The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
I went to watch this film with as open a mind as i could. I thought the first film was watchable, the second diabolical and with not particularly high expectations of the 3rd in the series, I thought I may be pleasantly surprised.
The trailer sure looked a lot more actions packed than the previous two films and if I’m not expecting much could I really leave disappointed?
Well it seems I can.
There are two things about this film and the whole Twilight Saga that I really don’t get.
But before I get to them let me just explain my initial feelings upon leaving the cinema.
I felt “Whelmed” and yes I’m from Europe (See the film 10 Things I hate about you).
Whelmed is a term I like to use when I’m left with no feeling/irrelevantness – I wasn’t underwhelmed, as I had such low expectations already. I certainly wasn’t overwhelmed I was just well, “Whelmed”.
So back to my two problems:
I don’t understand what kids see in it.
It really baffles me. I recently sat my 9 year old daughter and her 10 year old friend down and asked them what they liked about these films.
My daughters ten year old friend immediately screamed out Taylor Lautner, the actor that plays Jacob in the films. My daughter said she didn’t know but I think her answer would have been the same had it not been me asking her (Her father, who teaches her boys are evil and becoming a nun is the best career choice she could possibly make).
Now in know the film isn’t targeted at my age group (age undisclosed) but I can usually sit down and watch “kids” films. Indeed I regularly use my daughter as an excuse to go and see the latest 3D computer animated film.
There are usually likeable characters, lots of memorable lines, occasionally some memorable songs and always humour. From Shrek, Madagascar to High School Musical and Witches of Waverly Place, I get them. I understand the appeal to younger children but The Twilight Saga leaves me baffled. The film is void of absolutely any humour, the main character Bella is about as likeable as a wet blanket and nothing to dramatic really happens (the fight scenes are over very quickly). My daughter and her friend themselves admitted they don’t much care for Bella. There’s no funny sidekick, nothing, I really am baffled.
The 2nd thing about this film/trilogy is that after leaving the cinema on each one I think “That was OK. Then minutes later all the things that were wrong with it start flooding into my mind.
So what was wrong with Eclipse?
1. Bella (Krisen Stewart) as the main character just isn’t likeable or believable. The film sheds absolutely no light on why she is so depressed and unhappy with life when she seems to have quite a nice little life for herself.
2. The film has Bella bouncing between men like a prostitute in practice. Almost immediately after accepting a marriage propels from one guy she tells another she loves him and is snogging the face off of him. Maybe it’s the defensive dad in me but it’s a children’s film and surely there is sort of some responsibility you should have when targeting a younger audience.
3. The two lads Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) seem bent on allowing Bella to walk all over them and even risk their lives for her yet have known her for barely a few months. She even goes as far as to mingle and cause disputes with both sets of families. She appears to feel absolutely no way about it at all and did I mention that the families are sworn enemies.
4. The fight scene that is built up for the whole film lasts the best part of two minutes and the army of newly turned vampires (who are supposed to be much stronger and wilder than normal vampires) all get killed without causing barely a scratch to the main cast.
5. The main bad guys (The Volturi) get away Scot free and leave you wondering HUH! Did they really need to be in the film.
6. Bella appears to be on a quest to lose her virginity and the film tries to deal with the waiting for the right guy, not rushing things clichés, though not very well. Since it will be mainly kids watching the film I think the undertones will be lost to many of them and then all that is left is a young girl trying to lose her virginity even though her fella is saying to wait.
Now this film is watchable and isn’t bad while watching it, it actually does pretty well in setting a downbeat mood to mimic that of Bella’s. Problem is as I said above I just don’t get why she’s so down.
The third in the series addresses how each of the Cullen family members became a vampire, yet how they throw this into the story is of little interest and I felt it broke up the flow of the film a bit.
By no means was this the worst film ever but not one I feel deserving of such attention.
If your under 12 it’s a must you see this as you will most likely be the only child at your school who doesn’t. Anyone over, well, you really wouldn’t be missing much and the time can be better spent studying for SATS of GCSE’s or something.
Now I can’t finish up without mentioning the soundtrack. A big plu to the film and infact all three films I that the soundtrack on each one is pretty darn good. Very few teen/kids films outside Disney can boast selling millions of soundtracks in the last decade or so but this movie does. It is not just fans of the film buying it either with artists/bands like Florence & the machine, Muse, Cee-Lo Green, Band of Horse, Vampire Weekend (Seriously) and motion picture master Howard Shore. Even Zane Lowe gave the soundtrack a thumbs up and it even has its own website.
But this isn’t a soundtrack review; it’s a review of the film.
Which I give:
Maybe my problem is that any teen vampire film I see gets compared to one of my all time favourites “The Lost Boys” and I’m even more sentimental about it given the recent death of its main star Corey Haim (rest in piece). Maybe it’s a new type of teen/Kids film I just don’t get. Maybe its not that great. I genuinely believe it’s the latter of the three- but one thing I know bad reviews or not that this film will do extremely well at the box office.
In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob – knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life
Review By Denny Armatrading