'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse'
It's really all because the kids are growing up. Not just Bella, Edward and Jacob, though they're doing their share of hitting major milestones what with their love triangle more fraught than ever, but
No doubt the thanks in large part should go to David Slade, the latest director in the hot seat and just what the soap
As the movie opens, Victoria (
Meanwhile, Bella (Stewart) has a few other things on her mind, like high school graduation and the whole vampire wannabe issue — with her dreaded 18th birthday looming, she'll soon be a year older than Edward (Pattinson), and she wants some of that special serum that will halt aging in its tracks (but then don't we all).
If, for a moment, you take the "should she or shouldn't she become a vampire" question off the table, Bella's issues are as old as time itself: Who does she love, is she ready to commit forever and what is she willing to sacrifice for it? That's a lot to chew on, but then everyone here has teeth, including screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, doing her best yet to channel Meyer while adding some much-needed wryness to the proceedings.
Everyone is also very concerned about Bella's virtue: Her dad Charlie (
While Bella sorts through all of her "who do you love?" conflicts, the newborns close in, a few of the ancient and unpredictable Italian Volturi enforcers show up, leaving Edward and Jacob to form an uneasy alliance to protect their damsel in distress.
The good news is that all that tension helps "Eclipse" eclipse its predecessors. There is a new tenderness and sweetness that Stewart brings to her relationships — more playful with Pattinson, more affectionate with Burke (especially when Charlie tries to have "the sex talk"), and more intense with Lautner. Bella doesn't want to let down anyone, and Stewart makes sure she doesn't. But it's Lautner, in particular, who has grown, giving Jacob an emotional interior nearly as hard-packed as those abs, which are very much on display.
Since the swoon factor is significant, Slade and director of photography Javier Aguirresarobe are ever mindful of the power of those faces, letting the camera go in for the close-up kill whenever it can. As for the rest of the landscape, the wonderful Aguirresarobe (
The action comes in fast and furious waves. Having the werewolves getting their fur ruffled helps since your typical vampire battle is basically a bloodless sport. Dead
But just when you think everything is going to come apart at the seams, someone remembers the money shot, and the screen fills with those fine-boned faces of Edward and Bella, the music soars and, gulp, they … tune in next time kids, this soap opera's a long way from over.