Still sucking

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

“Let’s talk about our feelings.”

“Let’s talk about our feelings.”

Rated 1.0

I’m thankful for a few things regarding the latest Twilight movie. It’s easily the best of the bunch so far, featuring better performances and a couple of scenes I was actually able to watch without wanting to heave unsuspecting diminutive patrons at the screen. I can also report that I had less of a hankering for punching myself in the face while watching it.

Yet, it’s still one of the year’s very worst films. While the main trio of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner is slightly more tolerable this time, everybody around them is still stuck in constant mope mode. When ancillary characters spoke in their droning monotones in this movie, I found myself willing them to speed up with all the psychic strength I could summon. Since I have no psychic strength whatsoever, they just kept moaning, and I was terminally bored.

In the prior chapter of the Twilight saga, New Moon, Stewart’s love spasms for teen dream vampire asshole Edward Cullen (Pattinson) were getting to a point of near hysteria. I seriously thought she was in some sort of severe physical distress, with anaphylactic shock after eating peanuts or Vitamin Water spiked with Drano the possible culprits.

Stewart’s Bella is a little easier to take in this chapter, even though she’s wearing some obvious wigs due to the short haircut she had while playing Joan Jett in The Runaways. It’s as if director David Slade (30 Days of Night) came up to her and said “Yo, Kristen, I loved you in Into the Wild. You were so earthy. You’re going to be a cool Joan Jett … you got the eyes and pout for it. Oh yeah … quit making your Edward love attacks look like your asthma attacks in Panic Room, or I’ll kill you!”

The film starts off with a promising vampire attack in a dark Seattle street. My hopes for the film began to rise as I remembered Slade had directed 30 Days of Night, an actual vampire flick. Then my hopes immediately began to diminish when I recalled that I actually kind of hated that movie, and perhaps Slade wasn’t a reliable director after all.

Then, as I thought further, hope flowed again as I remembered that Slade directed the awesome Hard Candy, where Ellen Page threatened Patrick Wilson with castration. Then, hope faltered yet again when I realized that nobody could possibly get their nuts cut off in a Twilight movie, so Slade would not be afforded the opportunity to shine in one of his cinematic areas of expertise.

Back to the supposed plot, where word gets back to Edward’s adopted vampire family of dickwads that somebody is forming a vampire army in the north, and a bloodsucker apocalypse of sorts is afoot. For reasons that, I shit you not, I could care less about, the wolves decide that they are going to fight with the good vampires against the other vampires. This leads to a FREAKING HILARIOUS scene where cartoon wolves put the smackdown on a vampire army adorned with skater beanies and hoodies. They might be cold-blooded vampires, but they know how Seattle is trending when it comes to skate gear.

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but the movie is actually better when dealing with the love triangle between Bella the Emo chick, Edward the douchebag vampire, and Jacob the eternally sexy wolf guy. (Boys, gay or straight, you must admit that Taylor is super hot!) The three share a scene in a tent during a snowstorm that amounts to the best acted scene in the series thus far. Of course, Bella is fast asleep during the sequence, so that might partially explain its effectiveness.

So, yes, I’m trashing this movie, but I do sense progress. There might be hope for this series yet, and it has a two-part conclusion on the way. There’s talk that the second part could be in 3-D, which means Taylor Lautner’s glorious six-pack could be punching you in the face come 2012. One can only dream.