Friday, November 16, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012) - A Vampire Showdown

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 movie poster
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" (2012).

It was a long, hard, dusty road for the action-adventure-vampire-romance Twilight saga, but Lionsgate finally brought out the concluding chapter with "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" (2012).  We have all the favorite characters back one last time, and all the same actors are playing them.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 the Cullens in the woods
There are weird vibes all through "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2."

Bella (Kristen Stewart) has given birth to Edward Cullen's (Robert Pattinson) baby, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), and all seems well.  She has a new life and new vampire powers, and for once, nobody seems to be menacing her and her family.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 arm-wrestling by Bella and Edward
Kristen Stewart showing how manly she can be in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2."

All that suddenly changes. Vampire Irina (Maggie Grace) is afraid of Renesmee. She thinks the child will have powers that can threaten her hold on her clan, the Volturi, and even their very existence. The only thing for her to do, she decides, is to wipe out the baby one way or the other.  She goes to Aro (Michael Sheen) and convinces him to lead an attack against the child, even though things are not as she portrays them.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2 vampires dressed like normal people in the woods
Now there's an imposing army for you in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2."

Bella and the Cullens, naturally, learn of this plot against them.  They seek out any allies they can find and prepare for battle, training their army. Jacob (Taylor Lautner) becomes the protector of little Renesmee, imprinting her in a sweet way, and rather than fighting Edward over Bella, he becames an integral part of the team.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Bella and Edward in the snow
Everybody is so pale that they start to blend into the background in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2."

Ultimately, we get to the climactic battle in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2." Unlike the book, where there is no actual battle described, here the filmmakers decided to go all out. Of course, the book mentions a battle, but does not describe it in any kind of detail. Well, the film goes into exquisite detail, all computer-generated and skull-ripping. There are numerous casualties, and some small twists that may shock those who expect everything to turn out precisely the same way that the book did.  Everybody who cares about these characters should wind up happy with the "look forward" ending.

Renesmee and Edward at home in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Everybody gets their moments in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2."

The score of  "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" by Carter Burwell is very pleasant. The direction by Bill Condon, though, is a bit soapy and uninspired, fairly fast-paced at certain times (there was a lot of material to cover) and incredibly slow at others (a seven-minute PG-13 love scene!).  Rather than speak, the actors tend to give deep, meaningful looks that are meant to show how deeply they feel about things. That may work if you are completely and utterly emotionally invested in the characters, but, if not and you are in the right mood, it may become a bit annoying or even comical. Some characters don't seem to be able to speak - they just grimace or make faces. Others are monosyllabic and say a word here or there, but otherwise are mute as well. Nothing indicates that these people have a brain in their heads. Bella smiles several times in this installment, but Edward Cullen remains stoic. Taylor Lautner does his cheesecake act at one point, which is sure to please the ladies, and there are some pretty female vampires (now there's a thought) to placate their dates.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2 Bella and Renesmee having a quiet moment
Bella looking after her child in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2."

On the positive side, the overall quality of  "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" seems high for the series overall. Kristen Stewart in particular seems more alive and credible, and the scenery is especially gorgeous. The love is thrown all around in this film, it's definitely group hug time.  On the negative side, the script is weighted down by being forced to stick too closely to the book (except for the battle, which is the best moment of film unless you really do love all that grimacing and face-making). Lines that read well in a long novel often get clunky in a quick (under two hours) film, and that's what happens here.  To depart from the books would invite the wrath of hordes of Twilight readers, so there wasn't much Condon could do. The beginning of the film has a very rote feel to it, as Bella goes through all the motions fans will expect of her, but the second half thankfully gets more lively. The makeup and graphics are good for the series, but probably won't win any awards.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 three vampires in a circle
I think I saw that guy in a bar this one time....

 "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" a film for fans. Since it is faithful to the books for the most part, anyone who enjoyed the previous films in this saga should enjoy this one as well. If you aren't familiar with the series, this definitely is not the one to start with. Someone who hasn't been indoctrinated yet might not appreciate the wonderfulness of Bella jumping up and biting a cougar in the neck. Instead, they might consider it the height of ridiculousness (and perhaps walk out at that point). When someone is killed, but it turns out only to be a "vision," a casual viewer also might be a bit annoyed. But fans may simply be amused and cheered by such displays. That's why proper preparation by the viewer is absolutely vital before you stick out your own neck and pay to see or buy this.   

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Edward, Bella and a really big wolf
That's a big ol' wolf in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2," this must be serious.

Half the fun of  "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" is seeing it with other fans. Watching it alone on DVD won't be nearly as much fun. When the theater erupts in cheers or laughter, it covers over the banality and makes the high (and low) points that much sweeter. It is the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" of the 21st Century. If you're going to see it, see it in the theater if you can. It definitely loses something on a home theater.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 the Cullens and their allies running in the snow
I'm not sure why Bella doesn't just take out the enemy single-handedly in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2," I mean, she's so awesome and all. That's a problem with all superhero movies, though, not specific to this one.

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" is better than Part 1, and maybe is the best entry in the entire series (which began way back in 2008 with the original "Twilight"). "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" has a little more action (it actually felt about the same, to be honest, but knowing that they were winding things up in and of itself made the story inherently more interesting). Look, it's not "Citizen Kane," but it will more than adequately entertain you if you want it to. Isn't that what it is all about with today's "group-think," everyone enjoying the same thing at the same time? All others should study up first by watching the earlier installments before trying this one and see if you enjoy them. Then, if you, too, are absorbed into the collective, you may wish to graduate to this concluding chapter.



  1. I think it was a lovely epic finale and couldnt have gone better. The writer of this review Srijana, should stop writing reviews for English movies and stick to writing for masala drama Bollywood ones. I mean it looks like she has a personal grudge against the characters and series. Lady! grow up! its just fiction. Wat else do you expect.. Shahrukh romance and Salman actions or Saif comedies is it!!! Srijana i really feel you should waste your time writing these reviews without even watching the movie.

  2. I love very much to see Twilight movie.Nice review about Twilight.Thanks for that.