The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

?????????????????????????????????????Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) have reached a stalemate, with the former refusing  to turn the latter into a vampire until they are wed, and the latter reluctant to marry at such a young age. An added complication comes from Jason Black (Taylor Lautner), who is determined to win her for himself, an outcome that has the backing of Bella’s father, Charlie (Billy Burke). Meanwhile in Seattle, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Riley (Xavier Samuel) are amassing an army of newborn vampires with which to attack the Cullen clan, and their werewolf allies.

After the melodramatic mediocrity of the second instalment, expectations for the new Twilight movie were at an all-time low. With two more films remaining until the Bella/Edward romance would reach any kind of resolution, the stage was set for another two-hour placeholder as Summit Entertainment (and Stephanie Meyer) try to pad out their threadbare story for another half a billion dollars.

As water droplets streak the Summit title card and the scene cuts to a dark and rain-dashed Seattle dock, it’s immediately clear that director David Slade’s Twilight is going to be another beast altogether. As a young student is stalked and sired by an unseen foe, threat and intrigue are introduced into a franchise thoroughly lacking in either. It’s an atmospheric and assured opener, and one that suggests that this might actually be a world worth exploring further after all.

Slade seems to know exactly what the series’ strengths are, and employs them to genuinely gripping effect. The snow capped scenery is shot in an altogether darker light, while the endless staring and swooning of the film’s three leads is undercut with wit and actual drama for really the first time in the franchise thus far. It is not only the opening gambit that benefits from the director’s touch, with a third act camping trip elevated greatly as both Edward and Jacob are finally given personalities to match their teen-idol looks.

Most refreshing of all, however, is the attention afforded on the unsung supporting cast of The Twilight Saga. While Slade does manage to coax competent performances out of Pattinson and Lautner, it is the natural charisma and charm of Anna Kendrick and Billy Burke that prove the most watchable, proving a welcome distraction from Stewart’s eyebrows and Ashley Greene’s infernal visions, while Nikki Reed bags a brilliantly brutal flashback for her Rosalie Hale. Newcomers Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Sammuel steal the show as evildoers Victoria and Riley, their efforts proving far more threatening than the asinine antagonism of both James’ Pack and The Volturi.

While even David Slade is unable to overcome the many limitations of Stephanie Mayer’s source novel, then, he does put his relevant experiences with 30 Days Of Night to good use. Benefiting from assured direction, surprisingly strong performances and a striking soundtrack, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has an atmosphere and dynamic that the other entries are sorely lacking. Sadly, it’s all downhill from here.

3-Stars

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

  1. Pingback: February 2013 – Snitches end up in ditches! | popcornaddict

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