- Running time:
- 124 minutes
- Kristen Stewart -
- Bella Swan
- Robert Pattinson -
- Edward Cullen
- Taylor Lautner -
- Jacob Black
- Bryce Dallas Howard -
- Billy Burke -
Maybe you’ve heard this already, but Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) really loves Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). She’s human and he’s a vampire. Her father, well-intentioned small town cop Charlie (Billy Burke), is firmly team Jacob (Taylor Lautner)—a nice local boy with a crush on Bella, who happens to be able to turn into a wolf at will. As Bella, Edward and Jacob wrestle with their lopsided love triangle, a gang of bad vampires formulate plans to attack Bella. That forces Edward’s family to forge an uneasy alliance with Jacob’s wolf-kind to keep her safe.
The buzz: No, those high-pitched squeals you hear coming from the multiplex aren’t for Tom Cruise in “Knight and Day.” There’s another “Twilight” movie on the prowl for fangirl dollars, and after “Twilight” grossed close to $400 million worldwide and “New Moon” exploded to over $700 million, there’s no reason to think “Eclipse” won’t be another insta-blockbuster. The only real changes in this third installment are the addition of Bryce Dallas Howard (replacing Rachelle Lefevre in the minor role of evil vamp Victoria) and yet another new director—David Slade, whose last movie was the creepy, brutal and cool vampire horror tale “30 Days of Night.” Can he finally give this starry-eyed series some teeth?
The verdict: Each filmmaker manages to put their own stamp on “Twilight”—Catherine Hardwicke was crazy-in-love romantic, Chris Weitz was big Hollywood generic—and Slade finds his place as the action guy. The fight scenes in “Eclipse” pop and crunch with newfound zeal and the film possesses a horror edge the series has so far lacked (without ever coming close to jeopardizing its PG-13 rating). But “Eclipse” isn’t quite the adrenaline-charged game-changer for love story haters that its marketing might lead you to believe. The majority of the “action” remains protracted and not especially scintillating should-we-or-shouldn’t-we conversations between the central triangle. It’s nice to find a surefire blockbuster that prioritizes characters and emotions over empty spectacle, but it’s less appealing when the result plays like adolescent soap opera beneath the skill or interest of the filmmaker and more talented cast members. At least “Eclipse” restores some of the energy “New Moon” zapped out of the franchise and has enough quality performances to keep it involving—Stewart once again runs circles around her co-stars, while Burke, Howard, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone and newcomer Xavier Samuel deliver nice work on the sidelines. By keeping it simple and staging chaste romantic tensions against scenic backdrops, “Eclipse” probably gives the fans what they want. I think they deserve a little more.
Did you know? Just a word about what’s coming next: the final story in the series, “Breaking Dawn,” is expected to be released as two films but will shoot back-to-back under the direction of Bill Condon (whose credits include “Kinsey” and “Dreamgirls”). It will be fascinating to see what happens when arguably the worst book in the series is brought to the screen by arguably (though I don’t know who would argue) the best director.
Movie theaters and showtimes for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in New York.
No Showtimes available
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