The first rule of successful moviemaking is knowing your audience, and the makers of "Eclipse," the third entry in the "Twilight Saga" movie series, certainly know theirs. They have taken everything in Stephanie Meyer's book that is romantic and flung it full force on the screen. This provides us with an up to date look at the Edward/Bella/Jacob love triangle and plays to the emotions and sensitivities of women of all ages.
Fortunately, director David Slade also knows the value of action and humor and he has sprinkled this in the movie too. A battle between a team of vampires and werewolves against a team of newbie vampires is the action highlight of the film. Droll one liners by both Jacob and Edward make the werewolf and the vampire seem almost human.
The story picks up where the last movie ended. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are seniors in high school in Forks, Washington. Bella is trying to get Edward to make her a vampire so they can live eternally together. He is holding out for marriage before he puts the bite on her.
Meanwhile Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is sulking around hoping Bella will tire of Edward and see that he is her true love. Bella has feelings for Jacob but she loves Edward more. Still she doesn't want to hurt Jacob.
While all this romance is going on, a rogue vampire named Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) is converting humans to vampire status in order to create an army of "newbies" to come after Bella. She wants to hurt Edward like he hurt her by killing her lover James (in a previous book/movie).
By now Stewart and Pattinson have gotten their characters down pat. They appear comfortable and cozy on screen. It is Lautner who makes the greatest strides in this movie. He is now an equal part of the triangle and makes a very substantial alternative for Bella's affection.
The movie is rated PG-13 for mild profanity and violence.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is Stephanie Meyer's current best selling novella. In "Eclipse" you get a brief view of Bree (Jodelle Ferland) and get an encapsulated look at her brief second life as a "newbie" vampire.
"Eclipse" will certainly meet all the requirements the die hard fans have for the book. Although the film is a little slow in its progression, it still has enough action and romance to make it enjoyable even for those who are not readers of the books or enthusiasts for the movies.
I scored "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" a shadowy 6 out of 10.