From Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, the third film adaptation from her novel collection, Eclipse, is directed by David Slade, who has already dabbled in the vampire franchise with 30 Days of Night. Eclipse, living up to the Saga’s bad criticisms, churns morals to its younger audience and disappoints with changes from the original film and cast. But it’s not that bad, it’s just not one to charm its haters.
Eclipse follows the story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) who must finally choose between her glittering vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf phasing best friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) as the two most important people in her life must work together to fight and protect her as an army of vampires form to destroy the Cullen family.
As a book adaptation, the film is actually really successful. The problem with New Moon was that too much explanation was left unanswered and it was hard to fit the story into its needed context. Eclipse makes a better attempt of this and includes all of the important aspects of the book, yet some parts may still be confusing for those who have not read it, and these may have needed to have been explained for clarification in the next film.
Although it was nice to see the story visually and acted out on the big screen, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the film if I hadn’t read the book beforehand. Eclipse is filled with action, but the storyline becomes cringy as the focus is put on the selfish and slightly pathetic love triangle of the main cast, making it easy to understand the bad publicity behind the Saga for appealing only to young teenagers. The film seems to be appealing to this audience over the rest of us, emphasising the morals behind the story rather than the excitement described through the detailed scenes in the book; Bella and Edward indulge in a flustering ‘sexual’ scene, but the film is screaming the ‘no sex before marriage’ moral, making it a whole lot less fun for us older teens.
As usual, there is also the stunning soundtrack that is always presented by Meyer throughout her Saga. Muse, of course, fill their slot, and then the uniquely produced songs by non-mainstream indie bands such as Band of Horses and Bombay Bicycle Club find their place as well. This mix of a therapeutic soundtrack with the beautifully shot scenes of Forks fitted around the action and drama is what makes the films so enjoyable to watch. Another well-produced film and the acting as well makes a noticeable improvement.
I’m quite curious as to how the next film is going to work out successfully. Without giving away any spoilers, Breaking Dawn, as the final book to the Saga, is going to be the cringiest one yet. It will be a complete sexy gore fest. The storyline is maybe not one for 14-year-old’s, but I can imagine that it’s going to be sensitised an extreme amount and be made to sound more pathetic than the book tells it. This is why I’ve found my preference for the books, and I think that if more people read the books beforehand, they wouldn’t have so much to criticise about the films as a whole.