The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
July 7, 2010
A painfully bad script, a wretched case of sequel-itis, and acting of an eye-rolling quality made wish someone would do me the merciful act of shooting me with a silver bullet.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third movie in the series based on the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyers, is a story about love, virginity, abstinence, vampires, and werewolves. A painfully bad script, a wretched case of sequel-itis, and acting of an eye-rolling quality made wish someone would do me the merciful act of shooting me with a silver bullet.
High school senior Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) are in love. It’s obvious because they read poetry to each other. Bella has a friend, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who is not talking to her. There is another vampire, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), who wants to kill Bella. Jacob, Edward, and their families protect her, risking their own lives to do so.
If my outline of Eclipse’s plot left you confused, there is a reason—it isn’t a plot. It is a section of a larger plot. Writer Melissa Rosenberg, who adapted Meyer’s book, couldn’t be bothered to put the story in context. The viewer must accept and believe, from the first moment, facts not entered into evidence. When the entire plot hinges on the emotional connection of the characters, this omission is devastating to the audience’s ability to enjoy the story.
Few things in the world of film piss me off more than a director or writer expecting me to do homework before I attend a movie and pay the same amount for the privilege. It is acceptable for someone to get more out of a sequel if they have seen the original, but to be unable to understand or believe anything presented is capital-punishment-worthy. Eclipse demands ten bucks from us and delivers one dollar worth of content.
There is a sexual subplot that made me want to puke. Edward refuses to have sex with Bella. He doesn’t refuse to have sex with her because she’s too young, but because he thinks it is morally wrong to have sex before marriage. Seriously? What is this, 1842? The puritanical message isn’t lost on me. This movie is meant for high school girls. Instead of teaching them that safe sex is the way to go, they want to teach them that being a virgin is much better. It isn’t.
Being a virgin means you don’t get to have sex, and sex is fun. Lying to the teenage girls watching the movie or giving them something else to be insecure about doesn’t help them. Grow the hell up, Hollywood. Condoms and birth control—this is what you should be spreading around. Making Bella seem like a whore because she wants to have sex with her long-term boyfriend that she loves very much doesn’t show moral merit; it shows a failure to understand teenagers.
I also don’t understand what makes Bella so damned important. Two entire families are willing to put their lives on the line for her. She isn’t exceptional in any way, yet she is so loved that people are willing to battle baby vampires for her safety. I say feed her to the bab-ires. Please. I beg of you.
Worse, the “story” is “performed” by “actors.” I’m sure they got paid, but I can’t understand why. Kristen Stewart’s idea of expressing love is looking up and crossing her eyes. She and Robert Pattinson have no on-screen chemistry. I had to remind myself to focus on the movie and stop thinking about how abysmal these “actors” acted. It was particularly hard whenever Kristen Stewart had to express a feeling or be scared (the entire movie).
I remember what it was like to be that age. I remember how intensely I felt connections with the guys I was with. If Eclipse made me feel like that again, I’d blissfully float over the theater. Unfortunately, my experience was completely terrestrial. I do recommend Eclipse for anyone on their way to a root canal; it will dampen their discomfort by building a tolerance to tooth-pulling pain.