Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 – Team Awkward

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Okay, right up front, I’ve never read a Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novel or seen a Twilight movie, including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1; so before I incite the blood-sucking ire of Team Edward and Team Jacob, let me add this little disclaimer to my review.

I get you Twilight fans, and although I don’t join you in your excitement over this pop culture phenomenon, I do understand your fervent love for the stories and mythology that Ms. Meyer’s created with her bestselling books and movies. There is nothing I can say that will change your feelings towards this material or your beloved characters. But as much as I can relate to your passionate Twilight devotion, I fear I must share my honest and (somewhat) objective assessment of this film – so if you are a Twilight fan, you have been warned – turn the page now or read on at your own risk.

Breaking Dawn - Part 2The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is probably one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It is a poorly-acted inane film with a childish narrative that discounts generations’ worth of vampire lore and replaces it with its own misguided mythos that has more in common with the X-Men than Dracula. This is not a scary movie, nor does it try to be – it’s a half-baked Dark Shadows style soap opera that gets sillier in direct proportion to how serious it tries to be.

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has become a vampire after giving birth to her daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), who was fathered by the suave blood-sucker Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). As the film begins, Bella is adjusting to life as a vampire and all the super-powers that come with it, like hyper-speed, super-strength and heightened senses – not to mention the unquenchable bloodlust.

The couple’s werewolf friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is watching over the baby until Bella can get her body under control and as she settles into her new life with the Cullen’s family, including a new home where she and Edward can get busy non-stop as she never gets tired now. You gotta love those vampire chicks.

In the meantime, the not so nice Volturi vampire clan gets word that a vampire child has been born, which is a no-no in the Twilight folklore as the immortal children are very bad and uncontrollable and could potentially draw attention to the vampire group’s hidden existence. But the difference with Renesmee is that she was born before her Mom crossed-over, so she is both vampire & human and should not cause them any problems.

Breaking Dawn - Part 2The Volturi aren’t buying it though and they mean to destroy the child and anyone that gets in their way; so the Cullens clan has to recruit brothers & sisters from across the globe to help protect the young girl and it all leads up to a climatic vampires versus werewolves & vampires free-for-all battle for the life (or death) of Renesmee.

While some of this plot sounds good, the quality is really worse than something you might see on a network television series and I guess my problem isn’t really with the story (although I’m not giving it a thumbs-up either) but with the delivery. I felt the filmmakers cut corners on quality across the board because they have a built in audience that will not be swayed by a poor product.

The best part of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is the final battle sequence, probably because it required more action than emoting, but it really did remind me of something out of the X-Men. All the vampires have their own special mutant powers, from controlling the elements, to emitting a force field or an electrical discharge – and they all have the speed and strength capabilities of Superman. For me, vampires are about horror, not super powers, and the only thing scary about this film is that it ever saw a movie screen.

Breaking Dawn - Part 2So for my Twilight-fan friends – if you are still with me – I am happy to report that at the screening I attended there was giddy electricity and uproarious laughter & applause in the theater while this movie played and that alone made me feel good while watching this picture. I’m thrilled to see people excited over something they cherish and after all that’s what nerdom is all about. The fans obviously loved the film and they are absolutely entitled to enjoy themselves, but this last installment certainly didn’t win me over and I doubt I’ll be adding the previous movies to my Netflix queue.

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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