By the third movie, I think I am officially Twilight-ed out. It caps the trilogy with an ending where I feel there is not much ground left to cover. I’ve confirmed with sources who have read the novels (my sister) which supports my theory. I don’t plan on reading the books to confirm it, I will just trust someone who has, especially when they are the target demographic.
So I went with my sister. What she thinks has more relevance than what I think, since I didn’t croon over seeing Jacob shirtless (I did like the joke about that in the movie though, I appreciate a little self referential humor). This was the second viewing for her, since she went to a midnight show with her friends. Her two favorite scenes involved the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob. One occurs in a tent, when Bella is shivering and only Jacob can keep her warm. Edward has to sit there and accept the reality that he can’t offer her some things that he can. The other scene she really liked was on the mountain when Bella asked Jacob to kiss her.
And, for the record, let it be stated those were my two favorite scenes as well.I will add a third though: when Edward proposes to Bella. He gives her a preamble about how he is an old romantic, valuing courtship and the sanctimony of sex until after marriage over today’s hit-it-and-quit-it dating rituals. It’s nice to see that the strongest moral anchor for the young generation today comes from a blood sucking vampire. We should take it wherever we can get it at this point.
So the love triangle has tension, it’s compelling to watch, and it buoys what is an otherwise droll and predictable third installment of the series. The series overall has a major problem to overcome: once the love triangle dissipates (and it does by the end of this one when Bella unequivocally states she loves Edward more than Jacob), what is left to watch? There are a few subplots still in play, but they don’t provide much incentive to keep girls, much less boys, interested in what is about to happen. You might think waiting for Bella to turn into a vampire would be worth the wait, but girls don’t want to see that. More shirtless Jacob, yes. Bella doing nosedives into people’s necks, no. When Bella tells dad she’s a vampire, how do you think he’ll react? The same way he’s reacted to everything else she’s said and done. A thousand yard stare and a sip of his coffee. Nothing new there.
So what is left? What about the Volturi, that group of uber vampires who apparently delegate the rules of the vampire kingdom. I’m getting lots of tough talk from them but no action. Do they end up hurting the Cullens in some way? Do they play a larger role in the upcoming films? Sources say no. And really, why bother worrying about it. Bella becomes a vampire, she lives with Edward happily ever after, her dad probably stays single, and her mother enjoys the weather in Florida. Not a lot at stake once she changes. Oh but wait. What about her own inner conflicts since this is after all a one way trip? I have disappointing news on that front too. Even her internal struggle isn’t complicated. She wants to be a vampire, that’s it. There’s no self doubt. Jacob doesn’t convince her of anything. Even little scenes that highlight she might be rushing into things don’t sway her position. She is going to do it and nobody can say anything to stop her.
It wouldn’t be so bad if this wasn’t repeated over and over like a broken record. This is the third movie now where Bella doesn’t change, characters remain the same because half of them have been alive for such a long time. They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Same goes for old vampires. The locations don’t really change. Events occur in a large meadow where fighting and playing sports is interchangeable and equally as boring to watch. We are either at Bella’s house, Edward’s, or Jacob’s. There are always long far away shots of someone driving down a road through the forests of the northwest. These films make a ridiculous amount of money every outting, but Summit can’t seem to invest it in better CGI to make wolves look more believable and find a way to have vampires speed-run through forests without looking foolish.
What you get is the same movie, over and over. At this point I cannot differentiate them well at all. The second film stands out in my mind only because Edward is absent for at least half of it and that gives the tension a little boost. But where will the dramatic boost come from in the next two movies? I really can’t think of anything. This series definitely feels like it’s out of gas by the end of Eclipse. But Hollywood is the best at finding new ways to beat a dead horse. Just look at Harry Potter.