“Twilight” fans will be more than pleased with the return of their favorite characters, riveting plot turns and an abundance of shirtless Jacob camera time in “Eclipse.”
In the newest installment of “The Twilight Saga” series, the story begins where the previous film, “New Moon,” left off. Bella (Kristen Stewart) still expects Edward (Robert Pattinson) to turn her into a vampire after her 18th birthday and plans their marriage. Jacob (Taylor Lautner) tries to stop her from making these life changes. In the meantime, everyone is fighting Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard).
Threats arise when a newborn army is created for the sole purpose of coming after the Cullen family and, more specifically, Bella.
The scenes leading up to the final battle are full of action and great visual effects. Every time a vampire dies, it sounds like breaking metal that is an interesting spine-tingling substitute for the crunch and splash of regular gore.
A new member of the cast is Bryce Dallas Howard, who is easily the most talented actress in the group, with the possible exception of Dakota Fanning. The two actresses play two separate but equal threats to the Cullens’ and Bella’s wellbeing.
Howard replaced Rachelle Lefevre to play Victoria, a vampire who is hell-bent on killing Bella to get back at Edward for killing her mate, James, in the first film.
Howard’s silence plays up to her strengths since she is a beautiful actress with incredible facial expressions that allow the audience to feel her pain and anger.
Another addition to the cast is Riley (Xavier Samuel), the creator and leader of the newborn vampire army. Riley is destined to be another member of the “Twilight” cast whose poster will be on girls’ walls across the country.
Fans of the storyline who do not particularly care to take a side between Edward and Jacob, will find the movie impressive.
“Eclipse” is hands down the best film of the saga. This could have been because it seems as if the actors have all settled into their characters and have finally breathed some much-needed life into them.
This improvement can also be attributed to the effects and cinematography that are better than the last two films. The increase in budget from “Twilight” ($37 million) to “Eclipse” ($70 million) made a lot more room for creativity.
Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner have all grown considerably in their acting. The scenes of tension, especially between the three, feel more real than in the previous films.
Director David Slade has created an environment of suspense within the movie that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.
Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg delivers dialogue that highlights the young cast’s strengths and keeps the movie compelling. Bringing in scenes that delve into Edward’s siblings’ pasts and Jacob’s tribe’s werewolf history make for some strong character development that broadens the plot.
“Eclipse” is enjoyable for anyone, including those who haven’t chosen a team or read any of the books.
The film is full of well-groomed scenes of drama, suspense, action and humor that drive the plot compellingly forward. However, the acting is predictably marginal. Let’s face it, no one goes to see “Twilight” for tear-wrenching monologues.