Title: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Directed By: Bill Condon
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Billy Burke, Mackenzie Foy, Maggie Grace, Jamie Campbell Bower, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Cameron Bright, Casey LaBow, Rami Malek, Lee Pace, Joe Anderson
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” is a seven – on the “Twilight” scale. If you’re comparing it to films that play by the rules, it’s more of a four. But this is a “Twilight” film and after five of them it’s successfully established its own set of rules.
“Breaking Dawn – Part 2” kicks off just days after Bella’s baby bloodshed. Renesmee is already a rather large infant and Bella’s testing the waters of this whole life as a vampire thing. An indiscernible amount of time later, Renesmee turns into a 10-year-old (Mackenzie Foy) and Irina (Maggie Grace) spots Bella and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) enjoying some playtime vampire-style out in the woods. Horrified that Renesmee may be a vicious “immortal child,” Irina tattles to the Volturi. However, Renesmee isn’t immortal. She’s half human, half vampire. The trouble is, the Volturi are pretty stubborn and the only way the Cullens can save their newest family member is by amassing an army of vampires to defend her.
“Breaking Dawn – Part 2” opens with the best part of the movie, the opening credits. And I’m only being semi-sarcastic. The film’s title sequence is really quite mesmerizing. The text either bleeds from red to white or white to red, and plays over a string of vibrant frosty forest shots mixed with a few of a blood red hue. It works especially well, artfully bringing the viewer back into the world with a rousing hypnotic effect. But again, it’s the best part of the movie. Really.
It doesn’t take long for “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” to fall victim to old habits, slowing in pace, losing life and becoming painfully repetitive. After getting past the point where you’re beaten over the head with the fact that Bella is now a vampire, it launches into a surface-value string of scenes showing the Cullens recruit vampire after vampire. There’s definitely something exhilarating about seeing all the vampires come together to support the cause, but few are given enough material to make them more than props, merely there to show that the Cullens know bloodsuckers from across the globe. Lee Pace has some fun as Garrett and strikes up an amusing relationship with Casey LaBow’s Kate, while Rami Malek makes an impression as Benjamin courtesy of a magnetizing on screen presence, but Joe Anderson sadly suffers from an incomplete arc, the disapproving Alistair literally just disappearing without any reconciliation.
As for our main players, well, there isn’t much to say because it’s really just more of the same. Lautner still stands out as the livelier of the bunch while Robert Pattinson continues to seem to bore Stewart to death. Even with her newfound immortality and beady red eyes, looking at Stewart still feels like looking at nothing. With the emotional power of the film so deeply connected to Bella’s feelings, the fact that Stewart’s facial expressions range from lip twitch to looking constipated, we’re left with nearly zero access to the character.
Michael Sheen, on the other hand, makes Aro quite the animated player. Between Aro being able to see thoughts via handholding and Renesmee’s preference to communicate via face touching, quite a lot happens without anything happening at all. Sheen takes Aro above and beyond, which offers some unforgettable and possibly unintentional laughs towards the end of the film, but few members of the cast nail expressing that when Renesmee touches them, something actually happens.
But all of that non-action is somewhat reconciled by an out-of-control grand finale. Without spoiling anything, the “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” battle might be one of cinema’s most memorable moments of 2012, for better or worse. The violence that takes place is unprecedented and it’s an absolute blast to watch. Then again, all the excitement comes from seeing the carnage pile up. There are a few gasp-worthy moments that rouse emotion out of concern for particular characters, but most of the fun comes from seeing this absurd world that’s become such an important part of pop culture implode. For the non-Twihards, the “Saga” has been a ridiculous run and seeing the main characters at each other’s throats is twistedly blissful.
Per usual, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” is full of lame dialogue, relationships sans chemistry, overacting, underacting, flat out boring scenes, silly CGI and plot holes, but fan or not, there’s no denying that there’s something enchanting about this franchise. While some films are more bearable than others, none are all that good, but five films later, you’re certainly attached to a degree. Whether you’re an avid fan of the books and someone who camps out the night before the premiere or the moviegoer who scoffs at the silly obsession, we’re all about to lose something and you really do feel the sentimental pang at the end of the film.