out of Five
Running time: 125
Watchable third instalment of the Twilight series, with strong performances and a decent central fight scene but the pacing drags considerably and the character-heavy script sacrifices emotional depth by trying to cram too much in.
What's it all about?
Directed by David Slade, Eclipse is the third instalment in the Twilight saga, based on the series of bestselling books by Stephenie Meyer. As the film opens, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is still weighing up vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen's (Robert Pattinson) proposal of marriage, while her frequently shirtless werewolf best friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) attempts to persuade her to dump Edward and go out with him instead.
Meanwhile, vengeful vampire Victoria (a smoking hot Bryce Dallas Howard, replacing Rachelle Lefevre) is creating an army of vampire newborns (including Xavier Samuel as Riley and Jodelle Ferland as Bree Tanner) which she plans on using to attack the Cullens. And when a string of mysterious killings brings members of the sinister Volturi (Dakota Fanning as Jane, Daniel Cudmore as Felix) to Washington, the Cullens and the werewolves realise that they'll have to work together if they're going to survive.
The acting has improved considerably since the first two films and there's genuine chemistry between all three leads, particularly during the scene where they all share a tent (sure to become a fan favourite). The special effects are much better this time around too and the climactic fight scene is both exciting and impressive.
In addition, Eclipse isn't afraid to poke fun at itself and there's a fair amount of self-referential humour in the film, something that was painfully absent from Twilight and New Moon.
The biggest problem is that the script is cluttered with too many characters and ends up skimming over scenes that are meant to be important or powerfully emotional, such as the much-touted scene where Edward and Bella almost have sex or the fate of Bree Tanner. Similarly, the pacing drags considerably in the first half and there are a number of laughably silly scenes, such as the sequence where the Cullens train for the upcoming fight by, er, running at each other and growling.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is never less than watchable, thanks to strong performances, likeable characters and the chemistry between the three leads, but it suffers from trying to cram too much in and lacks emotional depth as a result.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (12A)