By: Lauren Cohen, The Campus Movie Guru (University of Miami)
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When I sat down to write this review, I made a vow to myself that I would be objective and not let my Twi-hard status influence anything. I need to be straight up: I was one of those girls…you know the one, the girl updating her Facebook status something “Eclipse” related seemingly every other minute and dressed in a “Team Jacob” t-shirt to show where my alliance stands. I went in already knowing that this wasn’t a movie I could hate; that no matter what, I would find some redeeming qualities once the credits stopped rolling. The real question is: is this a movie that everyone else will hate, the way some despise Twilight and New Moon? If you just hate the franchise in general, then the answer is obvious “yes.” But, if you’re a fan of the first two movies, and especially if you’re a fan of the books, I would find it hard to believe if you left the theater anything but blown away.
In this third installment, Bella once again faces danger in the form of Victoria, a vampire who is out for revenge against her. Victoria, who we saw in the first two films, has taken it a step further this time: she has put together an army of newborn vampires to attack Bella and the Cullen clan. All the while, Bella is faced with the decision that has split fans for as long as these books have been around: whether to choose her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen or werewolf best friend Jacob Black.
Don’t bother comparing the three films; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is far and away the best of the series in pretty much every aspect. Visually, Eclipse ran circles around the other two faster than a vampire and werewolf combined. We were treated to some sweeping cinematography and just overall superior production value. So if you hated the cheap, blue-tinted look of the first film…don’t worry, you wouldn’t find any of that here. The acting has gotten better all around; Kristen Stewart played with her hair less and stopped awkwardly biting her lip every other second, which was a welcome change. I still don’t think she can act to save her life, but what can you do? Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner have grown as well, getting better with each movie. I do however think the direction for the character of Jacob was misguided much of the time; he was portrayed as angry more times than not, rarely giving us a chance to see how much warmth the character truly possesses.
Now let’s get to the important stuff: the screenplay. It started off a little slow, the first 15 minutes dragged a bit. However, once the movie found its pace, it flowed seamlessly, combining the action and romance effortlessly and very effectively. Having finished re-reading the book a few days before seeing the film, I went into the film with the events of the book very fresh in my head, so all fans can rest assured when I say: your favorite scene is in the movie, as are most likely all the other scenes you’ve been hoping to see on the big screen.
This one doesn’t take itself as seriously as the others, acknowledging things such as Taylor Lautner’s constant shirtlessness (yes girls, its just as impressive as it was in New Moon) and the overall soap opera/drama-y nature of the story. Eclipse is a great summer blockbuster that I think most people will enjoy…from the crazy fans who have read the books countless times, to those who are just fans of the movies, to even the boyfriends that will inevitably be dragged to the film…there’s something in it for everyone!