For the most part, film critics see every movie that they can, depending on their physical location and work schedule. I follow that rule for the most part, but there are occasions where I will skip a film because I don’t want to invest two hours of my life in it.
Such was the case with Twilightand its follow-up, New Moon. Though I’m not opposed to watching so-called “chick flicks”, I dismissed these supernatural love stories as a couple of pretty boys fighting over a girl. When The Twilight Saga: Eclipsearrived in theaters, I spent an entire evening watching all three movies on the big screen, a task that gave me insight into the whole “Team Jacob” and “Team Edward” phenomenon.
Jacob and Edward face off in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Eclipse picks up the story of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), two lovers joined by a supernatural bond. In 1919, a 17-year-old Edward lay dying in a hospital, only to be saved by Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), a benevolent physician and vampire. Dr. Cullen turned Edward into a vampire to save him, granting him both immortality and a taste for blood.
Bella desperately wants Edward to bite her, changing her into a creature like himself. Edward resists, knowing the hardships that come with the vampire life. Throughout Eclipse, Edward and Bella argue about her desire, but she remains steadfast in her decision, even after seeing some “newborn” vampires struggling with their blood lust.
Bella’s decision also is complicated by Jacob, a Native American teenager who can morph into a giant, powerful werewolf. Jacob loves Bella, and he can’t stomach the idea of her spending her life with an undead creature. While fighting over Bella, Edward and Jacob also become uneasy allies in a battle with some rather nasty vampires.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipsedoesn’t have to try very hard
Based on the novels by Stephenie Meyer, Eclipse and the other Twilight Saga movies simply don’t have to try very hard. Painfully slow direction and marginal acting are ignored by audiences each time that Robert Pattinson gives a sexy scowl or Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off for the camera (Lautner has abdominal muscles that could deflect small artillery fire).
Watching all three movies back-to-back, it is easy to see the evolution of the whole Twilight franchise. The original film looks rather dark and low-budget, but it is interesting to see Bella’s introduction to the world of vampires around her. Taylor Lautner’s Jacob has a few small scenes, but nothing indicates how important he will be to the plot.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon puts Edward on the sideline as Jacob reveals his wolfish side to Bella. New Moon also has better production values and more color than its predecessor, most likely the result of a bigger budget. This film is Jacob’s story and offers glimpses at how the tribe handles its more wolfish members.
Eclipse brings all these subplots together, as Jacob and Edward finally square off for Bella’s love. Bella still remains determined to spend Eternity with Edward, but she hasn’t quite let go of Jacob either. There will be blood and sequels, of course, as long as Teams Edward and Jacob line up at the box office, but let’s up the acting improves in the next film.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action, violence and some sensuality, currently is playing in theaters.