The makers of the latest installment in the Twilight series, Eclipse, had a difficult task ahead of them. The first movie, Twilight, and the second movie, New Moon, had no trouble rising above their source material — Stephenie Meyer’s beloved, hilarious novels. But Eclipse is a substantially better book than its predecessors. How would director David Slade handle adapting a book that is merely half bad?
He did great! Eclipse is not only a pretty good movie, it still offers plenty of moments that far outstrip all 629 pages of Meyer’s novel. Let’s count the ways, in our spoiler-filled slideshow.
Previously: 28 Reasons That Twilight the Movie Is Better Than Twilight the Book
Thirty-Four Ways New Moon the Movie Is Better Than New Moon the Book
Its opening scene, in which a young man is attacked by a vampire in an alley, will remind you of the similar openings of 43 different episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And then you’ll remember how good that show was.
Instead of obsessively rereading Wuthering Heights
, Bella’s studying Robert Frost
for her English final — which means maybe no one will ever actually release the Brontë with this cover
Edward’s first-ever attempt at a joke (“Doesn’t he own a shirt?”) is, hilariously, drowned out by the audience shrieking at Jacob’s shirtless chest.
And don’t worry, his abs look just as great as ever. This time we think this one was our favorite.
In the movie, when Jacob shows up in his black T-shirt, we get an awesome hard-rock guitar cue. The only way to replicate that at home would be to play your own electric guitar while you read (which would be great, actually).
In a welcome nod to subtlety, female werewolf Leah Clearwater does not also run around without her shirt on.
Rather than sixteen pages of made-up myths from a made-up Indian tribe, the campfire scene is like a minute long and just gets to the point.
The wolves actually look totally terrific, CGI panda dogs
though they may be. They’re so cute! Wolf Jacob even gets his head scratched by Bella.
On the other hand: “Jake! Stay!” If that line doesn’t make you laugh, you’re not paying attention.
Plus: wolf noogies with Seth Clearwater!
In the movie, Victoria’s chase through the woods is an exciting sequence full of vampires and wolves and jumping over rivers. In the book, it’s described after the fact by Edward in that stupid flourishy handwriting font.
Bryce Dallas Howard is so terrible as Victoria! Does she need money? That makes us feel better about not being a movie star.
Also, she totally gets her head ripped off, which is pretty awesome.
No matter how much you try, David Slade, you will never successfully make Seattle look gritty and dangerous. This shot did make us want some coffee, though.
The Cullens take a moment before the big climactic fight to model the latest in newborn-killing activewear.
Dakota Fanning: still creepy!
However, the guy who plays Felix looks exactly like Ashton Kutcher, and it’s fun to pretend that Dakota Fanning is torturing Ashton Kutcher for some kind of industry-related reason.
Clearly, at some point some executive slapped his head and said, “Oh shit, now there’s an Oscar nominee in our cast.” So they made Jessica class valedictorian and let Anna Kendrick make a speech. A good one about how 18-year-olds should be screwing around and not making serious life decisions! Natalie Keener
would never make that speech.
And it’s sweet that all those other nice young actors whom Catherine Hardwicke cast as Bella’s school friends get, like, five minutes to strut their stuff. That’s proportionally way more play than they get in the book.
All the flashbacks are ridiculous, but none more than Nikki Reed in her old-timey wedding dress. Almost definitely a Kill Bill homage!
While Eclipse does amp up Bree Tanner’s role, the filmmakers are classy enough not to actually include a big onscreen ad for Meyer’s new book.
“I at least wanna hyphenate my name,” Bella declares. Oh, okay, Betty Friedan is now totally cool with this movie.
One proposal scene? How about two proposal scenes …
… with the same ugly ring!
“I am hotter than you,” Jacob says to Edward, the greatest line ever in the history of motion pictures.