Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Pawns of Indecisiveness

Dear Bella, if I happen to fancy you but you're openly flirting with another dude who spots some unbelievable abs, I'll leave you. Or if you're exhibiting this stubborn indecisiveness, I'll walk too, because I'll help you make up your damn mind. You're not the only tree in the forest, but unfortunately in this show, you happen to be the only sole object of desire who wears a skirt that everyone, from werewolves to vampires both nice and badass, all want a piece of. You're hot property, but still, make up your mind, will ya? Frustratingly yours, Stefan S

I'm not sure which wiseass touted this as the movie event of this summer/year/decade, but that person ought to have his or her sanity checked. The trailers though is crafted by someone who knows just how to entice the fence sitters to the film, because that's about all the action you're going to see from Eclipse, fast forwarded, with this climatic fight given to you as a reward for your 1.5 hours worth of patience in witnessing yet another slow rehash of relationship woes from the earlier films. Even then, what was promised to be the fight of the century turned out to be pretty lob-sided, and worst, full of CG shots against actors playing characters you have no idea who they are, other than carrying out their sole purpose of chalking up the body count.

Why then did I decide to watch this since I'm not welcome nor fit into its intended demographics? Well, I'm halfway through a saga and I'm not about to give up on it just yet. I'm still pretty much piqued by the gazillion dollars this movie raked in from its initial screenings, and how it contains this certain mysterious X formula that have droves, yes droves, of females hitting the cinemas, packing it right up to the front and corner seats, which to me is the worst possible seat to place one's bum on in a widescreen cinema hall, for 2+ hours. Apart from Sex and the City's obvious selling point, this film with vampires and werewolves caught up in some serious love triangle seem to play pied piper to womenfolk all around the world.

The gist of the plot, if there is one, is how Bella (Kristen Stewart) has to exercise her choice between Edward (Robert Pattinson) the vampire possessing that perfect face with lamb chop sideburns and skin that glitters in the sun, and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) the werewolf, who seems like the better deal when tackling laundry since he prefers to strut around shirtless to flaunt those perfect pecs and abs, so much so that Edward decided to keep his clothes on for this one, and making snide comments from the side that reeks of pettiness and envy. Each actor continues with their cardboard characters still dealing with the same old issues that if resolved nicely, wouldn't stretch so many books and films.

Yes my friends, Bella still cannot decide! And to make things worst, she's playing both sides whether intentional or not, especially Mr doggie boy there by sending out so many conflicting signals, you feel like knocking some sense into both those guys that she's not worth the trouble. And she's a Trouble Magnet (TM), with Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) assembling an army of newborn vampires you don't give two hoots for, to avenge her loss two films ago. So it's up to the Cullen family of immortal vampires to protect Bella, and forming an uneasy alliance with the howling pack to protect Forks from the Seattle invaders, or well as the animals put it, to want to get into a fight as a form of brutal exercise.

Credit can possibly go to Bella for uniting the long time foes together, and what could possibly be the only interesting plot point here, is the background stories of the wolf tribe ancestors, and some of the Cullen family members, which to me brought back memories of a more superior film about immortals duking it out, such as the Clan McCloud of Highlander. The first film focused more on the story of the vampires, the second on the wolves, and now, to bring them together in co-opetition mode. And the best scene to epitomize this will be that in a tent high up in the mountains, where a candid discussion between the boys brought out their innermost fears and desires nicely in a rare session of male bonding.

However, director David Slade of Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night fame, still churned out what is possibly the worst of the series thus far, making the earlier Twilight movies look like the work of geniuses, and Slade putting an indelible blemish on his filmography. As mentioned, it's not as dark as it's touted to be, and the action is severely limited to the ending. Too many characters make appearances, such as Dakota Fanning, whose bit role in New Moon became yet another bit role in Eclipse, snarling through those red contact lenses and patsy white makeup. Bryce Dallas Howard takes over the Victoria role from Rachelle Lefevre because she's more famous, only to be nothing more than just another glorified supporting role frolicking in the snow with Edward, by virtue of a stunt double. D'uh.

So here's my verdict: Eclipse, like its name implies, is clueless in its darkness, and it stinks just as bad as how the characters complain about the odor from the wolves. Perhaps it's a calculated move, so that the finale, split into two halves to milk the cash cow, can more or less meet expectations since it's already driven so low by this film. Seriously David Slade, what were you thinking? Should have stuck to your guns and steered clear with a 10 foot pole and not touch this material at all. I cheered when the end credits came on, but only because I fancied the track "Heavy in Your Arms".

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