DIR: David Slade • WRI: Melissa Rosenberg • PRO: Wyck Godfrey, Greg Mooradian, Karen Rosenfelt • DOP: Javier Aguirresarobe • ED: Art Jones, Nancy Richardson • DES: Paul D. Austerberry • CAST: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Xavier Samuel
Eclipse is the third instalment of The Twilight Saga, a series of four fantasy/horror/romance novels by Stephenie Meyer. Melissa Rosenberg, who has written some episodes of Dexter, writes all the screenplays. You must see the first two films before watching Eclipse. I sat down recently to watch Twilight and New Moon for the first time to prepare myself. The fundamental flaw of the Twilight films is the pacing, which often meanders. They all need alot of editing. Sometimes when you think back it is hard to work out which film is which. Twilight (2008) was made for $37 million, New Moon (2009) for $50 million and Eclipse (2010) for $65 million. The bigger the budget, the louder the film and the more special effects are substituted for storyline, which never works. The flashbacks to the origins of the some of the Cullen family are bit distracting to say the least, not to mention the soppy and overused music score throughout. There are some one-liners, which were not there in the first two films.
We return to Bella (Kristen Stewart) an 18-year-old high school student and Edward (Robert Pattinson) a 109-year-old vampire in the body of a 17-year-old. The majority, if not the entire cast are still with us. Bella’s father Chief Charlie Swan (Billy Burke) Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli) and of course the human werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) to name but a few. Bella is graduating from high school and so is Edward (for the 83rd time!). Edward’s group of vampires and Jacob’s group of werewolves join forces to protect Bella from the evil forces of Victoria, a vampire out for revenge since the first film. Bryce Dallas Howard, who replaces Rachelle Lefevre from the first two films, plays Victoria. Bella must decide who she loves more, Edward or Jacob.
A miscast Dakota Fanning returns as Jane, a guard of the Italian vampire coven known as ‘Volturi’. Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner get by with their roles. Stewart’s lack of facial expressions can look a bit off. But, she gets away with it. Pattinson’s American accent isn’t bad at all. Lautner has fun having his shirt off most of the time! I wonder where these stars will be in ten years – like Harry Potter there is only one film left with two parts. Who knows how seriously they will all be taken after the signature roles are over.
Although Eclipse is slow and dull at times like all of the Twilight films, it is an acceptable fantasy/horror/romance blockbuster, which will continue to wow its target audience. However, if you look back at Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse you’ll realise that not a lot happens and it happens very slowly.