‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ Review

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

twilight eclipse review The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ReviewScreen Rant’s Vic Holtreman reviews Twilight: Eclipse

We must all rise and thank director David Slade for something: He managed to make a Twilight movie bearable.

Twilight: Eclipse, aka the pretentiously titled The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, is the third movie in what will be a five film series (the final book, Breaking Dawn, will be split into two movies in order to milk the cash cow as much as possible before it’s all over). I was fairly forgiving with my review of the first film, found the second one to be pretty awful, but found this one to almost, sorta be a good movie.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with David Slade, he’s the guy who directed a real vampire movie called 30 days of Night. While not the greatest vampire flick ever, it had an interesting concept, vampires that were actually scary and plenty of gore that one would expect when humans encounter ravenous vampires not concerned about blending in to society. So when it was announced he would be directing this film, horror fans were a bit intrigued (if confused) by his decision to tackle this franchise.

The opening scene of the film is a definite departure from the previous two, taking place late at night on the rain-soaked streets of Seattle. A young man is being stalked by something dark and fast, and when he’s finally attacked, he lays writhing on the ground letting out a horrific scream. It’s a pleasant change from the first two films.

Sadly, from there we cut directly to Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) once AGAIN lazing about in an open field of pretty flowers (it gave me flashbacks to Anakin and Padme). And yes, Edward “sparkles” here. Thankfully we pretty much get most of the “sparkle” thing out of the way right here. Bella is still bugging Edward to make her a vampire and he’s finally decided to agree – IF she marries him. She is hesitant about marrying him for some reason, while having no problem joining the ranks of the undead.

Bella’s father (Billy Burke, the most enjoyable aspect of the series to date) is concerned that she is spending all her time with Edward and has no life, even ignoring her friends. He pushes her to see Jacob (Taylor Lautner), with whom she hasn’t spoken in quite a while due to their falling out in the previous film.

Meanwhile, something fishy is going on in Seattle, with many people going missing and others being murdered. The authorities don’t know if it’s gang related or the work of some very busy serial killer. It turns out that vampire-chick Victoria (whose lover was killed by the Cullens) is bent on revenge, and is building a “Newborn” vampire army. Newborns are freshly created vampires, and they are much stronger and savage than vampires who’ve been around for a while. It seems the first two months as a vampire makes you crazy, super-strong (more than usual) and reckless. The Volturi (led by Dakota Fanning) seem to either have a hand in this, or are just letting it happen despite the risk of bringing vampires to light (so to speak).

It’s in this film that the love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob comes to a head, with Jacob trying a last ditch effort to when her over. It seems that part of his strategy is to appear in every scene in the film shirtless… Despite the fact that Bella has feelings for him, her feelings for Edward are stronger and much complication ensues.

Eventually the werewolves and the vampires must work together if they are to protect Bella from Victoria and her army of Newborns, despite their generations-deep hatred and distrust of each other.

So… we still have the huge, core problems with the story. WHY is Edward Cullen, a vampire who’s been alive for over 100 years, so insanely in love with this morose, uninteresting teenage girl who’s experienced nothing much in life? Not only does that give him the number one “creepy old guy” award (think about it – he looks young but the guy’s been around for 100+ years), but given his character and background as given in this film, you’d expect him to go for a sophisticated, worldly woman, perhaps in her early 30s.

Jacob, being a teen himself and having known Bella his whole life, I can see being attracted to her. But speaking of Jacob, if Lautner didn’t have his personal trainer’s results going for him, there’d be nothing to the poor guy in this movie. His acting is so weak I feel sorry for the guy. Of course it’s kind of a good match for Stewart I suppose. Pattinson was OK, I guess, but it’s easy to be intense when you just furrow your brow in every scene.

Oh, and those guys in the Wolf Pack? Yeah, they still need to either hit the gym a little harder or cut down on the carbs.

I didn’t like the handheld camera during scenes where it was just actors talking – SO sick of that… like the cameraman has had too many beers and we’re experiencing his overly high blood alcohol level. Then there was also this really weird thing where when one of the newborns was killed or had a body part chopped off, the stump looked like it was crystallized stone or something. Bizarre and a cheap way to include lots of vampire/werewolf mayhem but avoid the blood that would freak out the teen girls who will show up in droves for this.

Oh, and there were so many close ups of so many different people making out that at one point a scene from The Princess Bride where a young Fred Savage questions his grandpa Peter Falk came to mind… “Is this a kissing book?”

On the other hand, David Slade actually raises the bar as much as he can given the material here. The visual effects are FAR better than in the previous two films (although we still have the “confetti pants” effect when there’s a transformation into a werewolf). The wolves look better and more real, and scenes with the vampires running at high speed, leaping, etc. are also vastly improved. Also much better are the action/battle sequences in the film.

Also interesting was some of the background on both individual characters in the film (going back to the civil war) as well as the history and origins of the bad blood between the vampires and werewolves. As mentioned above, Billy Burke brings some pleasantness to the screen every time he appears. Another unexpected but pleasant touch were a few moments of self-deprecating humor which I didn’t expect and actually got a laugh out of me.

Overall, I’m absolutely certain that Twilight fans will love the film, and for the boyfriends who are dragged along this will probably be the least painful experience yet (God bless you men).

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Here’s a trailer for Twilight: Eclipse:

Our Rating:

3 out of 5

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  1. did u guys know tayler lautner almost played hte new spider man? lol hes supposed to be a nerddie unmuscular guy! FAIL XD

  2. He’d be a good candidate for playing Night Thrasher though.

  3. It was just plain boring as usual, long, dragging…. I was hoping the wolves and vampires would kill each other !! Acting sucks, wonder why none of em got a razzie yet?

  4. the reason why their broken off limbs looked like stumps of crystallized stone is because they are meant to be made out of “crystallized stone” as you put it. That is why Edward sparkles. hahaha.

    Anyway. Just pointing that out.

  5. So I just got home from watching this movie and I am truley disapointed. The movie was not just bad, it was unbearable! It was so boring and the movie missed so much from the book that I didn’t even feel like I was watching what should of been Stephanie Meyers Eclipse. I just hope that someone in Hollywood gets a brain and does not allow David Slade to ever ruin a movie like this again. The only thing that I did enjoy from it was that Bella Swan actually controlled herself enough not to complain through the whole thing, and when it ended. Besides that, the acting sucked and there was never a point in the movie that grabbed my attention. Honestly just a horrible horrible movie.

  6. I just got home from the movie theater from watching this movie. The movie wasnt just bad, it was unbearable! I liked the first two movies, but this one was just to much. The movie was boring and long. I didnt even feel like I was watching what should have been Stephanie Meyers Eclipse. I just hope that someone gets a brain and does not let David Slade direct the fourth movie. One thing that I did like was that Bella Swan didn’t complain or cry about something the whole movie. Oh and also when it ended. Terrible Terrible movie. Wouldnt recommend it to anyone.

    • Jessica, are you 12? David Slade made the best adaptation of a Twilight book to date. Yes, I have read the books. Any movie that isnt 14 hours long will have to leave out stuff from the book. But, again, I saw more from the book in Eclipse than Twilight and New Moon combined. I guess its everyone’s own opinion but you are the ONLY one so far who didnt like the fact that David Slade directed this film. I’m not sure where the hell you get this.

  7. “‘Eclipse’ is the best of the Twilight films so far. But in this case, what does ‘best’ really mean?”


  8. My first thought when looking at that picture at the top is… “Holy Crap! Jacob DOES own a shirt!”

  9. I saw it yesterday and would give it 2.5/5 (maybe 3), mainly because I thought the action scenes were pretty good. Unfortunately, there weren’t that many action scenes and the rest was pretty boring.

    One other thing; I have read that Bella gets pregnant in the last movie by Edward, right? How is that possible if he is made of crystal?

    • He’s not made of crystal in the books. That’s something made up for the movie so there was less blood and gore and it could keep its PG-13 rating.

      Personally I think that was a bad decision on David Slade’s part because of the great job he did with “30 Days of Night” but makes sense since the vampires do sparkle.

      • The action that they had was good, but they had so little of it. The main scene where they fought the vampire army lasted a total of what 3 mins? I just think that stephenie meyer needs to take a little bit more control over her movies because if I would never have read the books and then just watched the movies my personal opinion of the Twilight Saga all together would be terrible.

    • LOL. Read the book!

      In short, crystallized stone or not, there’s more to it than that. The movie dumbs it down to prevent gore overload for the rating. After all, they eventually need blood in order to keep their energy, and maybe even to survive. So, they have something organic in them to convert blood to energy…

      Also, in the last book, there is a scene where Edward chooses to eat human food in order to blend in. The food has to go somewhere…

    • ahahahaha just wait for the immense wtf’ness that will be in the next two films xD

  10. i went to see rob and kristen(Edward and Bella)was happy with them and no iam not team e/j thats just stupid i wish mrs meyers would read her books again,because she is not following them,whats all the crap with jacob,foolow the books stephanie,this is a love story,and you so missed the point.

    • Im so happy that someone agrees

  11. I never would’ve thought of The Princess Bride comparison. I think these book adaptations would pull in a broader male audience if the books were parodied in a way. The casting director definitely accomplished pulling in even more women by choosing Xavier Samuel to play Riley. The actor is already doing it up with a role in the film Road Kill.

  12. twifighter-Do they have their own Miracle Max to tell them the difference between “all dead” and “mostly dead”?

  13. I completely agree with everything written in the review, but what I don’t understand is, why was this poor movie given 3 stars? I would have given it 1. I appreciate the action very much, but then no gore when there should be. The book doesn’t explain that the vampires are made of stone. Every time Bella in the book said “stone” she meant the coldness of the skin and how hard it was to penetrate. The crystal vampire insides was, in my opinion, a dumb way to keep the girl teenage fans. The gore would have made the male fan base increase. I would also like to put this out there, the Bella in the book already is dull enough and the movie changes so much, why couldn’t they put a little more life into her? Kristen Stewart has no personality whatsoever that I didn’t know that Bella could be more boring. Not even Stewart’s interviews does she express emotions.

  14. I thought the movie was great — not perfect, but I didn’t expect perfect. I was entertained but I could watch Pattinson reading the phone book for two hours without a problem! :-) But to address your comment about why Edward would be interested in this morose teenage girl, the answer lies in the difference between the books and the screenplays, and Kristen Stewart’s interpretation of the character. In the books, Bella is quiet and self-conscious — she’s a bit of a klutz, completely unaware of her beauty — but she’s VERY SMART and witty. Bella and Edward spend alot of time talking to each other in the novels, and those periods of mutual discovery make it clear what Edward sees in her. But so much conversation would be deadly in these movies; it’s just unfortunate that Rosenberg couldn’t quite find a way to convey the depth of their relationship in the scripts, and on top of it Stewart decided that Bella was supposed to be a drip. At least by the end of ECLIPSE she has begun to assert herself!

    • I disagree with rizzo. The books make it clear that part of Edward’s attraction for Bella (and possibly his only attraction) is that she smell’s different from any other human he’s met (she’s absolutely intoxicating to him) and also that she is the only person he’s ever met whose thoughts he can’t read. Yes, the movies largely skip this element, but Edward is a mind reader…who can’t read Bella’s mind.

    • @ Alex R.

      SPOILER: I just want to point out that Edward and Bella don’t have sex until the fourth book – - and even then it’s after they’re married. Edward is portrayed as being very old fashioned, very aware of Bella’s virture; a trait that carries over into the movies.

      That is a bit romantic. ;)

        • I don’t find the romantic aspect of the novels differing greatly from the relationships shown in the movies, that is why I made the parallel. I appreciate romanticism however it comes: you don’t see chivalry very much anymore so it is a welcome difference in Edward Cullen.

          Maybe this relationship will show “tween” girls that it’s OK to wait and find that one person. Bella didn’t fall for Edward once she found out he was over 100 years old. She felt attracted to him before that, when he was still seemingly 17.

          If a “tween” girl meets a guy who starts pushing her too far, maybe she’ll think, “Would Edward Cullen do this?” (I laughed the entire time I was typing that!) Maybe she’ll set her standards a little higher. Maybe guys are intimidated that.

          • Unfortunately, we’ve seen that those standards that you are hoping are raised a little higher have actually dropped in the last 10 years or so. Saturating their minds with movies like these and Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus lifestyles wouldn’t be a coincidence would it? Seems like the message of waiting for the true love and being respected is getting lost in all the promiscurity. Oh and twilight movies suck, can we just agree on that? The acting is terrible, almost laughable and the story lines are slow paced and boring. I’m not expecting oscar material, just would like to see an entertaining movie. This was not and neither were any of the other twilight movies.

            • I don’t see how one can compare “Twilight” with Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. I enjoy the “Twilight” movies without being fans of Spears or Cyrus. For instance I didn’t know that Miley Cyrus is promiscuous – - that she occasionally dresses like a slut sure (who hasn’t), but I don’t think that means she’s sleeping around (you know, the definition of promiscuous).

              Unfortunately I can’t agree with you that these movies suck. I think they are garnered for a particular demographic and that with the subsequent films following “Twilight” they have tried to broaden that audience. I personally think that the flaws lie in the screenplay not the acting and to some degree the directing. If the director is asking for a wooden performance than that is what she will get.

              I also find them extremely entertaining. The questioning is half the fun of watching the films. ‘How can you not know Carlisle is a vampire in “Twilight? He’s practically glowing in the flourescent lighting at the hospital!’ ‘They can’t really run like that? It looks ridiculous!’ ‘Over-act much Kristen Stewart? I’ve never reacted to a paper cut that way.’ ‘Does Bella go to school at all? She seems to spend all her time in an ever-blooming meadow.’ See? How is this not entertaining?

                • And who doesn’t dress like a slut? A woman with class and self respect. Trust me, a woman that is attractive doesn’t have to dress like a slut to prove it but that goes back to the argument of how movies like these and pop star lifestyles have made it acceptable.

                  • A woman with class has once worn something she now deams slutty. We all have. It’s how we know we have class.

                    The only slutty outfit that comes to mind in the “Twilight” series is Jessica’s prom dress from the first movie: the one with all the cleavage. Bella wears long-sleeved flannel most of the time. Which leads me back to you can’t compare pop-stars lifestyles to the “Twilight” world. They don’t have anything to do with each other. I don’t understand how you are comparing them.

                • I wasn’t reviewing the movie. I was just telling you how I get through the movies. I like the films because I can compare them to the books and see what they are trying to do and I give them points for effort.

                  I greatly enjoyed the first book and then less so with each subsequential book. It doesn’t seem like you have that basis of comparison with which to view the movies. You don’t like them because you only see the flaws. Make the flaws funny and the movie becomes entertaining.

                  I also happen to be 22 but I don’t see how my age needs to be factored into my commentary on the fact that I don’t necessarily see these movies in the same vein I view a Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus concert. After all, it’s just a number…

                    • The ‘it’s just a number’ line was sardonic- – not meant to be taken literally. And if your not willing to find something entertaining in this series than why continue to watch it? What do you have invested in it besides your wasted time?

                      I’m really glad we’re ending this little chat or I’d have to bring up your love of “Drag Me To Hell.” ;)

                      One last point: I would never use the term ‘die hard’ to express my feelings for this “saga” (see the use of quotes around the word saga as sarcasam). I don’t camp out. I don’t follow the lives of the stars. I don’t have posters and magazine pages covering my walls. A simple (well-educated) fan will do. :)

        • Its called Fantasy for a reason, Get over it. It’s just a movie. Maybe you should send your kids outside to play so they can see what happens in the real world and not base everything they see on TV or movies as you obviously have. Doth thinks you protesteth too much!

  15. Agree to disagree then, I won’t even take one last shot at you or attempt to once again justify my opinion of movies over others like you just did. ;) THAT was a joke btw, nice chatting with you!

  16. They are not “milking the cash cow” with two breaking dawn movies. I doubt you have read the series because everyone who has, has been saying…..I don’t know how they will fit all of that into one movie. Two movies was not a shock to the readers.

    • Agree, Agree!!

  17. i loved this film and all the others however i think bella’s (Kristen Stewarts) acting skills are very poor and kinda riuns the film for me however im looking forward to seeing the last two and keep my fingers crossed she worked on her acting before filming them. the actionwas good and i even laughed at poins of the film billy burke has a good scene in wich he trys to talk to bella about “being safe with edward” were i think his acting really shined and made me laugh

    overall i loved this film and would tell everyone to watch it

  18. As a kid I loved the Twilight series(the books of course)
    But when the movies released it ruined it:(
    It just turned into another thing for pre-teens/teens to waste their money and time.
    I’m more than disappointed~like disgusted.
    I wish Twilight was never made into movies.

  19. Its clear that your not a twlight fan …or know anything about the books which the movies are 90% based on, and thats fine. I being a fan of the books was completely disappointed with the Eclispe movie. Lautner’s performance was severely lacking becasue the director really didnt understand the jacob character.

    In the books the jacob character is freaking hilarious, which added great depth to the character. David completely left this aspect of the Jacob out of the movie and instead focused on the violence/action leading to one of the major reasons the movie sucked. There was no further character development and it was very big disappointment to true twilight fans.

  20. I can’t see what peoples problems with this movie, i like twilight i think there great movies apart from certain things such as too much soppy love scenes we kinda get the hint that they love each other. but you find the haters of twilight are people who hate the characters not the story!! i hear to much moaning about how much people hate it, don’t watch the movie or don’t read the books or don’t go anywhere near the twilights!! But overall the twilight series is really good well directed, well played by characters and i can’t wait for Breaking Dawn to come out!!

  21. du you pray when you want to sleep or you dont jesus is coming be dont be so distracted because if you distracted you will go to hell when you make a movies of magic how do you fill it is not good at i hate that kind movies i just want to say jesus is coming if jesus come where are you going to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!be raedy please thank you i know that you people dont believe in jesus i know you believe in science but this one you to believe in this please iam not only telling you but with others too
    than you for hearing my coment :)

    • But your a man, nearly every man on this planet hates Twilight, so why are you bothering watching the series then?? if you asked all the girls and women do they like twilight they will say yes becoz of the story not the actors, but in my opinion the cast is great and kristen plays the character so well just like the book, if she didnt the fans would not like the movies. The director has made these movies just like the book says and thats good for me!! Just please dont watch Breaking dawn if you dont like the Twilight series!!

  22. i think that the second one is better than the first one.