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Published on July 12th, 2010 | by Paul Hickey

5

Eclipse: A Review

Released: Out Now

Cert: 12A

As a fan of most things ‘Twilight’, I have been extremely looking forward to ‘Eclipse’. For months I have been actively seeking news on the production and all the while getting more excited about it. I have read the whole series and enjoyed its two film adaptations so far. Eclipse looks set to be the best movie so far, sporting a visually engaging director, a now more mature cast and what I expect would be great production values. Having seen the final product, is this the ‘Eclipse’ that fans were hoping for??

‘Eclipse’ once again follows Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a teenage resident of the small town of Forks. Over the course of her time in Forks, Bella has fallen in love with a vampire and found herself immersed in the supernatural underworld feud between vampires and werewolves.

This movie finds Bella struggling to come to terms with her decision to become a vampire and the effects it will have on her friendship with werewolf Jacob. When a string of brutal murders in nearby Seattle point towards some heavy vampire activity, the vampires and werewolves of Forks are forced to work together to face a common enemy. In the midst of this Chaos lies Victoria, the vengeful mate of a vampire who was killed by the Cullen coven in the first movie, who is all the while looking to kill Bella as retribution for her loss.

‘Eclipse’ is most certainly the darkest of the Twilight film entries so far. Director David Slade opens with a visceral and tense sequence that gives a pretty good idea of what to expect from the action. We are slowly guided through Bella’s turmoil in trying to find the right balance in her life and the movie does a good job of conveying the emotional weight involved in the love triangle of Bella, Jacob and Edward.

The plot moves at a fairly decent pace but can occasionally dwell on certain scenes and plot elements for too long. The movie stays mostly true to the book but has taken a few liberties to make for a tighter cinematic experience. There are a lot of action scenes to break up the drama and the climatic battle of the movie is even better than I would have anticipated.

Performances range from mediocre to solid. Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner provide the same performances we have come to expect and the Cullen and Wolf Pack add some much needed diversity to the roles.

Fans of the previous installments in the series will no doubt be familiar with the dramatic shift in visual style of the movies. The original was awash with VERY pale skin tones and an almost greenish hue to the environment while ‘New Moon’ gave a somewhat grainy and warm colour palette to the movie. ‘Eclipse’ lies somewhere in the middle; the trademark beautiful paleness is present and the makers have managed to retain some of the warm qualities of ‘New Moon’, a visual delight.

I was so excited going into this movie. I loved ‘Eclipse’ as a novel and really felt that David Slade could bring an excellent element of darkness to the picture. As a movie, all the pieces are there; a solid plot, good performances and wonderful production qualities but coming out of the movie I found it difficult to recall any real standout moments. It felt uneventful, despite the fact that so much had just happened. As I mentioned previously, I love this series and can definitely appreciate the merits to this movie but after watching the final product I can’t help but feel regret and wonder as to what it could have been. The pieces are there for a beautiful picture, it’s just disappointing they did not come together like they should have.

6.0 / 10 Good but not what it could have been

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5 Responses to Eclipse: A Review

  1. Emlyn says:

    Really good review. Have to say i’m not a huge fan of this series–compared to let’s say Harry Potter (though found myself enjoying the last two movies in parts), though David Slade was always an interesting choice to helm this installment and the trailer did look good. Think i will give it a go!

  2. Colm says:

    Saw this yesterday. It wasn’t bad, but the other two were certainly better.

    For such a long movie very little actually hapens in it. New Moon actually did a good job of prgoressing the story in a sensible way, adding to the universe with the wolves, and the Volturi, and adding the love triangle dynamic. But this story actually didn’t add anything new, it was a complete rehash of the love triangle we had last time with virtually no progression and her still moodily moping back and forth between her two boyfriends. The Volturi were more camp than menacing in this movie, and Victoria and her vampire army didn’t present any kind of challenge at all.

    My main gripe with the whole series however is the pro-marriage, pro-abstinence Mormon propaganda machine that seems to be driving it. It was bad in the first two, but here its just so blatant as to be offensive. Its essentially brainwashing a generation of girls into thinking that waiting for marriage makes it special and magical and frankly it turns my stomach. And Bella is such a weak heroine in this regard. At the start of the movie, she doesn’t see any merit in marriage, she wants to sleep with Edward, and yet all it takes is a few hollow words about how he wants to ‘court’ her and how special she is and she decides to completely compromise her own beliefs on the matter and defer to his. If anyone deserves a punch in the face in this movie its Edward, not Jake and yet she chooses him even though Jake quite rightly says that she wouldn’t have to change anything to be with him, and he would accept her for who she is. But not Edward, it has to be on his terms all the time. Its such an irresponsible message to be sending to young girls, change yourself and you’ll get the man of your dreams.

  3. Paul Hickey says:

    Thanks very much for reading guys!!

    @ Emlyn: It is definitely worth a watch. David Slade definitely brings a darker perspective on the fiction.

    @Colm: I can definitely understand what you mean. At times the messages of Abstinence can be very strong.
    For me, that is one of my favourite elements of the story.
    The story is very aware of its stark contrast to modern day attitudes to sexuality. I find it hard to see anything bad about promoting respect for sex and seeing it as something sacred.
    In a world of ‘Sex and the City’ where they shamelessly promote promiscuity and encourage being a “Try-Sexual”, I think it’s refreshing to see a different perspective.
    Sure it’s cheesy and in some ways it promotes unhealthy obsession but I want to believe in the real thing.

  4. Keleher says:

    Nice review Paul, the young women at the office are defo into these films. I have not read the books nor seen the films, more of an HP fan like Emylyn.

    Colm, I think the Mormons are the ones who have multiple wives, pro-marriage alright, but pro-abstinence, not so sure about that 😉

  5. Colm says:

    @Paul Yeah it is very aware you’re right there. But the fact is that its very deliberate and calculated in this regard. Fair enough if she was about promoting diversity of choice when it comes to sexuality, but shes not. I can’t see how she’s promoting respect for sexuality when shes stating that sex is only ever acceptable in the confines of marriage. Shes presenting the personal choice she made, and offering it as the only acceptable choice for young girls to make.
    Sorry but this really bugs me. At worst its brainwashing, at best its extremely socially irresponsible.
    @Keleher the Mormons are all about marriage, but sex beforehand is a big no no!!

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