Eclipse (2010)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 7:53 PM | Posted in

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 4.9/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 5/10


By now, the world has been completely exposed to the uninspired world of the Twilight saga, while competing with the magical world of Harry Potter. For me, I do not need to describe the crux of the J.K. Rowling series: The entire series is simply about a boy wizard who is waiting for the prophetic battle between him and the evil Lord Voldemort. Now for the Twilight saga, with the love triangle, what is the crux here? It is basically a conflict between who is getting Bella in bed. Seriously, the burning question here in the franchise is: Is she going to end up sleeping with the sparkling vampire or is she going to end up sleeping with the werewolf with the six-pack?

Eclipse continues the love triangle between Bella (Kristen Stewart), Edward (Robert Pattinson), and Jacob (Taylor Lautner). This time, the werewolf pack and the Cullen family find themselves joining forces to fight a new vampire army led by Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), who seeks revenge after the death of James in the first movie.

This movie, directed by David Slade (Hard Candy30 Days of Night), held the record for biggest midnight opening in the United States in box office history, until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 surpassed it a year later. Just wait, Breaking Dawn Part 2 might just sadly break this record.

The film, still visually faithful, is clearly better executed this time around. For the previous two films, the melodrama drives the franchise's bizarre factor, with uneven pacing, poor acting, and wooden acting. Here, it appears that Eclipse has slowly grasped the balance between the cheesy romance and the decent fantasy action sequences. Without a doubt, the film's grip is not tight, but it at least has found the right place to hold onto. It is there but not "quite there" yet, if that makes any sense.

Despite Kristen Stewart still portraying the definition of "cardboard", it is a little more persuading here due to the plot putting her in danger once again, unlike the previous film. Again, just like the first entry, the subplot in Eclipse is far more interesting than the main romance narrative. During the majority of its two-hour-long running time, to quote Roger Ebert, the film "listens to conversations between Bella and Edward, Bella and Jacob, Edward and Jacob, and [the three together]. This would play better if any of them were clever conversationalists." The problem here is that the acting is still barely tolerable and the dialogue is still uninspiring. However, when it gets to the rise of the vampire army and the clans coming together, Eclipse actually started to look like a real movie.

To summarize Eclipse, its flaws are still the same flaws that plagued the previous two films. However, to quote Mark Keizer, "[The flaws] are bad in the quality you expect them to be bad, but not in the quantity you expect them to be bad." I can indeed say that David Slade tried his best to bring the Twilight franchise to the right direction. Although he has not fully accomplished his goal, this film could have been a whole lot worse if Slade was not put at the helm. 

The most satisfying thing is that Eclipse finally had a sense of trying. It attempted to dispose of the eccentric moments and replace them with action sequences, something that Slade is more skillful at. It even has a sense of humor at times, giving off a line that I legitimately laughed at. To agree with the New York Post, it seems like "they're actually Twi-ing."

However, underneath all the improvements, the film is still infected by the fans' love for the actors. It is still a film for girls to holler at the screen when a male star appears. This is not a romance movie. It fails at being a romance movie. I understand that Stephanie Meyer made it a romance, but let's take a step back here. If we take the relationship of the trio here and turn it into the relationship of the trio from Harry Potter, then we will have the perfect film. The sparkling skin, the mediocre CGI, that would no longer matter, although I would appreciate it if the writing was still improved. But the general idea is this entire franchise has been executed the wrong way. Many viewers will disagree with me here, but this franchise demands a reboot, and this time, aim the films at a wide target audience who will actually compare them to the Harry Potter films based on cinematic value.

If New Moon was an ugly cake that tastes horrendous, then Eclipse is a mediocre cake that looks lukewarm. Yes, it will win the hearts of the fans, but it will definitely not receive any new converts, despite its substance being slightly improved. From a girl's perspective, Eclipse would be a masterpiece. It would be a combination of the romance of Gone With the Wind with the fantasy of vampires and werewolves. The thing is, the protagonist is a girl who is slowly discovering her sexuality while being pursued by two immortal men who are somehow "handsome." The horrible dialogue and the cardboard cutout characters will no longer exist in the minds of the female audience. For the people who are actually paying attention, Eclipse is indeed the lesser of two evils, unquestionably better than New Moon, which almost had no story at all.

In conclusion, Eclipse is a good move made by the franchise, thanks to the director. It is a large improvement over its predecessor, and dumps almost all the lovey dovey moments that pulled the previous two episodes down into cheesy goo. In spite of its superiority, it still lacks the potential of being an adrenaline-charged fantasy thriller, and still suffers from the same flaws. Fortunately, those flaws did not fully kill off Eclipse, making it an entry of the franchise that slid by with less hate. Now with an even more talented director, Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), it seems like the Twilight franchise is finally having a chance to score a home run, like all those home runs easily made by the Cullens in the first movie.

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