The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

By Greg Treadway / Posted on June 30, 2010

Why is Eclipse, or for that matter any of the Twilight films, so successful? Eclipse delivers the greatest pleasure when it deals out pain to its stars. None of this cast can act their way out of a paper bag but they can glisten and tremble with the best of them. Having stashed his beloved Bella (Kristen Stewart) in a mountaintop tent for safekeeping as a battle rages below, Edward must watch her shiver in the cold and then—and then!— must allow shirtless, smoldering Jacob to slide into her sleeping bag to warm her up. “I am hotter than you,” Jacob smirks, and Edward winces in near physical pain, and the audience screams. Oh God, they scream, and you can hardly blame them, so perfectly self-aware is the scene. For those who aren’t already devotees—why bother? Dispensing entirely with context and exposition, Eclipse identifies itself early as a fetish object. The movie is bookended by scenes of Edward and Bella making out in a meadow; its silly explanatory flashbacks are so short that no one who hasn’t studied the books will make head or tail of them; it contains not one but two proposal scenes, each drawn out to delicious length. The ramshackle quality that Catherine Hardwicke brought to the first movie in the series is mostly gone. Eclipse is all business. It serves the fans, yes, but it serves the brand even better.