The final movie in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn part 2 finally gets that we’ve all been laughing at them this whole time. Granted they have cashed that laughter in for billions of dollars worldwide (and no doubt this finale will earn them even more loot) but the grim, melodramatic seriousness that has marked the series lifts, briefly, as the characters observe just how silly is their world. That Jacob is constantly taking his clothes off in front of strangers? Odd. That vampires are little more than immortal perverts? Humorous. That Bella finally understands why vamps hate werewolves (they stink)? Not that funny, actually. But fans of the series will be relieved that their observations are reflected on screen in this final installment.
And, I’m happy to report, the vampires sparkle. Or at least Bella does, once. And then they forget that they’re supposed to sparkle again.
But as to the question of the quality of the final movie of The Twilight Saga? It’s the best movie in the series. But still not a good movie.
The final book in the Stephanie Meyer series should not have been divorced into two movies—the first half-hour of Part 2 moves at a turgid pace, overloaded with overwrought melodrama and inane dialogue delivered without any panache or vigor. Once the film gets back to its primary plot—helping the Cullen family avoid slaughter by the evil ruling vampire class—it races through the assembly of mutants vampires with special abilities (they’re not the X-Men, though, that’s a totally different movie) to help them fight one last battle for the future of the horribly named Renesmee.
Director Bill Condon and writer Melissa Rosenberg made some important changes to the source material to properly adapt this book to the screen. Instead of being a baby, Renesmee ages quickly because of her human/vampire hybrid blood. This makes the eternal love between she and Jacob less creepy and more “adoring uncle.” Likewise, rather than having the final battle be a battle of psychic wits between two characters, it plays out as an epic, physical battle with numerous fallen soldiers on both sides.
The battle is intense, and several sources say it had to be re-edited to avoid an R-rating for this teenage-targeted flick. It’s also the only redeeming thing about this movie. (They recruit a guy who claims to have been in every American battle since the Revolution yet their strategy is to run directly at their opponents. Brilliant.)
I’m not going to go into detail, but the soft lighting and overdramatic music are cringe-inducing attempts at manipulation. Poor pacing, bad dialogue and worse performances make this clunker watchable only for fans.
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