Movie Review – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, 2012.

Directed by Bill Condon.
Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Mackenzie Foy, Ashley Greene, Maggie Grace, Michael Sheen, Nikki Reed, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kellan Lutz and Dakota Fanning.

SYNOPSIS:

With the birth of Renesmee, and Bella’s new life just beginning, the Cullen family gather various vampire covens in preparation for a showdown with the Vulturi.

I thought I might be in a different position than most reviewers. That is to say, I’ve never hated The Twilight Saga. Though they are hardly the pinnacle of cinema they are harmless, and if you really had an issue with the whole thing, then you don’t have to take any notice.

So, without a care I went to a midnight showing with my better half. She has read the books (before the first film might I add) and chatted with me enough about them that I know the difference between the Vulturi and Quileute. I was expecting more of the same melodrama, longing glances and pained expressions.

As prepared as I was though, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is rather poor.

With all the money that these films have made you would have thought that they would spend some of it on making things look decent, especially for the grand finale. Sadly there are several moments in the film where shoddy CGI completely takes you out of the film.

Newborn Renesmee grows extremely quickly due to her unique parentage, so the likeness of the eventual older Renesmee is placed upon various children. The result is horrific and resulted in laughter and gasps. I personally felt a sense of relief when she grew up and we no longer had such poor work foisted upon us.

The vampire’s movement is the other major let down. I don’t feel like any of the directors ever got a good handle on portraying their speed, but here it really is terrible. Characters either move in the same vein as The Flash, or we get to see them running normally with scenery whizzing past, which just looks naff.

The wolves are much more convincing, and we are spared a long telepathic wolf pack chat this time round. Thank God. When you add this to a visually much more impressive opening, you wonder how they could have gotten some things so right and others so wrong?

So moving on, does the acting make any of this bearable? Well, if you’ve seen any of the previous entries (what are you doing here if you haven’t?) you can expect more of the same. I don’t feel like I can be too disparaging towards anyone though, since there are so many characters introduced that no one gets time to really make anything of their character. Stewart does a decent job of portraying Bella’s newfound vampire confidence, with a few amusing lines and in a shock turn of events provides with more than her usual dead-eyed expression. Pattinson gets to pout and look moody; Lautner gets to take his shirt off and the rest of the cast just do enough. Some praise is reserved for Michael Sheen however, who is clearly aware of where he is, and hams it up accordingly. Though he is the main villain of the piece, he adds some levity to an otherwise stodgy affair.

The running time comes in at under 2 hours, but really it could have done with more time to flesh out the large cast. Who cares if the Irish coven gets killed if all I’ve seen is 10 seconds of them using stereotypes to get across that they are from across the pond?

Poorly written characters are not my biggest issue with the script however.

In typical Hollywood fashion we have a final battle. This one is a stand out however; as we are treated to one of the laziest pieces of writing and cheap shock tactics that I’ve ever seen. It really did cheapen a lot of what happened, and whilst it elicited many gasps of shock it was ultimately meaningless. This is the single biggest flaw with the film, as not only does it feel extremely hollow, but I know that if I was a fan of the books, I’d be disappointed and possibly quite angry.

Twilight was a decent enough introduction to the world, even though Edward’s hair was a bit too crazy. After the bore-fest that was New Moon, the series really picked up with Eclipse and appeared to be carrying on in that vein with Breaking Dawn –Part 1. Like Bella faking breathing to fool her Father into thinking she is still human, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 attempts to use a trashy twist and poor CGI to make us feel something.

Whilst cinema goers worldwide rejoice at the (possible) end of the franchise, I’m left wondering at what point Billy Condon etc. stopped caring.  Having never been offended by these films and even having enjoyed them at times, I can’t help but feel for those to whom this was more important.

Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★  / Movie ★

Chris Cooper

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