Making the Grades
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opened in the US with the largest domestic release in box office history according to Internet sources. Booked in 4,416 theaters, the third installment of Stephenie Meyer’s tale about a tortured teen who yearns to be a vampire beat out the previous record for cinemas set by Iron Man 2.
So what does a scowling, lovelorn high school senior (Kristen Stewart) have over a playboy billionaire in a high-tech armored suit (Robert Downey Jr.)? The Marvel Comic hero speaks to stereotypical male fantasies—fast machines, big toys that make noise, and a pretty girl at one’s beck and call. But Bella embodies the daydream of those females who’d love to have not one but two men fighting for their affections.
This film begins with a rash of mysterious deaths and disappearances in the Seattle, Washington area. Although the crimes baffle local police, Carlisle (Peter Facinelli) senses something sinister and surreal is behind them. After closer investigation, the Cullen family discovers an army of newborn vampires is ravaging the city in a kind of feeding frenzy. Unable to determine who is behind the birthing, the Cullens nonetheless take action to stop the vicious, bloodthirsty host from coming to Forks and harming Bella.
Unfortunately while they are training to take on the powerful enemies, Bella remains caught up in the love triangle between Edward (Robert Pattinson), Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and herself. Acting as if everything revolves around her, she flitters between her two love interests like a moth to a porch light. (And that’s not the only time her fickle personality surfaces.) Even when the vampires and werewolves are actively engaged in a brutal battle to save her from the advancing army, she is more interested in luring Edward into taking her virginity. Luckily, he is far more honorable than she deserves and refuses to lower his standards regarding virtue. His rejection of her petulant pleadings is the most redeeming thing this script has to offer. The other positive point may be the cooperation of the vampires and werewolves. Setting aside of their age-old feud, they work together to take on a foe that is more powerful than either of them. This agreement doesn’t result in friendship, yet there is at least a new level of respect for one another.
Still, the script remains plagued with implausible dialogue, excessive explanations and unwarranted melodrama. Depictions of violent decapitations, bloody injuries and fierce fighting are also less than family friendly. Yet Eclipse shows a glimmer of improvement over the first two films (Twilight and The Twilight Saga: New Moon) that parents will likely appreciate.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
How does Bella’s desire to be a vampire threaten the safety of Edward’s family? What sacrifices do they make for her? What, if any, does she make for them?
Bella said she has never felt normal. Is this a feeling that many teens experience? How does a person define normal?
Why is Rosalie envious of Bella? Do you agree with her advice? What things do you look forward to in the future?