film’s inability to make the idealization of love into a practical or believable one. Bella’s decision making torment is never really explored through the technique of cinema to be relatable to us as a struggle that we all have had and instead makes it a template for a young generation of girls to have a certain expectation of feeling wanted rather than loved. Twilight, especially the Eclipse chapter, attempts to be a story for young girls while at the same time having incredibly adult scenarios, but isn’t able to capitalize on the potential opportunity.

So if the poor directing, average cinematography, repetitive moments of action, or mind numbing dialogue weren’t bringing the Twilight series down it really must be the essential element of the actors. This is a love story so it the film is surrounded by the emotional changes of its characters, which there really aren’t any defined characters in action but simply stating what they feel in very melodramatic ways. Kristin Stewart just simply plays herself and might speak to other females but never breaks out to convince those unfamiliar with her plight. Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner could just as well be competing for the most boring love interest award due to their lack of vigor and unconvincing line delivery. The rest of the cast is filled with dead performances, simply due to the fact that they never expand upon their already determined personalities. The film tries to be interesting by taking a couple of flashbacks to explain the past of a few characters, but never really adds anything to the overall framework of the actual film you’re participating in. Some added moments of humor, especially with the father, make for slight enjoyable moments but they are momentary and extremely rare amidst the constant bludgeoning of melodrama. Quite simply put, Eclipse continues the Twilight formula of stating character intentions and reasons rather than understanding them making for another dreary couple of hours to sit through.

Twilight’s success is completely dependent upon its book following, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. What is completely ridiculous is the very fact that the filmmakers have stumbled into a comfortable work environment of just churning out the product rather than making a quality film. Adaptation can be a magnificent form of talent and has been done for books much more complex than the Twilight series. Modern cinema just clearly drops the ball in all forms of entertainment and Eclipse is another example of how the romantic genre has succumbed to mere idealization and a lazy form of it. Everything that can be poor about a movie, from dialogue to camera work, is simply lacking in all of the chapters of Twilight with character intentions and feelings being stated rather than explored and extremely unconvincing narrative progressions. This film is review proof in terms of its box office returns but for anyone who has seen a truly invigorating love story, such as Casablanca or Wuthering Heights, than you’ll already know that Twilight isn’t a model of quality romantic cinema.

Grade: C-

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Comments
5 Responses to “Movie Review: Twilight Eclipse- Another Dreary Chapter in the Twilight Saga That Depends on Stated Emotion Rather Than Exploring Developed Character”
  1. Derek says:

    You are wrong! I loved this movie, there never was nor will there ever be a better love story. 🙂 In all seriousness, I did like this movie…it was cotton candy for the soul.

  2. Lenfosit88 says:

    You are wrong! I loved this movie, there never was nor will there ever be a better love story.

  3. Thick says:

    I saw the movie. Is was exactly what I was expecting it to be.

  4. Sowmya says:

    Hey I am an avid Twilight fan (euphemistically i am a fan but obsessed in reality). So, Twilight was awesome! 🙂

    New Moon was okay. This Eclipse, well, was very disappointing and I cannot agree with your review more. The book was extremely boring, Stephenie Meyer was kinda suffering from writer’s block, hence the terrible outcome. What I missed in the novel was the action, the fight scenes of other vampires and werewolves with the newborns. I had an inkling the screenplay of the movie would include it, so the movie would be gr8. But who could have done anything to save the movie if save for this part, every other part was falling off the body? Another flaw with the book was, I (and so any reader) had already guessed before Bella’s revelation that Victoria was behind the Seattle homicide, so the foreseeing of the imminent attack by Alice was not at all a shocking news.
    Seriously man, had they plagiarized the technique to daze the crowd with suspense by using simple issues as instilling the horror of being killed in Seattle, nobody would have minded.

    I loved the soundtrack of Twilight, brilliant music to augment the intense scenes. In New Moon, there were some good songs and the scenes were more intense than Twilight. What pain is a pain if not felt by an actor? Bella felt and we felt with her. Edward’s role had started to decline with New moon however. In Eclipse, the music and the intensity of the scenes completely evaporated. In India, the movie was released on 30th July, yeah, very late. I watched it y’day, yet I cannot remember any music or any great scene what-so-ever. Bella was standing with the werewolf, she could have stroked it with emotions, but no, so it was all a waste, every effort to make the nice werewolf went in vain!
    Abt the storyline, as u said, everything was haphazard, as if the word sequence lost it’s meaning during the course of movie making! Underlining reasons of doing anyth, like Jacob’s carrying Bella like a baby, were never stated! The omniscience of audience was presumed while making a disconnected pastiche of scenes.

    About the acting, well, Lord save us all!

  5. Mike says:

    Ohh god, the comments make me want to vomit. With there being so many more good vampire series… True blood to name one. The rabid tweens that actually enjoy this shat simply dont know what good cinema is. Kristen Stewart has all the acting skill of a soulless rock. As with the rest of the cast… But apparently all you need is a six pack and you can make it in cinema these days…

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