Thursday, July 15, 2010
The first was what I expected, teenage melodrama with a vampiric twist that I thought was stealing straight from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (a show that I actually happened to be a huge fan of). If I was reviewing movies back then, I would have given it a very subtle “2 out of whatever it was”. I felt the second was even worse. Although it had some potential because of the CGI created wolves, the story was boring and slow while the acting was even slower. If felt like one conversation between any two characters took at least 25 minutes to even begin to make any sense at all. I would have given it a very dismal “1.5”. I’m being generous with the “.5”. I remembered referring to it as a “waste of two hours of my life”. With Eclipse on the horizon, I swore my Twilight days were over. But that was before I decided to try to become a film critic. So, since it is a film, I must critique it, and once again do so without bias. So here goes:
If you haven’t seen the first two disappointments, I will try my best not to give away too much. But you have got to know by now that the entire fantasy/sci-fi/romance story revolves around a love triangle that is apparently more important than anything else going on in the world right now. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart or “K-Stew”) is still very much with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison or “R-Patt”) and the two are very much in love. Not regular love but the kind of love that one is truly willing to die for. Namely Bella, who desperately wants to become a vampire, like her soul mate, so they can be together forever, literally. Edward and his vampire family are against it but figure it’s not their choice, it’s hers. The third corner in this triangle is bad boy Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner; no special nickname yet). He is a Quileute wolf, part of a pack of Native American people who can change into huge wolves, and who is also madly in love with Bella. He makes her known of this every chance he gets but she consistently deflects all of his advances at her. He regularly informs her that she is in love with him too but just doesn’t know it yet.
The “side story” to this particular entry in the saga has an evil vampire named Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) who has dedicated her life, or afterlife, to the destruction of Bella. She wants to cause Edward pain for taking her true love, James, away from her. In order to try to accomplish this, she assembles an army of young vampires called newborns, vampires who have been recently turned. Fearing for Bella’s safety and the well-being of the state of Washington, the Cullen’s and Quileute wolves form a formidable but shaky alliance, since they all don’t like each other, in order to keep Bella alive. Of course this means the two men in her life must learn to work together without killing each other if they want to protect the girl of their dreams. Included with a pretty humorous and uncomfortable exchange between the two of them during a scene where Bella gets cold and her vampire boyfriend doesn’t have the luxury of body heat to keep her warm. Enter Jacob.
Before I even considered seeing this, I felt with all of the hype of the romance aspect of it, the actual plot of the film would take a serious back seat. But to my surprise, director David Slade (who didn’t direct the two previous films) along with Melissa Rosenberg who wrote the screenplay did a good job of combining the two and giving them each a fair amount of screen time. The building and usage of the newborn army, in my opinion, served as the appetizer to the main course and dessert that will be Breaking Dawn that the first two entries did not. Basic yet effective in its task, the plot presents suspense that helps to build the climax rather well. This installment also contains the most action and gives a lot more screen time to the CGI wolves which helps to bolster the films’ special effects.
The acting was a little better as well, just a little. I have come across many guys who think Kristen Stewart is rather hot. As a warm blooded male, I must respectfully disagree. Not saying she’s ugly but I felt that every other female showcased in this film was better looking and I honestly feel like Anna Kendrick who plays her friend Jessica might have suited as a better Bella. I just couldn’t see what Ed and Jake saw in her character. Diving more into the love story portion of it, I also feel like I can identify with each guy. Having been called a hopeless romantic myself, I understand Edward’s plight in attempting to change Bella’s mind about becoming a vampire. Seemingly regretting the decision for himself, he wants her to be able to live a full, human life and not throw that chance away by becoming one of the undead, and very unattractively pale. Jake seems like the bad boy with a good heart who tells it like it is. He reminds Edward throughout the film that he would gladly kill him if it wouldn’t hurt Bella so much to see her honey die. Although at times his persistent drooling over Bella is frustrating, you can relate to his refusal to give up on her. But you kind of want to yell, “Dude, she’s not into you, go find one of the girls who only bought a movie ticket to see you walk around like you don’t own any decent shirts”
Even though I did hear that this part was much better than its predecessors, I still refused to give in to the hype. But I will admit that they were right. A mixture of decent action, special effects and story that didn’t need gory scenes to be entertaining for its fans, it does its job. It has people of all ages returning to the theater again and again to see it on the big screen and yearning for the final chapter that will be split into two parts. The first scheduled for November of next year and the second slated for a Summer 2012 release. So even though I will never be a Twilight Saga fan, Eclipse turned out to be tolerable. Therefore I give it “3 reasons not to agree to let a guy who can transform into a wolf keep your girlfriend warm out of 5” (I mean, c’mon son, she should have worn thermal underwear, she lives in Washington state, Duh!)
“Doesn't he own a shirt?”