The end of the franchise that propelled two relative unknowns to fame and was the cause of much squealing the world over. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is critic-proof, and was always going to appease the die-hard Twihards. But does that mean it should get a pass for being poorly made rubbish? No, no it shouldn’t. Review after the jump.
The film picks up right where part 1 left off with Bella (Kristen Stewart) now a vampire and a mother to baby Renesmee. Bella is adjusting to being vampire and the whole Cullen clan are overjoyed that Mum and baby made it through the horrific birth. Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has become a permanent fixture at the Cullen household, unable to leave the side of the child who he has “imprinted” on and is bound to protect and love. Fatherhood seems to have mellowed Edward (Robert Pattinson), who mostly stands around in a happy dream-like state.
The peace is soon shattered however when it is incorrectly reported to the ruling Volturi that Renesemee (Mackenzie Foy) is an immortal child, when she is in fact half-human and half-immortal (yeah, I’m not exactly sure how you can be half immortal either). It is illegal to produce immortal children and the Volturi believe that they have a justifiable reason to take the Cullen clan and their allies out. The only chance the Cullens have at protecting their family and Renesemee’s life is if they can gather enough friends who can attest to Renesemee not being an immortal child. However, the Volturi aren’t exactly known for being level-headed, and just because the truth is presented to them, doesn’t mean they will acknowledge it.
The problem with this film is despite what the plot summary may indicate, not a lot happens at all. It is one of the most padded-out, over-long films I have ever seen. This is what happens when you split a rather slight book into two long films – there just isn’t enough content to go around. The first 30 minutes is mostly people staring at each other and standing around and smiling. After this happiness the group spreads out to bring together the oddest bunch of poorly written supporting characters to help their cause. From the Irish Vampires who utter two words, to “Dracula 1 and 2”, they really are quite silly and take an awful long time to bring together.
The climatic action scene which the film spends so long building to does have some impressive set pieces, and it is undoubtedly the highlight of the film. Their supernatural powers make the battle rather interesting, and there are plenty of great one-on-one fights. However, this scene is no pay-off for the 100 minutes of build up before it. The way the battle plays out and ends felt like a real disservice after four films of build up.
For a film that was always going to make hundreds of millions of dollars, I’m not sure why more money wasn’t spent to make it look at bit slicker. The CGI was not good, and the scenery really did look like a studio backdrop with lots of fake foam moss. The same could be said for the quality [and delivery] of the dialogue – did it really need to be so cheesy and wooden? The clichés that poured out of the characters mouths did nothing to help their lack of depth.
Does any of this matter? Probably not. Fans get to spend a final 2 hours with characters they obviously adore, and there are plenty of sweet and romantic moments which are a nice pay off after all the turmoil Bella and Edward experienced to be able to be together. But I can’t help but think that fans deserved better than this. It was a whole lot of foreplay with a very disappointing climax.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Bill Condon
Writer(s): Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay), Stephenie Meyer(novel)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Runtime: 115 minutes
Release date(s): Australia & New Zealand: November 15 2012; USA: November 16 2012