Characters should be allowed to be able to choose for themselves, not needing to have every decision they make determined by boys who sparkle in the sun or spray themselves with t-shirt repellant. Such is the case in the latest installment of the Twilight series, when Bella finally decides to become her own woman, sort of.

Unlike its predecessors, Twilight: Eclipse is actually an entertaining movie. I won’t lie when I say I enjoyed it, even if it retained its ridiculous melodrama. What made this installment better than the previous two was…I don’t know, it was just better. Director David Slade, who is an entirely new director for the Twilight films, manages to bring a wider range of emotion into the movie then we’ve been privy to and this is good. When I’m allowed to actually feel something for the characters I’m watching on the screen, then I know someone is doing their job in a reasonably proper manner.

If you’ve seen the first two films, and odds are you have or are at least partially aware of the events that have transpired before the opening of this little spectacle, you know what’s going on. Bella wants to be a vampire, but Edward refuses to change her. All the meanwhile Jacob still pines for her affection. That in and of itself was the entire second movie, but the third installment decided to ramp things up a little bit as a vampire army starts being built in an effort to…do something, presumably take over the world, though settling to kill Bella seems just as important. Of course the “army” that’s built isn’t that huge, with just a few dozen vampires. Be that as it may, this leaves for Edward and his family to team-up with Jacob’s werewolf brethren, seeing as they are the only force that can stop this onslaught of evil. You’d think that an army would be able to take on about a dozen opponents, but no.

Regardless, the fight sequences are fairly impressive and as it turns out, vampires don’t bleed when they get severed limbs, they just…shine. Despite that hokeyness, I found myself really rooting for the good guys and getting several different kinds of pumped up as everyone leaped into battle. Also, we get a chance to see Bella help Edward and friends out for once, as opposed to being the weak and helpless one. Sure, being human isn’t easy for her, but sometimes it can be useful.

"This is gonna hurt..."

Another major theme that has remained a constant amidst Twilight, has been the ongoing rivalry between Edward and Jacob. Yet their dislike for each other  has never been properly explored, with throwaway lines about how they are of two different species fighting over the same woman being the only thing that tied their hatred together. In some of the movie’s more interesting moments, these two characters finally sit down and talk it out and you’re allowed to see that despite their differences, they really aren’t that different from one another.

The whole celibacy theme aside, and disregarding the general corniness that comes along with such a film, I have to say that I was amused. There’s a bit of darkness that comes along with Eclipse, something that wasn’t around in the first two movies; that was a good touch. Vampire movies should by nature be rather dark, so kudos to everyone for gadding in that theme. The next film in the series, Breaking Dawn, will be split into two parts and will also have a new director, Bill Condon. Hopefully Mr. Condon can keep the energy alive and further expand on this series. If he can, then maybe, just maybe, we have something to look forward to.

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