Cast: Kristen Stewart; Robert Pattinson; Taylor Lautner; Billy Burke.
Director: David Slade.
Content Rating: PG 13 for some intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality.
As a string of mysterious killings grips Seattle, Bella, whose high school graduation is fast approaching, is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward and her friendship with werewolf Jacob.
Finally, Twilight is worthy of all the hype, attention, and popularity. Eclipse proves that there can be excitement, thrills, humour and awesome action scenes in the Twilight Saga, and soars above the low standards of the previous films.
The cinematography is perfect. We get to see some beautiful snowy scenes, lush, dark forests, and the cameras are more intelligently aimed at capturing the feelings of this darker, more haunted Twilight than of the ones we've seen in the past.
Although the dialogue is still rather unoriginal and uninspired, the script does flow more smoothly, and there's an awesome soundtrack as well. Thanks to the direction of David Slade, there is a drastic improvement in all areas.
There's also entertaining humour; mostly coming from the brilliant Anna Kendrick who, as always, lights up the screen with the bubbliness of her character and gives the film its light-hearted moments. There's plenty of strong, exciting action, with breathless fight scenes. Although the previously two films lacked some battle moments, Eclipse makes up for that with some awesome sequences.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have returned with hot chemistry; the proposal scene really moved me and every word Edward spoke honestly seemed to come from his heart. Both actors have greatly improved their skills since the previous films, especially Pattinson. While Stewart is still wooden and her acting never reaches her eyes, she does give a lot more to the film than her previous efforts and is more focused. Although she's still frustratingly unemotional, she is improving. While also being a bit too wooden, Pattinson brings much more depth and emotion to his character. He outshines Stewart, reaching an emotional level she hadn't yet got to, and we get glimpses of emotion he showed previously in the first film; where he really shows how distraught Edward is at Bella's physical agony (in the climax). Their love is a lot more believable, and Edward seems to REALLY love and devote himself to Bella in this film. It's refreshing and satisfying; throwing away any doubts I might have had about his commitment to her.
Once again, the scenes with Bella's school friends are humorous, light-hearted, and pure fun. Led by Anna Kendrick, they bring their roles to life, and I wish we'd got to see more of them.
Billy Burke, Dakota Fanning and Bryce Dallas Howard are excellent actors who outshine everyone else. Howard is very underused, but she makes the most of every scene with a superb performance. Likewise, Fanning and Burke reprise their roles with brilliant and effortless acting, especially Fanning, and both of them are mature reliefs in a fantasy full of half-hearted actors who never reach the level of these experienced. Similarly, Elizabeth Reaser (in her role as Esme) is a very good, mature actress. Unfortunately, like many of the other older, more experienced actors, she has very little screen time.
I was very happy to see more of Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone's characters, Jasper and Alice. They have strong chemistry, and their relationship wasn't only expanded on, but strengthened and sweetened with enchanting performances from both of them.
But not all the actors are at the top of their games. Taylor Lautner's acting had drastically gotten worse, and especially when he tells Bella he loves her, the words are said so poorly and so badly that I had a seriously hard time believing he meant them.
Overall, Eclipse is an action-packed, entertaining, humorous, and well put together film. It isn't perfect, but it's much better than its predecessors, and certainly has enough action and romance to carry the viewers through to the end.
I give it: 4 flowers!