Thursday, July 01, 2010
Bella — make up your mind already
By Liz Hunt
For the third time, I was amazed at the utterly formulaic, tedious and predictable storyline of the Twilight series.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has used a metronome to move this film along. Tick, Bella (Kristen Stewart) emotes. Tick, either Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) or Jacob (Taylor Lauter) plead, growl or whisper their answer. Tick, an appropriate song plays beneath the dialogue and crescendos up to end a scene.
You can use the above system to watch the movie, the story of Bella, a woman who seems to be at the center of the Forks, Wash., universe. Yawn. There is time in this tale of the triangle of Edward, Bella and Jacob to realize how truly awful Bella is.
She's graduating high school, and has promised the vampire Cullen family she'll be their newest member. The catch? She has to marry Edward before she is turned. Edward's pleading to the wholly uninvolved Bella is as romantic as buying a car.
Meanwhile, back at the Quileute reservation, Jacob and other buff young men go about shirtless and talk about how they hate all vampires and discuss the best ways to kill them.
When word comes of a young vampire army running rampant in Seattle, the Cullen clan, including Edward, realize the army's next stop is Forks. They also know that young vampires are stronger than they are and will be hard to suppress alone.
Of course, when Edward, Bella and Jacob find themselves together, Jacob offers his help as a werewolf and says his tribe will agree. They do. War preparations begin on both sides. A vampire from the Civil War teaches the Cullen family lessons on how to kill young vampires, and in turn, the Cullens give tips on how a werewolf can survive the attack.
Bella could care less about this, she wants to lose her virginity to Edward, and as soon as possible. Sadly, Edward is an old-fashioned guy. Really. He explains to the determined Bella how it was done in the old days, just before he goes down on one knee and proposes. Bella is torn. If only that were true. Unfortunately for everyone, Jacob also had expressed his feelings for her and there she is, torn between two lovers.
The best set piece in the movie takes place inside a tent high on a mountain. Edward has hidden Bella there for safety along with werewolf guards, Jacob and his packmate Sam.
After dark, Bella is freezing and Edward can do nothing to help her. Jacob strolls in, suggests he snuggle up to the shivering Bella, because "I am hotter than you are." It's the best line in the movie.
This is a tale of love, revenge, blood and decisions. Pretty much a true teenage wasteland (thank you "Baba O'Riley").
It's hard not to wish you could slap some sense into Bella and get her to snap out of her world-weary ways, tell the sparkling Edward to put some bronzer on that pasty face to at least try to fit in and to convince the good-hearted and idiotic Jacob to find a real bitch to hang around with (and I'm talking the werewolf kind).
The lone bright spot here is Bella's dad Charlie (Billy Burke). He acts like a dad would, and his comments about Edward and Jacob are priceless.
If you must, go see the movie, it's better than the first two, but it's still stuck in the too much emoting, not enough acting mode.