Breaking Dawn – Part 2

She is reborn.  Her senses heightened.  Her speed and strength greatly accelerated.  Her hunger hard to contain.

At the end of Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Bella Swan nearly died becoming a mom, then woke up as a newborn vampire.  Now married to Edward Cullen, the pasty bloodsucker who reluctantly but inevitably transformed her into her current state, she has to leave her old human life behind if she is to survive with her new family in Part 2.  Ask me if I give a shit.

From the beginning, I’ve never believed in this relationship.  Kristen Stewart (who has never looked lovelier than she does in this movie, I must admit) and Robert Pattinson have so little chemistry together, to this day I’m still shocked they ever dated in real life.  (The cynic in me thinks it was all a ruse to give this then-anticipated franchise even more publicity.  Totally unnecessary, as it turns out.)  It’s because of this terminally unconvincing romance that I’ve never warmed to any of the four previous films in this series.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the fifth and final chapter in The Twilight Saga, actually starts off quite brilliantly with one of the most spectacular opening title sequences I’ve seen in quite some time.  (These films have always been beautifully photographed.)  Even seeing Bella immediately embrace her new found undead existence is cool, especially in the fun little scene where she quickly learns to adapt to the Cullens’ “vegetarian” lifestyle.

But shortly thereafter, it’s back to the same old, same old.  (No amount of artsy editing will ever make a typically flat Bella/Edward love scene sizzle.)  Three days after the birth of her daughter, Bella finally gets to meet Renesmee, a distracting special effect with a full head of hair.  Like everybody in this dull family, she has a special power.  She can communicate through your face with the touch of her right hand.  (Actually, two special powers.  She can jump way up to touch a snowflake, as well.)  Big whoop.

At any event, during the snowflake jumping scene, Irina (Maggie Grace), an estranged vampire from a different clan, witnesses this moment wrongly thinking a crime has been committed.  (Child immortals are bad news, we learn.)  So, she informs The Volturi who take about an hour or so to arrive on the scene to get some answers.  (For a species known for its incredible speed, they’re awfully slow to show up for this supposed crisis.)

It turns out, of course, that the adorable, rapidly growing Renesmee (eventually played by a real child actor named Mackenzie Foy) is actually half-immortal, half-human, a true rarity in the vampire world and not really a big threat to anybody, despite the paranoia of The Volturi.  To avoid a potential war with this cheerfully violent bloodsucker equivalent of the Supreme Court (led by the always entertaining Michael Sheen as Aro), the Cullen clan seek out numerous cold-blooded friends from around the world to vouch for “Nessie’s” ultimate harmlessness.  If the Volturi are unconvinced by their testimonies (always a strong possibility for the murderous group), Bella will allow her daughter’s protector (and future lover) Jacob (the still dickish Taylor Lautner) to take Renesmee far away from any potential bloodshed.  (Initially, she’s appalled that he imprinted on Nessie and that he nicknamed her after The Loch Ness Monster.  Why she inevitably changes her mind about this I have no idea.)

In the meantime, Bella learns she’s a “shield”, a defensive vampire who can protect herself and her new family by lessening the pain enemies inflict on all of them through some kind of magical mumbo jumbo.  Unfortunately, fully embracing this new reality means abandoning her old human connections including the most important one with her concerned father (the underutilized Billy Burke) who keeps calling the Cullens twice a day to find out what happened to his daughter after the events of the last movie.  (They want to tell him she’s dead.  Jacob makes sure that doesn’t happen.)

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is a lot shorter than I thought it would be.  (I was expecting a two and a half hour epic to end this “saga”.)  But like all the other installments, it feels much longer than it actually is.  (Pacing was never this series’ strong suit.)  Despite the surprisingly good opening, a fine performance from the unapologetically theatrical Sheen, gorgeous cinematography and countless beheadings (one of which made me howl with unintentional laughter) in the mostly effective third act, like me, if you were ultimately bored watching all the previous chapters in this series, don’t expect to be exhilarated during this one.

As long as I live I’ll never understand the appeal of these movies.  The comatose romances, the uninspired characters, the rather obvious looking special effects, the lack of heart-pounding drama.  It’s hard to imagine real film connoisseurs of the future talking as reverently with the same pitched excitement about this series the way die-hard fans are talking about them now.  It has to be said, The Twilight Saga from start to finish is consistently bland and completely unworthy of such devotion.

That being said, if there’s one character in Breaking Dawn – Part 2 I strongly identify with, it’s Marcus.  He’s the only member of The Volturi with a permanently sad expression on his face.

After suffering through all five of these pictures, I know exactly how he feels.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
2:55 p.m.

Published in: on July 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] review.  Zero Dark Thirty, The Three Stooges remake, The Purge, Spice World, Earth, Beetlejuice, Breaking Dawn – Part Two, Texas Chainsaw, Sinister, Dredd, Flashdance, Zombieland, American Wedding and Inglourious Basterds […]

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