Review- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

For fans of action-oriented vampire films, the latest installment in the Twilight Saga: Eclipse may be somewhat of a disappointment. For me, though, I found the dull, sloth-like plot to be original and refreshing.¬† As any Mormon can tell you, vampires aren’t all about the sex and blood. Immortality means an infinite amount of time for reflection and personal growth, even if you are so young when you become a vampire that you can never grow a beard to expound your wisdom.

This chapter begins with the romantic vampire Edward witnessing the love of his life Bella receiving oral pleasure from his wolfman rival Jacob. The scene is surprisingly graphic, as we see Jacob planted squarely between Bella’s legs, lifting his head¬† only to occasionally reassure her that oral sex doesn’t actually count as “sex”. Edward, watching through the window just above the bed, is not convinced. We see that he is so disappointed in Bella that he can’t even muster the energy to be angry. His muffled sobs are heard by the lovers inside, but he dashes off with vampire speed before Bella can scramble out of the house to “explain” the situation. She finally catches up with him on the edge of a cliff where he is staring directly into a solar eclipse. He is attempting to burn out his retinas in order remove the terrible vision of infidelity he has just witnessed. Unfortunately for him, this masochistic act is undone by his super vampire healing powers only moments after he loses his sight. Realizing that his temporary handicap earned him sympathy and affection from Bella, he spends the next act of the film faking blindness to keep her by his side. However, Jacob is also blinded when he gets shot in both eyes by silver bullets, and Edward loses his pity advantage. Eddie is forced to come clean about regaining his sight when he instinctively reacts to the visual cue of Jacob leaning in to kiss him. Jacob, legitimately blind, insists that he mistook Edward’s flowery scent for Bella’s. It is ambiguous as to whether or not he is telling the truth about this, and we’re left wondering what his true motivations for the attempted kiss really are.

One of the problems viewers might have with the film is that it ends before the near-kiss between the two boyish monsters is resolved. It is clear that this will be a major plot point in the next sequel, but, if you expect a formulaic Hollywood ending to this one, you will probably not leave the theater feeling very satisfied. Perhaps Robert Pattinson’s brooding subtlety is not quite subtle enough to earn him an Oscar this time, but it is encouraging to see him beginning to develop into the talent he is destined to be. The rest of the cast has a way to go before they catch up to him, but the masterful direction and cinematography make up for any of their shortcomings. I, for one, am grateful that director David Slade decided to take a cue from fellow vampire expert Joss Whedon in giving his audience what it NEEDS, instead of what it wants.

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