‘Eclipse’ Shimmers Brightly

Edward and Bella, played respectively by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, make goo-goo eyes at each other.

Edward and Bella, played respectively by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, make goo-goo eyes at each other.

Once upon a time, a vampire, a werewolf and a human became caught in a twisted triangle filled with both love and hate. Sounds impossible? Tell that to Stephenie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” series.

The four-part film series released its third installment, “Eclipse,” on June 30, once again bringing Meyer’s vision to the big screen. The first movie adaptation? Bleh. The second movie? A bit better. And now the third movie? A much more solid improvement.

Robert Pattinson takes on the elusive role of Edward Cullen, a 103-year-old sexy and mysterious cold-blooded vampire who is in love with Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a regular human being. In the previous installments of the “Twilight” films, Pattinson’s performance was dry and lacked the passion that his lines needed to be believable. With the third film in the series, however, his love for Bella is much more convincing.

Kristen Stewart also improved her acting in the same light. Stewart and Pattinson’s previous lack of passion for one another nearly killed the first two movies, for the whole story revolves around their deep love at first sight. Luckily, both characters spiced up “Eclipse” with a better portrayal of their irrevocable desire for one another, making the film much more watchable.

As Bella’s high school graduation approaches, her days are numbered as a human. She realizes throughout the film that her choice to become a vampire like Edward teems with unwanted consequences that can never be undone.

With the increase of missing humans in Seattle, evil vampire clans, along with the illustrious Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), Bella has to also deal with vampires who want to kill her before she can be transformed. Edward tries to convince his beloved to stay human, for he is fearful he will not be able to stop biting her to the point where he can kill her. The plot turns awry with the presence of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), Bella’s werewolf flame, who is also against her becoming a vampire because he is in love with her.

The relationships between Edward, Jacob and Bella are supposed to be the most intense scenes, but in many instances the situation is just plain awkward. When Edward drops Bella off with Jacob before he leaves for Seattle, he and Bella make out in front of the well-toned, shirtless Jacob. Immediately after, she runs to the werewolf and gives him a big hug as Edward watches.

Many scenes, like this one, are poorly thought-out, thus causing the film to lose much of the original plot from the novel. Edward and Jacob have continued scrimmages throughout the film since they are natural-born enemies, yet Bella’s inclusion in this rivalry falls flat. Her continued subtle interest in Jacob feels unnecessary as she has obviously chosen to stay with Edward, making situations between the three of them lose the tenseness needed to fuel their characters.

Although the movie is filled with tense and fervent narrative, director David Slade and screenplay writer Melissa Rosenberg add a few humorous one-liners to prevent the film from taking itself too seriously. With Edward’s coyly stated “Doesn’t  [Jacob] have a shirt?” and Jacob’s  reply, “Well, I am hotter than you,” the film plays around with many of the points of ridicule from the previous films.

Other than a few chuckles, the movie’s screenplay is beautifully adapted from the novel. While a few speeches between Bella and Edward seemed contrived at times, the script closely follows the dialogue and plot of its source material, leaving diehard “Twilight” fans with several of their favorite scenes brought to the big screen.

No matter how poorly done the previous movies are, the “Twilight” saga was, is and will continue to be a success. The love story between Edward and Bella is still adored by thousands of teenagers and adults. With the improved performance of the characters and the impressive screenplay, “Eclipse” is sure to be a hit with more than just the standard fans.