The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (12A)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Fri Jul 2 2010Having cut his fangs on tween revenger ‘Hard Candy’ and inventive bloodsucker ‘30 Days of Night’, could director David Slade kick off a ‘Harry Potter’-like reinvigoration of the ‘Twilight’ series? Well, sort of: ‘Eclipse’ is a step up from the painfully anaemic ‘New Moon’, and it’s clearly the work of a filmmaker keen to put his own stamp on the series. But Slade is constrained at every turn by the sheer, crushing lifelessness of author Stephenie Meyer’s material.
‘Eclipse’ barely advances the story at all: we’re still stuck in the town of Forks, where moody heroine Bella (Kristen Stewart) is forced to choose between undead love-of-her-life Edward (Robert Pattinson) and musclebound werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner). There are lots of other characters – silly names are dropped with dizzying regularity – but none of them actually seem to do very much.
Slade directs with flair: his action sequences, though small in scale, have real drive, and a series of surprisingly grim Civil War flashbacks enable him to utilise a different visual palette from the usual drab greens and greys.
But he can’t disguise the massive flaws inherent in the screenplay: the slipshod plotting, whiny, self-serious tone and excruciating abstinence-first subplot. The biggest problem remains the characters: neither Slade nor Stewart are capable of turning manipulative whinger Bella into anything more than a joyless black hole sucking the life from every scene, while the only performer capable of giving her part any spark, Anna Kendrick, is completely sidelined this time around. Strictly for Twihards.
Author: Tom Huddleston