Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Case for Eclipticism

First off, the story so far - and so yes, this will contain spoilers:

Bella, the most popular girl in school because she is mopey and self indulgent, also does not think a lot, which has attracted Edward, the mopey and self indulgent hundred year old vampire from a local band that has sworn off feasting on humans but has never passed the final year of high school. When Bella starts to feel the same way, Edward runs away so that she will forget him, but not before planting a post hypnotic suggestion that reminds her of him any time she is about to have any fun. Meanwhile, local boy Jacob also pines for Bella, and decides to compete with Edward for Bella’s affections by getting all buff and losing his shirt a lot in her presence – which happens even more when he becomes a clothing-averse werewolf. Bella is almost turned by Jacob’s highly convincing six-pack/argument, until Edward comes back… which is where Twilight: Eclipse comes in.

Eclipse shows graduation time in Bella's world, meaning her lifelong bestest friends at school can officially fall off the face of the planet and Bella's life can revolve around becoming a Vampire while still stringing along the Werewolves. The ads may say there is a choice to be made, but there isn't - you know how this is going, but Bella keeps the wolves in reserve any way, quite selfishly really as it turns out her mopey self indulgence has brought down the wrath of a few vamps (in all senses of the word), and so the men in her life spring to protect her in their undead and partly clothed way.

So, the "real" story may be as obvious as the abdominal muscles on Jacob's stomach, but then the attraction to the series is probably based in large part on the attractiveness of the cast. Bella may be all about Edward, but the appreciative grunts that emanated from the Embassy cinema crowd when Jacob finally appeared sans shirt showed that the audience was mostly Team Jacob.

And really, visually is the only way to really appreciate these movies, as the attempts at deep dialogue between the main actors had me torn between falling asleep and ripping my ears off. There are a few attempts at humour, but the ones that work tend to be theose poking fun at the movies themselves; those that try and breath life into the characters are just painful.

Luckily, the third installment also has a few supernatural scrapping scenes, vampire versus werewolf versus vampire and the like, and these keep the movie entertaining. There are also a few interesting (relatively speaking) backstories told, though the vampires are still too cool for school to actually be likable, and the werewolves stay firmly on their side of the story river. The film has a 2.5 hour running time, but it feels closer to 5, dragging as it does as the attempts at character development weighs it down.

The enjoyment of the film can be enhanced if you don't take it too seriously, plus wait in anticipation of the reaction of the louder members of the audience whenever Jacob turns up. I think the fact I viewed this at the Embassy also enhanced how much I enjoyed Eclipse, because really, it is quite a bad film in almost every way. Well, almost every way.

Verdict: I am not sure whether to recommend this or not, but then, I think Eclipse is one of those films that people will already know whether or not they want to see it. Moments of humour, quite a bit of action, and a lead cast of mainly unlikeable characters with dreadful dialogue - these are elements that could make a great film, though Eclipse gets the proportions all wrong. Not that this has had any impact on its box office. It's a money making machine, and that in itself is worth a point or two. 6 new moons out of 10.

1 comment:

Kiwi in Zurich said...

I have no doubt that your review is more entertaining than the film!