Big Screen Review :: Breaking Dawn Pt 2

November 20th 2012

I snoozed through most of The Twilight Saga, noting only that they were badly made adaptations of a pretty horrible story – but this all changed when Part 1 of Breaking Dawn erupted into some fully fledged lunacy for its climax, featuring Edward performing an impromptu caesarean WITH HIS TEETH, followed by the werewolf immediately falling in love with a new born baby. You can read my excited recap of this turn of events here.This is the sort of madness I can get behind, so I was pretty pumped for Part 2, hoping we would get more of the same. Maybe an ancient mummy would form a new love triangle with the werewolf and the baby. Or Frankenstien could show up and cause some trouble. No such luck. Instead, Breaking Dawn is a two hour long movie, built on a misunderstanding.

It seems that the Italian dickhead vampires mistake Bella’s baby for a child that has been turned into a vampire, rather than the miraculous abomination that she is. Child Vampires are against the rules, so rather than picking up the phone and asking what the deal is, they immediately assemble an army to wipe out the whole Cullen vampire family. The Cullen’s, instead of just trying to explain things, travel all over the world to assemble their own army, including the giant cartoon dogs, who have to defend Jacob’s infant love. Everyone is refreshingly open minded about this wolf/baby thing. Roger Ebert calls these kinds of stories ‘the idiot plot which he defines as “a plot which is kept in motion solely by virtue of the fact that everybody involved is an idiot,” otherwise “they’d immediately figure out everything and the movie would be over.” It’s bad writing and false drama, but I guess I wasn’t really expecting Death of a Salesman, so I will let it go.

This is probably the first time that I think I can say that I wasn’t bored through a Twilight movie. So by that measure, I’m going to say it’s the best. That said I have had food poisoning that was better than Part 2. Instead of the bad love triangle and giant cartoon dog fights of the first three and a half movies, here we get a pretty condensed little story and a cavalcade of campy weirdos with superpowers, showing up to keep us entertained. Stefan and Vladimir were my personal favorites, though you might like the magical Irishman, or mute Amazonian tribeswomen.

It would be remiss of me not to touch on the climax. Apologies for being vague here, but it can’t really be ignored. I am informed that the book resolves itself in a way that would be kinda anti-climactic on the screen, and the movie gets around this by outrageously breaking some pretty big rules. Given the hysterical responses from the diehard fans sitting behind me, it seemed like a wild ride for them, but as a casual viewer I was pretty angry when the credits rolled, even if I admired the audacity of it.

The producers of this behemoth did a good job tapping Bill Condon to make Part II. He is a proper director with credits like ‘Gods and Monsters’ and ‘Dream Girls’ to his name, and as a result it feels like a real movie. Carter Burwell does some nice work with the score. A very poorly done CGI baby and some state-of-the-art circa-1975 superpowers were nicely shot by Guillermo Navarro.

The acting is still as wobbly as Bella’s bottom lip. I enjoyed watching Taylor Launter try to explain how he fell in love with a Baby, and what that means. Bet they didn’t tell you how to deliver that sort of shit in acting class Lautner! It occurs to me as I’m writing this that no one really cares what a reviewer has to say about a Part II of a four-part franchise. By this point you’re either in or you’re not. So I will guess I will shut up.

In summary, I was not bored during “The Twilight Saga Part 4: Breaking Dawn: Part 2”.


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