‘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. I somewhat enjoyed the first two, but I think I’ll wait til DVD to check this one out. Anyway, good review.

  2. Not a bad review…however, you lose all credibility when you refer to the Cullens as having killed Victoria’s BROTHER. If you had seen the first film (of which you give an opinion here, or even the 2nd) you should have known that the Cullens killed Victoria’s LOVER….just me two cents…

    • Sorry…I meant “MY” two cents…

    • Andrea,

      Thanks, I’ve fixed that. I knew it was someone close to her – I saw the film a couple of nights ago, just came from another film and my notes were scribbled. :)


      • There is no need to defend oneself from forgetting
        any detail of such an eminently forgettable film.

  3. I think Edward should go for a girl his own age, like the old lady from Titanic.

    • LOL! Hilarious!

  4. Awesome review, as always.

    I am glad this series is over. I am so irritated with these semi-vicious fiercely hawt vampires with powerfully awesome testosterone fueled werewolves, all masculine and beastly like and, um oh

    Go team JACOB!

    lol’s @Mike (old lady from Titanic)

    • AIDY

      There are two more movies coming, bud. :-P


      • Actually, I was lying to myself in the ‘hopes’ there would not be any more for this series, now I will be consumed with restless nights wondering when the next movie will be out. Again, I will lose sleep, again I will war with my emotions on which side to choose and be angry at Bella for being so wishy-washy…yada, yada, yada.

        Go team Edward, I mean Jacob!

        See what you have caused?


    • The series isn’t over there is one more and its being split.

      • -sigh-

        Just rub it in…just keep rubbing it in…

  5. I like the first 2 films (Twilight and New Moon), and since a lot of critics actually share your view that this is the “least painful experience yet,” it could only mean I will love this one. :D

  6. Furrowing my brow,”in every scene.” Lmoa!
    Go team Wolf Pack intervention!
    Hey Dr Drew, here’s this seasons cast for celebrity rehab!



  7. The vampires “sparkle” in the daylight. Another on a Long list of why I will Never read the books Or see the movies. If I want a soap opera i’ll watch daytime television. LOL But, good review. LOL

    • why are you reading the reviews then. I don’t get why people who don’t like the movie or books care.

      • @ ME-yes-indeed why do they bother to read anything about Twilight-guess a shrink would yell “envy”!!! :)

  8. Guess I’ll be waiting to watch this when it shows up on cable.

    Pretty sure I am having Vampire fatigue with all the vampire shows and movies lately.

    • I’m starting to feel tired of them as well.

  9. Have not been able to stay awake through one of these “SPARKLE”<—said with the best/worst Perez Hilton voice your mind can muster……this one was no different. The from a guy who actually read the books and despite himself liked them……and yes his wife talked him into it lol

  10. great review! I wonder what’s your take on the wigs…

  11. Given that I loathe Twilight and most of its more rabid fans, I’m actually intrigued to look into this one. It sounds… bearable, if not amusing.

    • Chaos, don’t bother seeing it if you hate it and hate Twilight fans. I’m a fan of the books/movies, and I’m not saying this to attack you or anything. I’m just warning you that all of the excitement in the theater and all of us fans talking about how much we like the movie will probably annoy you. Like in my theater people cheered/screamed; I doubt this will make you happy. Why don’t you just wait until it comes out on DVD so that you can rent it and stop it when you feel like you can’t take anymore? Maybe you’ll hate the movie a little less if people around you aren’t talking about how much they love Edward/Jacob.

  12. Atleast I don’t have to rip my eyes out when I have to go see it Friday with my wife…. The first two made me want to throw up. Team Jacob because he doesn’t sparkle!

    • ha ha…..he does not sparkle…….lol

  13. I for one read the reviews because I’m a fan of ScreenRant. I like to read their opinions on all the movies regardless if its a movie I want to see or not.

  14. After watching the midnight screening of Twilight I have to agree with most of your ideas and critiques.
    The inside jokes that were used on the movie were relevant and extremely entertaining.
    EX: Jacob’s line while he was helping Bella keep herself warm “You know I’m hotter than you.”
    Also the characters have a more dominant dark side to them.
    If you are into this kind of movies, you should check out this movie I stumbled upon.
    It’s called The Incubus and it’s super cool!
    The characters have an undeniable dark side to them while being able to balance in a forbidden love aspect to the plot.Worth checking it out!

  15. I agree with joseph. I enjoy reading the reviews. I tried to watch the first TWILIGHT movie and I lasted 15 mins. I have no desire in seeing any of the other ones.

  16. Go Team “Bad Acting” Jacob!

    OK, now I am pissed at myself for even knowing who he is, I have daughters so I am forced, and fight with them so much concerning this so called revelation of cinematic history. At least they are beginning to realize what a no-talent this Lautner kid is….he is so bad, if his life depended on giving on actual line of dialogue…well, I believe he would burst into flames.

  17. Come on Vic 3 stars? My Gf forced this down my throat and I went to the midnight showing. I’ve been forced to see a three. The first was a 2.5 at best I’m generious here the second was a strong 1.5 and this is maybe a 2 possibly 2.5 if I’m in a good mood but I was forced to see this trash so I’m not. Stewart has got to be one of the worst actresses I’ve ever seen and I’m so sick of seeing no talent shirtless guy. It’s like it’s a rule to not allow decent actors in these films.

  18. I actually went to the midnight showing last night. I myself, when I first watched twilight, HATED IT!!! But my wife wouldn’t let me just hate it. She made me watch it over and over untill it grew on me. And, well, it did. I also watched New Moon at midnight and although I actually thought it was better (besides her cryin every night), it still lacked something. Eclipse was MUCH better. It has a lot more action, which makes it more guy friendly. And they also added some comedy, which I liked better. So, overall I would recommend this movie to people who like the franchise, but if you have never seen any of them, don’t bother, you will be lost. If you like vampire movies, they are pretty good, but a little too mushy for some people. I don’t like a whole lot of “chick flicks”, but this saga is pretty darn good…

    • Thank you!!! I totally agree with you it was an awesome movie with great action! So if you liked this movie wait untill Breaking Dawn comes it’s going to rock!!!

  19. I really enjoyed “Eclipse.” I probably enjoyed it more than I normally would have since I also watched “Twilight” and “New Moon” in the same theatre earlier that night. That’s just strategy on the studio’s part.

    I’m one of the few women who thinks Jacob looks cuter when his shirt is on. I really don’t understand why it’s off all the time – - I’m with Edward when he asked, “Does he even own a shirt?”

    I was surpirsed at how much I enjoyed the Riley backstory (which wasn’t related in the book with that much detail). I didn’t like the crystalized body parts either. I don’t remember it being that way in the book, but it’s been a while since I read it.

    Unfortunately, the character flaws on screen are written that way. Edward starts off as nice as a animal-eating vampire can be in the first one and then just becomes more and more dominating. They actually toned that down in this movie – - probably so the 12-13 year old girls don’t think that they need to hold out for a relationship that has potential to turn mentally abusive. (I still love Edward Cullen. I think he’d back down if Bella grew a pair and stood up for herself once in a while.)

    “Eclipse” is the best so far although the ‘shaky’ camera made me homesick for Catherine Hardwick’s indie flair. You can do better than that David Slade. I know you can… I’ve seen “Hard Candy.” :)

    • I don’t believe that in the book she says what happens when limbs are torn off, so I think they had to just go with something, and making it stone was easier than trying to pass certain amounts of blood off as a pg-13 film.

      • Zach,

        Yeah, I asked a Twilight fan where I work about that and she said that’s not in the books.


  20. My wife is making me go this weekend, which probably means I’ll have to put off Last Airbender for a week or two. *sigh*

    I could tolerate the first one, the second a little too much to take. Especially the random shirtlessness and the wolf uncle smoothing over the 10-inch wolf tracks in the woods as if no one else in the hunting party would have seen them, or the giant wolfs leaping through the woods 10 feet behind them and no one notices. totally rediculous.

    typical teenagers with a crush – Taylor Lautner should play football or maybe basketball like in Teen Wolf to get his mind off Kristen Stewart.

    “Fine, the creepy lip biter doesn’t want me, let’s see what she thinks when I’m dating the prom queen!”

  21. I hated the first 2 films. I liked the first 2 books and stopped reading the third half way through. That all being said, i really enjoyed this film and too gave it a 3/5 in my review.
    There was just so much more depth to it than the first 2. It had high production value, good direction, continuous comedy, and a fair share of action. None of the actors are A grade but the whole movie came together for an enjoyable experience.

  22. Actually Kate alot of us are loyal readers and read / comment on every thing we can. We also like reading reviews and because some of were forced to watch this terrible franchise by our loved ones and want to hear the opinion of others. Every one in the world complains about things that they really hate things that really get under their skin. I care about my GF so I keep it to a minimum in regards to twilight so I am venting here about this poor plot and terrible acting. It’s funny my Gf loves twilight and even she hates Stewart and her bad acting.

    • Well said, Daniel. Well said indeed.

  23. From what I understand, despite the age difference, Edward is attracted to Bella for two powerful reasons. One, the unexplained fact that her blood seems to be a more potent draw for him then other people’s blood, but we can skip over that since it’s a vampire movie and all. But the second reason? Edward can’t read Bella’s mind. Imagine the magnitude of that for him, every day, every moment of his life everyone’s thought’s are bombarding him. Then he meets Bella and she is blissfully silent, her every action, her every sentence can surprise him. I can only imagine that would be an extremely attractive quality to someone who has spent the last ninety years stuck in everyone elses head.

    • Yeah, but do they ever explain why he can’t read her mind? Or why her blood attracts him? Never mind that. Why the hell would she write about vampires reading minds and sparkling in the sunlight?! They’re not even damn vampires! The story’s a circus, I tell ya! A damn circus!

      • They do explain why edward cant here bella in the last book. i havent actually noticed kristens bad acting to me it just seemed like the way the character is the same with the rest of the actors.

        I also think that it would be kinda sick if edward went out with someone old because even though he like over 100 years old it says in the book that they never change including how much they have matured which means unless when edward, (when he was human)was 17 he liked old women so its not weird that he falls in love with someone his own human age.

        The films are definately getting better everytime and david has done an amazing job there was a few things i didnt like but nothin to make me hate the film.

  24. Chaos, don’t bother seeing it if you hate it and hate Twilight fans. I’m a fan of the books/movies, and I’m not saying this to attack you or anything. I’m just warning you that all of the excitement in the theater and all of us fans talking about how much we like the movie will probably annoy you. Like in my theater people cheered/screamed; I doubt this will make you happy. Why don’t you just wait until it comes out on DVD so that you can rent it and stop it when you feel like you can’t take anymore? Maybe you’ll hate the movie a little less if people around you aren’t talking about how much they love Edward/Jacob.

  25. UGHHH… You all probabley have never ever read any of the books at ALL!!! So you don’t know that they are WAY better than the movies. Bella and Edwards love is way more lovely in great description and Jacob has a lot more to say than just standing there. Edward is attracted to Bella because her blood appeals to him more and well frankly just beacause she is a total mute to him. The movies totally sucks because of Kristan Sewart she has buck teeth that are ALWAYS sticking out and she has her mouth ALWAYS open it gets really annoying I wish I could tell her to SHUT HER MOUTH ALREADY!!! that is all…

  26. ..”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)”..

    LOL, yeah, you got that right Vic. I did enjoy the movie without any mensroom break, unlike the previous two.

  27. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the bad wigs are or how distracting Rosalie’s eyebrows were. Ha.

    Eclipse Edward is my favorite out of the movies so far, he was happy finally.

    He put a ring on it!

    Jacob will forever annoy me, hated him in the books and don’t care for him in the movies.

    • *how bad the wigs are

      The comments need an edit option.

  28. “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.”

    You expected different from the guy that played Sharkboy in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl?

    • danlister,

      LOL, I did NOT know that. :)


    • lol @danlister! t’is so true! He was teh sharkboy :D

  29. OMIGOD!

    I actually knew something movie-ish that Vic didn’t know?

    Isn’t that one of the Impossible Signs of the Apocalypse Approaching?

    (*Quickly looks @ the news to see if other Signs occurred…nope, the Cubs didn’t win the World Series, Shatner hasn’t received a Best Actor Oscar, and Hasselhoff hasn’t gotten a Best Actor Emmy for his performance as Nick Fury…WHEW! We’re safe!*)

    • LOL, yeah, I’ve never seen Lava Girl and Shark Boy or whatever that movie was called. :)