The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

PhotobucketThis review is not for anyone already an avowed devotee of the Twilight series. Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is very much a companion to the last film and will satisfy those who are transfixed by the relationship between Bella, Edward and Jacob. However if you’re a fan of acting, storytelling and drama, then this is not your movie. In other words, if you loved/hated Part 1, you’ll love/hate Part 2.

As its title suggest Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is a continuation of the events of Part 1. Bella is now a vampire. She’s stronger, her senses are more acute, and she can move – really, really fast. Bella and Edward Cullen have a new addition to their family, newborn daughter Renesmee – half human, half vampire, she is growing at an alarming rate. We soon learn that Jacob has imprinted on their daughter, which is sort of the equivalent of becoming her soulmate. I don’t know about you, but the idea that Jacob tried to woo Bella, didn’t succeed, and now he’s after her daughter is more than a little creepy. But I digress. The Volturi, a powerful coven of vampires that enforce the laws of the vampire world, have learned of the child and are now out to kill the Cullen clan. They believe her to be an immortal and extremely dangerous to them. Her very existence is something of a crime which must be punished.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is shockingly devoid of any excitement save for the ending. That’s the problem with stretching a single book that could have easily been a 1 hour TV show into 2 films that comprise almost four hours combined. But ah yes there’s money to be made. Anyway what do I know? Obviously, the filmmakers have properly catered to their audience because this earned a boatload of cash. It takes a long time to get to the point of the story, the impending threat of the Volturi. Before that we watch Bella put on contacts, arm wrestle Emmett and zip around in a gray blur featuring surprisingly bad special effects for a major Hollywood production. I dare you not to laugh at the infant Renesmee’s face that is hilariously expressive for a newborn baby. Director Bill Condon seems to finally fully embrace the camp value of this series, although it doesn’t really help. It all builds to a climatic battle that is as ridiculously over-the-top as the rest of the movie is lifeless. I mean the number of bloody decapitations are so numerous they kind of lose their impact.

The actors in Breaking Dawn – Part 2 do not act, they pose. Each scene is composed of beautifully airbrushed models that preen for the camera. CGI is utilized to make them appear even more beatific as they gaze blankly at each other. Like mannequins in a department store window they exhibit a beautiful display of fashion and hairstyles. The lack of action is dreary. There are seemingly endless scenes where people just stand idly by and stare. Once in a while they deliver vapid pronouncements uttered in flat American accents supposedly representing the youths of Forks, Washington but sound more like the denizens of L.A. Everyone broods giving boring exposition that explains the history of various tribes as they gather witnesses to the fact that their daughter does not pose a threat. There is no passion befitting the dialogue. Michael Sheen is the lone actor on hand that gives a performance. As the leader of the Volturi speaks his lines with the self importance that belies his position. At one point he lets out a delighted high pitched squeal that has more personality than the sum total of everything said in the entire production. I perked up a bit at that moment. Then fell back into a lethargic passivity that matched the rest of the cast.

27 Responses to “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2”

  1. Good review Mark! I thought Breaking Dawn: Part 2 was a pretty solid end to the franchise. But I am glad to see it end!


  2. Ah…genius review. Now I won’t bother writing mine. Or maybe I’ll just write one for the five films that I have watched and have been almost ostracised for by my friends, none of whom is a giddy teen.

    Considering this is the 5th of a series of pretty bad films, based on the 4th of a series of badly-written books, when I say this was the WORST, based on the worst portions of the books, it should mean something!

    Anyhow, we still watched it. It will still do well. But it’s over now – and you have summed it up really well!


    • Contrary to what some might think, I do not enjoy writing bad reviews. I suspect I may have angered a lot of fans. However, I have to call it like I see it. You said it perfectly – it’s “a series of pretty bad films”. I have to say I did derive some enjoyment from Eclipse (Part 3). It’s not quite as bad as the others. However the last two entries really left a sour taste. They’re irredeemably bad.

      Thanks so much for the kind words.


  3. “The actors in Breaking Dawn – Part 2 do not act, they pose.”


    Can’t wait to see it! …on DVD. (I’m not a fan of the series but I am curious about how it ends. Part 1 was terrible, though. I was so bored with it, then I got angry that it was so boring, and THEN I got so angry that I got bored again.)


    • Ha ha. Funny stuff, Franz. If you thought Part 1 was terrible, you’ll hate this too. It’s this is just a continuation of the last film – shot at exactly the same time and simply cut in half. It’s in a tie for worst film of the series for me.


    • Yeah I love that line, too, good one Mark! They truly are but mannequins on a store window, they’re just as pale and cold too! The romance between Bella and her beloved Edward felt cold to me, not to mention creepy! I think the best part about this dumb franchise is reading the negative reviews, more fun than watching the movie 🙂


      • Agreed. Robert Pattinson walks through the entire film as if he were stoned. Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner aren’t any better. At least Stewart had a career before this, so I’m not worried for her, but what will become of Pattinson and Lautner now that this series is over?


      • Seems like Pattinson has been working with acclaimed directors like Cronenberg and even Werner Herzog has cast him in his next film. I think he’s ok in things outside of Twilight, I saw him in Remember Me and he’s not bad. I guess depends on the material, but that Lautner boy has no business being an actor!


  4. Yeah, they pose really well, and act very bad. Ha ha. I did like the end scene, but had nice naps throughout. I too, am glad its over.


  5. Terrible series, although i think Paterson gave up on this after the first 5 mins of the first film haha 😀


  6. Can’t say I’m surprised. I’m not a fan of Stephenie Meyer’s writing, and an five-part adaptation with Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner does it a disservice, if that even matters. I’ll see it just to say I did.


    • I started watching because it was such a phenomenon and had to see what all the fuss was about. To this day I still don’t get it, although I’ve never read the books so I suppose I’m at a disadvantage.


      • Nah the books are pretty bad too. Stephenie Meyer takes “Beauty and the Beast” story, turns the beast into a vampire, and just rambles, rambles, rambles. If she didn’t spend so many pages elaborating on the love between Edward and Bella (from the female perspective), I suppose it wouldn’t even be appealing to teens to begin with.


  7. More then agree with this review… mannequins, no passion.
    And what can you expect when the main actor said something like :”Playing the same part for a while, you just run out of ideas. You feel kind of useless, you don’t know what to do anymore..”

    hell… there is no psychology development. Most of actors seemed like they “don’t know what to do”. And even all the tricks and bright colours in the world can´t change it.

    Not to mention that if you don´t know the story from the book you have to be kind of lost in the films – the films are not working like independent piece… there are things between lines you have to know yourself otherwise you will be annoyed even more.

    I think that this was the worst film of the whole saga. People say that the books are bad so the films could not do any better. But when I compare the last book of the serie and this… flashy boredom… the book is better without doubt.

    I have to say in the book there was some logic and some drama even if there was no fight. For example a newborn vampire is supposed to be dangerous to everyone, including the Cullens. To a newborn the thirst is the most important thing (and also his instincts to survive). After some time you can tell that Bella is an exception to the rule. But in the book you can feel the fear (or at least wariness and distrust on both sides), the change of atmosfere. In the film is said a little about it… but the atmosfere? Big Nothing. It is dull, it is void. And this is not the only one drama omitted.

    To me is the battle in the film an expression of incapability to build some tension without it – the theme itself could be very dramatic if you have good actors and capable director. The tension between two sides, the psychologic war, the fear for loved ones, the helpless rage… there are films where just building the tension works just fine. This is not the case so the battle had to be there to supply the tension which is missing otherwise.


    • I can appreciate that Stephenie Meyer’s writing has much more drama and logic. After all when you’re relying on the written word, you must be more descriptive. Thanks for your insight as someone who has read the novels. You offered some very interesting observations. 🙂


      • Thank you, Mark, I am glad that I could add something what you considered interesting even if my english is rather poor. And even if the books are not national gems :-))

        I enjoyed your review and after some time one thing came into my mind – about the posing figurines – it is hilarious but in some odd sense it is correct considering that this vampires are supposed to be something like living stone. They have to pretend all little movements which people produce normally without thinking about it. So when the vampires are between themselves, they don´t have to fake it.. But in film it is very creepy to watch – and not in a scary way :-))


  8. Awesome review, Mark. Really enjoyed reading it. Much more than I’d enjoy watching this film.


  9. Sorry you didn’t like this one more, I actually found it quite enjoyable and I was delighted that we finally got decent CGI in this one.


  10. YES! Thank you for pointing out that they pose and do not act! and that the airbrushing use is atrocious. LOL.

    It was only exciting in the end, you’re right. at least that helped soften the blow of having to sit through so much of the series prior to.

    I think your score of this one is fair and justly deserved. 🙂 Sorry it took me so long to get here! Great review!


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