Up on the big screen the phrase 'third times a charm' really doesn't hold up too well. Most of the time the third film in a series is the one that kills the franchise, but Michael Bay must have missed that memo and jumped the gun on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This week millions of people will crowd into theaters across the country to see what Bella Swan's answer is to Edward Cullen's marriage proposal. Of course if you read the book series you already know how this installment of the phenomenon ends; with lots and lots of dead people.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse picks up right where New Moon left off. Bella wishes to become a vampire so that she may live with her high school sweetheart forever. Edward agrees to turn her, but on one condition; that she marry him. I think Bella's best friend, and werewolf, Jacob would disagree with Bella's request since he's in love with her, and views Edward, along with rest of the Cullen family, as blood sucking monsters. Bella must choose between staying human with Jacob or becoming a vampire with Edward.
But Jacob and Edward may have to put away their pouty faces for a while because the vampire who has been trying to kill Bella for two films now, Victoria, is creating an army of vampires, and she's pointing them all in Bella's direction. Can the Cullen's and the wolf pack put aside their hatred for each other to try and save Bella? Who will Bella choose in the love triangle that launched a thousand fan sites? I've read this book, and my wife's a borderline 'twi-hard' so I've heard how the story ends.
David Slade takes over directing duty on this installment of the Twilight saga which made me a little excited to see it. Slade taking the reins on this film made me happy because another film he did, 30 Days of Night, is my all-time favorite vampire film. Eclipse definitely had more action and edge to it than the previous two films, and that helped make it more enjoyable for anyone who isn't mesmerized when Taylor Lautner takes off his shirt. I wasn't crazy about the way the vampire's insides look like ice, but at I'll let it slide in order to stay accurate to author Stephanie Meyers description.
A surprising thing happened after I watched this film; I didn't think Kristen Stewart did a horrible job. Sure she still needed work on making her face have actual expressions, but her performance wasn't half as bad as the first two films. Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner both stepped up their game as well. The friction between their two characters fighting for Bella's affection was the best part of the film for me. For a while you can actually see Bella contemplating about picking Jacob instead of Edward, but don't hold your breath.
The real treat in this film was that it told a bigger story than the first two, and allowed the supporting character's roles to come out more. We find out about the origins of some of Edward's siblings, Jasper and Rosalie, plus got more screen time with the rest of the Cullen's. Bryce Dallas Howard replaces Rachelle Lefevre in this sequel as the villainous Victoria. Apparently Lefevre was said to have a scheduling conflict with shooting another movie, but Lefevre said it was a lie and says she was replaced for no reason; bummer. Dakota Fanning and the vampire police known as the Volturi also make an appearance in this film, but not big enough of one to make a difference.
All and all this film was more than the whiny teenage girl's love story like the first two films. You had werewolves and vampires duking it out, a young girl trying to choose which hero she will love, and yes ladies, Lautner does have his shirt off quite a bit; just don't scream in my ear every time he's in a scene. I just want to know when this Twilight thing will end so I can have my movie theaters back.