Twilight Eclipse Review: Franchise Finds Its Feet


twilight_eclipse_photo300TWILIGHT ECLIPSE: On General Release Friday 9th July

A few years ago Robert Pattinson slept on his agent’s couch after being fired from The Woman Before at London’s Royal Court Theatre just before opening night. These days he and Kristen Stewart probably sleep atop a pile of money while hormone-addled Twihards duke it out in cinema foyers to get their hands on the last poster of him as pasty heartthrob Edward Cullen.

Amid the hysteria surrounding the third film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s series, it seems ridiculous to hear of how he eased nerves before his first Twilight audition by scoffing valium and that his casting was met with outright derision by some Twihards back in 2008. But despite his and the franchise’s unmitigated popularity, the first two films were considered something of a mixed bag by critics, yet we were assured that Eclipse would be the movie which really brought this saga alive on the big screen.

Sure enough, if Pattinson and his mates were muddling through previously, they seem to have found their feet now. This is most impressive film of the series yet, the plot is richer, the cast are now fully assembled and there are some half-decent action sequences. Basically, things are starting to happen. But the real hook of the movie is all this new stuff combined with the way both a multi-faceted love story overrides everything else and Bella’s inner-turmoil dominates her sexy suitors. As she wrestles with themes of immortality, love, lust, sacrifice and who she wants to go out with, we get an emo-film at the top of its game. Which is great if that’s your thing..

However talk of Eclipse attracting a new audience is utter pap – this is still an angst-ridden, gush of emotions. Girls of all ages will once again be aching with appreciation for it and self-respecting blokes will feel paralysed by most of the slushy tete-a-tetes and confused by the whole situation in general (“Stop whinging and sleep with her Pattinson!”)

But for any criticisms that come Eclipse‘s way, it certainly can not be called unoriginal. The three central characters are strengthened and Kristen Stewart is excellent as Bella Swan, the young girl at the centre of a tussle between the vampires and werewolves of Forks, a town in upstate Washington. On this occasion however, these sexy supernatural beings have bigger problems than scrapping over who owns the local forest. Some out of town blood-suckers are causing all kinds of trouble in Seattle and when they rock up in Forks, the Werewolves (led by a constantly shirtless Taylor Lautner) team up with the Cullen clan to protect Miss Swan. This all results in some relatively satisfying violence.

I’m sure what most non-Twihards will not understand is the hold that Kristen Stewart’s young lead has over the community around her. There are probably perfectly rational reasons for all this, but why does Edward Cullen tolerate her infidelity with Jacob? And as for Jacob, he’s pretty hot, why doesn’t he just find himself another girl? Edward claims he’s just old-fashioned, but I doubt 17 year-olds living a century ago had such a Mormonesque attitude to sex when their parents weren’t around. Yes you’re right, it’s probably all explained in the books.. Oh well.