Friday, 02 July 2010

Another Twilight Saga in Celluloid — Twilight

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EclipseTeam Edward vs. Team Jacob: Who will prevail? Viewers learn the answer to that question in the latest movie version of the Twilight: Eclipse (My guess, however, is that the majority of those who venture to the theaters to see this film already know the answer, having read the novels). For those viewers who have not read the books, like myself, however, the excited anticipation with which fans await Bella’s decision is simply missing. In fact, if you are anything like me, you will spend the entire movie asking yourself: Why would anyone fight to be with this girl anyway?

Much like the first two films, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is being hunted by an angry vampiress, Victoria, who seeks to kill her as a means of avenging the death of her beloved at the hands of Bella’s beau, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).  Victoria enlists the aid of newly turned vampire Riley (Xavier Samuel), and together, they create an army of newborn vampires.

Edward and his clan must once again rescue Bella, putting their own “lives” at risk (I mean, they’re the “undead” … how alive can they really be?) This time, however, given the dire situation in which the Cullen clan finds themselves, they must procure the services of the werewolves, putting aside a century-long feud all for the sake of protecting Bella. Truthfully, it seems that Bella is a lot more trouble than she is worth, and I constantly found myself wondering if Edward would ever come to that realization. Likewise, Bella’s relationship with Edward is what continuously lands her in these life-threatening situations, leading me to ponder over whether Bella will ever learn her lesson.

To the delight of Twilight fans, the Cullen clan teaming up with the werewolves means that Edward will have to work alongside Jacob (Taylor Lautner), werewolf and longtime rival for Bella’s affections. This means that the love triangle among Bella, Edward, and Jacob is almost always at the forefront of the story, and Jacob’s perfect six-pack abs are perpetually on-screen, provoking giggles, hoots, and hollers from the teenage girls in the audience every time.

Jacob is perhaps the most likeable character in the entire film. He is indisputably nice on the eyes, and there is a certain juda se qua about him that makes him endearing.  Likewise, he has a sense of humor, which is a quality that lacks in the other characters. For example, as a warm-blooded werewolf, Bella must turn to Jacob for warmth when she finds herself trapped outside during a snowstorm, much to the chagrin of cold-blooded vampire Edward. Needling the obviously angered Edward, Jacob retorts, “I am hotter than you”, a nice play on words.

What Jacob possesses in charm, Edward and Bella lack. To be blunt, both characters have the personality of a wet sponge. Additionally, I think I would rather stick hot needles into my eardrums than listen to another one of their inane, comatose conversations again.  Edward is a vampire, so he is allotted some leeway for his lifelessness, but Bella has absolutely zero excuses.

Edward briefly redeems himself in the film, however, when he discourages Bella from engaging in pre-marital sex, encouraging her instead to preserve her virtue. Very commendable! However, Eclipse (and the entire Twilight Saga) also contains occult, pagan elements such as the supernatural vampires and werewolves.

Funnily enough, throughout the entire film, Bella struggled with the decision of whether or not she should allow Edward to bite her, thereby bringing her into his world forever.  She talked about what her life as a vampire would be in comparison to her life as a human, and I thought to myself, “shouldn’t be much different!”

The action in the film is miniscule, padded by mediocre attempts at building anticipation that fall short each time. While the transitions are awkward and often confusing, some of the special effects and settings are appealing.

Unfortunately for the aspiring young actors and actresses in the film, none of them will likely find themselves nominated for their stellar performance abilities anytime soon.

In truth, none of the Twilight films have been anything better than a made-for-TV movie.  It is the popularity of the novels that propelled these films to a level of notoriety that would otherwise be underserved.

Overall, loyal Twilight fans will likely be pleased with the final installment of the Twilight Saga, while all others will be kicking themselves over the forever lost $7-$15 ticket cost.

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