Yes, seeing hunks making out with pretty chicks is nice, but nothing can make up for the ridiculous storyline. (I am aware that I haven’t written reviews for the other two films, but honestly I can’t bring myself to do it…)
I give the filmmakers credit for trying though. Like in the two movies before, they really did the best they could with the more and more ludicrous material they get. That’s the thing with adaptations: You can add a little, subtract a little, enhance and improve even… but it would be hard to redefine the core conflict of a story. And in Eclipse, the conflict is either stupid or doesn’t exist at all.
I’ll mention the sporadic good bits first. I liked the whole background stuff – simply because I believe the sole quality (if there’s any) in the books lies in the secondary characters. Jasper, Rosalie and Alice are so much more interesting than Bella, and if it weren’t for her, these books could be kinda okay. Sadly, all of the secondary characters’ stories and talents are only revealed when they matter to Bella’s current predicament, and then – what a coincidence – they are only plot devices to give her miserable existence more shape or push her into the direction the author wants her to go. Rosalie only functions as a reminder of how women want babies, Jasper exsists to frighten us about the whole newborn-story (which, as we know, is another storyline that evaporates without consequences) and Alice, no matter how cute and adorable she is, seems to have been given hardly any background at all, because it isn’t needed. Memory loss – how convenient.
But I said good stuff, and so it is. Jasper makes for a good southern hero, Emmett gets a little credit… it’s fun to watch them. What I liked best was the fight at the end. You can’t really mess that up – slowmo acrobatics, people being ripped apart, well, it’s action. Action that distracts us from the horrible love triangle going on in the mountains. Okay, I put it off as long as I could.
The Conflict. Let’s recap the possibilities here: Bella can’t decide which supernatural boyfriend she wants. Um, not really, because we already know it’ll be Edward. We know. Not just in the book, where it’s more than freakin’ obvious, but also in the film – there’s never a doubt. Seriously. The only thing she has to admit is that she loves the werewolf as well, which, surprise surprise, eventually doesn’t create conflict for her at all!
Secondly, there could have been a character death. But we know Stefanie Meyer by now. She’d never kill anyone important, lest the heroine had to deal with some real issues. So no death for Jacob. Darn, that would have been a nice conflict to explore, albeit very harsh.
Thirdly, the Volturi again. Why do they always draw back? The story keeps creating this big tension, which then evaporates into nothing. Terrible. They could have demanded that Bella be killed right then, after the fight. A little torture, and wham, a whole new set of problems. But no, they leave. Just like that! If they are so bad-ass and intent on upholding the law, why do they always behave like pacifists?!
And finally, what’s with the whole marriage deal! I know, everyone, Stef is a Mormon and all that, but I am not even arguing against it: For it makes no, no, sense at all why someone should object to marriage whilst wanting to become a vampire. Hello? The total insignificance of one deed in comparison with the other leaves me speechless. Yes, Edward is from 100 years back, that I get. But Bella’s objection is totally stupid and girly and makes me hate her all the more. Not that I particularly endorse marriage – but I faintly recall someone mentioning in the books that Emmett and Rosalie get married a lot, whenever they move to another place, to keep up appearances. So won’t Bella go through a whole lot of weddings anyway? Might as well get it over with. Jeesh. If you create a fantastical world with rules, don’t just bend them just to create empty conflicts.
It is almost impossible to stop ranting about this movie. I enjoyed bits and pieces of it, but mostly I cringed at the massively exaggerated kissing scenes and all the painful twitching and pushing-hair-behind-ear moves from Bella. So now I’ll wait for the drawn out finale of this “epic” tale – from reading the book I am expecting it to top this one in awfulness by miles! Yey!