THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE


2010

DIRECTOR: David Slade

May Contain Spoilers!

The ever controversial Twilight Saga returned with its third installment, its third director, this time 30 Days Of Night’s David Slade, and yet another interpretation. This time, Twilight had gone epic, building on the ever more irritating and over blown love triangle between Bella, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob, and taking the plot into the seeming pointless direction of building vampire armies.

Well, spoiler alert: it turns out that the army is in fact being put together by the series’ villainess, Rebecca, now played by Bryce Dallas Howard, a casting choice which may well have put me against this. I’m sorry, but she just doesn’t do it for me. She may well be a very nice person in real life, but I find her very difficult to watch and just don’t like her so when they recast Victoria, recasting being my other great no-no, though that can sometimes be unavoidable, we were off on a bad foot.

Also, we begin to see a change in the characterisations and look to the film, a disregard and general disrespect for the fans which would reach new lows in the next film, but here we see the up until now, Jasper, the Cullen’s newest vegetarian vamp, as an Edward Scissorhands type, timid and shy.

Suddenly he’s lightened up and has a rich and vibrant history, and a mouth! Also the skin colour which was big thing in the first film, is starting to get more colourful. The next thing we know, they’ll be able to walk about or play chess in the sunshine… oh, hang on, that’s Breaking Dawn!

This is the problem with passing a franchise through so many directors, each will bring their own focus and tone, and the complications of continuity can be troublesome, certainly as here, when they have no respect at all for their audience. Teenage girls may well be swooning and hormonal, but that doesn’t mean that they’re thick or don’t care when you mess about with their favourite characters!

But saying that, this seems to be the one which a lot of fans like the best so what do I know? Personally, I feel that the first, which has grown on me over the years, captured the tone well, with the overblown world as seen through Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) was just that, her world as seen through the eyes of a teenager, whose first love consumes her. I liked New Moon best as it blended the more realistic world of Twilight with the camp vampire world as led by Michael Sheen who is always a pleasure to watch.

But Eclipse’s greatest accolade is that in the style of Joss Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, it uses flashbacks to flesh out the characters, and it goes on to turn me even further against Bella as she snogs Jacob (Taylor Lautner) on the mountain! Are we supposed like, this girl or what?

Anyway, maybe as a 33-year-old man, I shouldn’t get too involved, but living with a 14-year-old girl and her mother!, it’s pretty hard not to be surrounded by Twilight or The Hunger Games day in and day out.

Overall, this is good, but lighter than the previous two, which probably captured the angst and tone of the source material better, as well as the characters which it portrays.

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