Title: Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Watched: June 2010 & Nov 16, 2011
Eclipse is clearly the lame duck of the three pre-Breaking-Dawn Twilight films. It’s so cheesy that it makes the original and New Moon seem high art. First of all, the A-story is about as weighty as a sesame seed. We’ve got this entirely lame plot where ginger-haired hipster Victoria is still after Bella because of the ridiculous happenings of the first film. In order to thwart the plot crushing clairvoyance of Alice she has to act indirectly, raising an army of “Newborn” vampires to come after Bella and the Cullens. In this featherweight version of the vampire legend, new vampires are not just crazy (that’s fairly typical) but are extra strong. Well, at least we are told this. What we are shown (in the “final battle”) is that the Newborns die easily without causing the good guys to even break a sweat — only a few ribs. I find this incredibly lame. In my fictional universe, vampires grow in strength with the years, but at the same time very old vampires are extremely rare — and extraordinarily twisted, powerful, and dead. Did I mention they only come out at night and like to decorate their enemy’s houses with body parts?
But none of Eclipse‘s A-story really matters. It’s the B-story (romance) that holds the focus. This episode is all (I mean all) about the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob. Which is about as cheesy as Fourme d’Ambert, but again does have a certain charm, and more than a little humor. The “plot” forces ever more competition between our studs, leading to post-modern lines like “I’m Switzerland” or “does he own a shirt?” This trend climaxes (or doesn’t) in the amusing talkfest inside the tent at the end of the movie. Jacob has been hanging outside (shirtless of course) in a blizzard, but he ducks in to check on freezing Bella. Poor Edward just isn’t much help — no heartbeat = no bodyheat. “You’ll warm up faster if you take off your clothes,” Jacob advises when he crawls in the sleeping bag, right in front of his rival.
I must also mention that every time the A-story cuts in my skin crawls. The flashback with the Native Americans and the “cold ones” (vampires) was particularly seizure inducing. The little flash overs to Victoria and the Volturi “plotting” are perfunctory and really make no sense given the essentially first-person nature of the narrative. The plot (cough cough) is really driven (and hampered) by Alice’s corny power. This happens in the entire series. Since she can see the future, most decisions consist of her instantly knowing someone is going to show up or something is going to happen. Then they hop to it. Occasionally, like in New Moon, this screws something up briefly. Truth is, this is an amazingly lazy device on the part of Stephanie Meyer. It’s like a continuous deus ex machina. It even traps the author in Eclipse so she has to invent a whole reason Victoria can sneak up on them via her leaving it as a “last minute decision.” This is totally bogus. If she decided to leave it to the end to decide, she’s decided and Alice would know. BS alert!
But I’m not done. Continuing my theory that the series is teenage girl wish fulfillment we have this big B-story thread where Edward wants to get married but Bella resists. I’m pretty sure this is just to create further reason for him to actually do what she (and by proxy her teen audience) wants him to do: propose. Then there is his insistence on celibacy. But others have certainly gone into the whole vampire = the dangers of sex or whatever is going on here.
I’m not sure if I loathe the movie or actually enjoyed it as an odd sociological study (owing to it being so popular) or liked it because Kristen Stewart is hot. It was definitely not because of Edward’s eyebrows or Jacob’s six-pack.