Directed by: David Slade
Premise: The third film in the Twilight series. An army of newly turned vampires prepares to march on the town, forcing the Cullen vampire clan and the local werewolves into an uneasy truce.
What Works: Eclipse has a better sense of story than New Moon or Twilight. Although this film has its share of schmaltz and hokey dialogue, it also moves along a little more briskly and the banter between Edward (Rob Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has some dramatic heat to it and even some humor. As in the previous films, the relationship between Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her father (Billy Burke) gives the film its strongest moments.
What Doesn’t: Eclipse suffers most from Kristen Stewart’s performance. To be fair, the film doesn’t give her anything to do except be the shiny object that the two leading men fight over. But Stewart is so detached and so lifeless that it’s hard to believe that these men would fight so vigorously over her. And although Eclipse has a better handle on its story than its predecessors, it does not deliver enough either in terms of action or narrative. As the third film in the series, Eclipse needs something big to happen and it needs to be more substantial than Bella’s obvious (and false) dilemma between Edward and Jacob. The series has been hinting and teasing at that choice since the first film but never forced Bella to commit to a decision and make her deal with the consequences. Instead, Eclipse largely recycles many of the scenarios already seen in previous Twilight movies.
Bottom Line: Eclipse is the best of the three Twilight films so far but it still plays a lot like setup for a payoff that hasn’t arrived yet. That makes the film frustrating and dissatisfying even though the content is largely of better quality.
Episode: #296 (July 11, 2010)