Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II – Movie Review
Director: Bill Condon
Writers: Melissa Rosenberg, Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Billy Burke, Chaske Spencer, Mackenzie Foy
Vampire / Romantic – Fantasy
Let’s get this out of the way: I read the Twilight books years back when they first came out, and I am not a fan. But I dutifully attended the marathon on opening day, just so I could tell you all about the newest offering. Some of my comments are about just the last movie, some encompass the entire series, putting the last movie in that context.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 picks up right where Part I left off, with Bella (Kristen Stewart) waking up as a newborn vampire.
There is a dynamic confrontation between Bella and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) right at the beginning of the movie (if you’ve seen part I, you know exactly why), it’s intense and very well staged.
Alice (Ashley Greene) is adorable in her eagerness to please, and it tends to make people underestimate her. The character has been well written from the beginning of the series.
There is wonderful usage of stock footage to imply more foreign locations than they actually filmed in, and the matching sets were well-dressed.
The motivational training sequence is handled well. The grand battle scene is exciting and well-played. The audience in my theater was collectively gasping and cheering.
It did show vampires as weirdly human in their actions: This is what I want. Don’t confuse me with facts.
A weird inconsistency–a change from the books has been to pretty much ignore the whole werewolves-running-around-naked thing. Their clothes seemingly appear from nowhere when needed. I actually like how Meyer handled this in the books.
Another standard trope from the book that became irritating and obvious over the course of five movies–it must be nice to have unlimited funds to play with. This is a common vampire/immortality thing (Meyer isn’t the first by a long shot to come up with this)–investments over (a long) time earn a ton of money. Money solves a lot of problems.
I don’t like the whole concept of imprinting in Meyer’s novels. In the movies, I like it even less–played out on screen, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) does his best, but it still comes across as creepy.
Having the same screenwriter (Melissa Rosenberg) through all five movies, with an eye toward a consistent adaption, helped keep things on a even keel (as it did in the Harry Potter movies). On the other hand, it also highlighted any weaknesses in the plots. The comic relief is nicely done.
The two leads, Pattison and Stewart, are very pretty, but somewhat wooden and not good at showing emotion. They are surrounded by better performances, which may be part of the problem.
Greene (mentioned above) has great facial expressions, which helps immensely when she has to show some reaction to a vision that only she can see. She is primarily paired with Jackson Rathbone, who can tell a whole story just with his eyes.
Michael Sheen chews his way through every scene he’s in–the evil comes off him in waves. He is ultra creepy and scary–in a group of vampires! He can truly act, whether in a genre film (Underworld, Twilight) or pure drama (Frost/Nixon, Midnight in Paris). His presence elevates these films.
Christopher Heyerdahl (as Marcus) is absolutely wasted here–he has almost no lines. He looked menacing (one of his many talents), but I wish they had given him more to do.
Lee Pace (Garrett) provides some much-needed comic relief–he has a small part, but does a lot with what he’s given.
I want the Cullen’s library. Hell, I want the whole house.
This movie absolutely is for the fans of Twilight. All others need not apply. If you don’t love the series, and you’re interested in the movie, watch it on cable.
Shop Buzzy Tees!
Twilight Breaking Dawn - Movie Review
Let’s get this out of the way: I read the Twilight books years back when they first came out, and I am not a fan. But I dutifully attended the marathon on opening day, just so I could tell you all about the newest offering. Some of my comments are about just the last movie, some encompass the entire series, putting the last movie in that context. Breaking Dawn Part 2 picks up right where Part I left off, with Bella (Kristen Stewart) waking up as a newborn vampire.