Trying to Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time Again, Bella?
With the coming of each new Twilight movie, I tend to get really angry (for the reasons expressed in my previous 5,500 words and two reviews). And each time a new one comes out I’m bombarded by the fans of the series with phrases like “This one was so much better than those two” and “This wasn’t nearly as bad.” Before my reviews, I already knew that I hated Twilight and New Moon because I had already seen them. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m going into today’s movie fresh, though. Yeah, I’ve never seen it, but the previous two movies pained me so much already, and I just don’t want to get hurt again. But the show must go on, and so we jump into my review of the third movie in the series, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, written for the screen by Melissa Rosenberg, directed by David Slade, and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard, Xavier Samuel, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Billy Burke, Sarah Clarke, Dakota Fanning, Jodelle Ferland, Cameron Bright, Anna Kendrick, and Michael Welch.
Victoria has decided to change tactics at the same time as she’s changed actresses. She’s now trying to start an army by turning Riley Biers (Xavier Samuel) into a vampire and having him create an army for her. Also, she’s Bryce Dallas Howard now. This army is intended to help her finally get her revenge on the vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) for killing her mate, James, in the first movie. In order to get the proper type of revenge, she decides that killing Edward will not suffice, she will kill his girlfriend Isa”Bella” Swan (Kristen Stewart) first. Back in the lame half of the story, Bella’s still bitching about Edward not making her a vampire yet, but simultaneously being resistant to agreeing to marry him. She’s also dabbling in stringing along a wolf boy named Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). The Newborn vampire army is beginning to get unruly in Seattle and the Cullen’s – Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), Esme Cullen (Elizabeth Reaser), Alice (Ashley Greene), Emmett (Kellan Lutz), Rosalie (Nikki Reed), and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) – are nervous that this will bring the attention of the Volturi, the powerful group of vampires that maintain the secrecy of the vampires. Alice sees that the Newborn army are coming to Forks, so the Cullen’s form an uneasy alliance with the wolves to defend one stupid girl.
I will attempt to see if I can keep my vomiting to a low as I type the following sentence: Eclipse was not that bad. Oh good, only threw up 4 times. And I look fantastic now! There’s a great dichotomy in this movie between the torturous scenes of mopey, stupid Bella dragging along two guys in their annoying, slow moving love triangle and the surprisingly appealing fight scenes between the vampires and the wolves. Though they make attempts to explain Bella not wanting to get married, I still don’t buy it. The movie starts with a conversation very similar to the one that ended the previous movie about Bella wanting Edward to turn her into a vampire so she could spend eternity with Edward, but she doesn’t want to get married to him. I understand that your parents got a divorce and all, but you’re still being an idiot. Yes, perhaps 2/3 of all marriages end in divorce, but I assure you that a great deal higher percentage of relationships end in break ups. How about this: you decide if you want to spend eternity with this guy or not. If you don’t want to, then there’s no fucking reason for you to be immortal! Everyone in the movie also offers Bella pretty good arguments for why she should not become a vampire, and even why she should go with Jacob instead, but Bella’s too stupid for that. Actually, Bella’s stupidity was lessened for this movie. Her bitch quotient, however, was on the rise. She seems slightly less stupid, which makes it that much worse that she’s knowingly stringing along two guys that are in love with her. Bella also decides that it’s a good idea to drag Edward to sunny Florida, because that always works out for a vampire. Nothing happened and there was barely any reason for him to even be there, so it was totally worth the risk. I also found myself being very annoyed by the story that the wolf tribe tells about how their feud with the vampires began, mainly because it was all just a series of misunderstandings because everyone involved were jerks. I support the idea of vampires killing people. They’re just eating. If it’s cool for us to eat cows and dogs (which it totally is), then I’m fine with them eating people. That being said, a vampire was just having dinner and ate the wolf guy’s lady so he kills the vampire. The vampire’s lady then gets pissed and kills a bunch of the Indians. Then they kill her. Sure, they’re BIG misunderstandings, but everyone should’ve just chilled out. Thankfully, their only vaguely comprehensible feud is put on hold for this movie and it seems that it was coming to a halt at the end, so hopefully there will be one less stupid thing for me to be angry about in future movies. That brings me back to Bella. She tries to jump Edward’s bones in this movie, and that started to make me wonder whether or not a vampire would have to feed first to get the excess blood to fuel their … members. Near the end of the movie, I started to think about something that started to make the entire purpose of this movie not make sense. Why is Victoria even after Edward/Bella in the first place? If she wants revenge for the death of James, shouldn’t she be going after Alice? As I recall it, wasn’t Edward sucking on Bella’s wrist as Alice tore James’ head off? Edward and Bella could easily be considered the reason that Alice killed James, but only as easily as one should consider James responsible for his own murder for randomly deciding that Bella was the one human in the world that he needed to eat.
There’s not a whole lot of redeeming qualities to be found in the story. All of those qualities lie in the action. One can only assume that so many other, weaker-willed men than myself ended their lives because of the first two movies. Having had enough blood on their hands, they must’ve added some action to this one so that there would be at least one thing to be enjoyed in these movies. The action was pretty good. I was charmed and entertained by even the training that Jasper leads in the middle of the movie. Of course, I started getting confused by his back story. Wasn’t he acting like a newborn in the first Twilight movie? Yet he’s older than the other vampires in the Cullen clan (except Dr. Handsome McFadden and Wifey Whatsername). I just figured out that he was not a “vegetarian vampire” as long as the other Cullens, but if I was confused they probably did a poor job of explaining things. Also, I didn’t really give a shit, so there’s that possibility too. Anyway, back to the training. The fights were well done, and these scenes actually elevated Jasper to the second least hated person in these movies. But then he gets Alice, so I still kinda hate him. The real good stuff is at the end of the movie, when the Cullens and the wolves throw down old-school against the Newborns. The setup to the fight made me wonder if these Newborns were Bella-level stupid because they never thought twice about the conspicuousness of the idea of Bella apparently skipping through the forest, flicking her blood at trees. Maybe they’re dumb; I’m okay with that. What I’m more than okay with is the epic beatdown they caught. The good guys left relatively unscathed, and also left a pile of dead Newborns burning in their wake … I probably should’ve called them something other than Newborns there. That makes that statement seemed like the Cullens battles a group of toddlers. The fight was graphically appealing and they choreographed a great deal of cool, interesting ways to kill vampires. The random wolf guy/Edward vs. Riley/Victoria battle was pretty solid as well. I was a bit deflated by the ending of both battles, though. In the Victoria battle, it’s a bunch of tense situations piling up on top of each other until … Edward bites her and tears her head off. It was so anticlimactic that it even seemed as if the musical score stopped abruptly so that the band could look at each other and say “Was that it?” Then Edward lights Victoria’s body on fire by throwing a Zippo at her, causing her to immediately burst completely into flames … and also to immediately regret deciding to wear her gasoline-soaked jacked to the battle that day. The other battle deflated me because Dakota Fanning commanded the brick shithouse dude to kill the innocent little girl that had seen the error of her ways. That’s a bitch move, Dakota. I randomly decided that I liked that girl in her 5 minutes of total screen time.
The performances are what they are. Coworker Ashley made the claim that Kristen Stewart’s acting improved in this movie. Best I can assume, she thinks Kristen Stewart is Ashley Greene. I still think Kristen Stewart is awful in this movie, and I still think Bella’s special power is retardation. We still call them “special”, right? As I said, she seemed SLIGHTLY less moronic in this movie, replacing stupidity with being an asshole. She also mostly dresses like she’s in Pearl Jam. I hope she likes Kurt Cobain so much she shoots herself in the face with a shotgun. I still have next to no impression of either Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner. Both of them kind of walk the line between shit and great. I pay attention to Ashley Greene for being good and adorable, and I pay attention to Kristen Stewart to see if I can see the mark of the Beast on her scalp somewhere, but Pattinson and Lautner don’t really do anything either way. I guess you can call that a push. Pattinson did get to voice my interior monologue for most of this and the last move when he said “Does he own any shirts?” about Lautner, but he seemed to say it as if it was a bad thing. NO! Stop it, Robert! (Critic Robert, not Vampire Robert) I was vaguely interested in the conversation that Pattinson and Lautner had about Bella in the tent towards the end of the movie, and I liked the last line Lautner delivered to Bella when she visited him after his injury. I also started liking Jackson Rathbone as Jasper a little more in this movie. He had previously just been the creepy guy with the Jewfro, but he got to be a bit of a badass in this movie. Bryce Dallas Howard took over for Rachelle Lefevre in this movie. I understand that this movie required much more of a performance from the Victoria character and I kind of like BDH.
I think I’ve officially written more kind words about Twilight than I’ve ever said out loud or even though before. I gave them nearly an entire paragraph of niceties! I’m as shocked as you are. Would I say this is a good movie? Not at all. Would I recommend you see it? Nope. But, it’s the best Twilight movie by far, and if you get dragged to this one by a lady with low standards for movies (also known as “A Twilight Fan”), you can rest assured that there are a couple of good action scenes in this movie; you just need to wait for them a bit. The story has not improved much, and only a couple of lines of dialogue were clever. The action is pretty fantastic, but the bulk of the movie is still the worst example of romantic crap you can find. I have not gotten myself excited to watch the next movie for any reason other than I get to be done with Twilight until November afterwards. This movie has taken the fraction of watchable hours in the total Twilight series to about 1/6, so I’m not getting my hopes up just yet. We’ll find out tomorrow. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse gets “I punched a werewolf in the face” out of “One more thing. Never turn your back on your enemy.”
Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!