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Friday, November 16, 2012

Breaking Dawn, Part 2: Sweet Relief

Posted by on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 8:08 AM

In case you couldnt tell by their leather bikinis, the vampires on the left are from the Amazon. Theyre part of the international coalition of Up with Vampires that our heroes assemble, for no discernable reason.
  • In case you couldn't tell by their leather bikinis, the vampires on the left are from the Amazon. They're part of the international coalition of Up with Vampires that our heroes assemble, for no discernable reason.

Four years ago, I read and reviewed all the Twilight books. Because my coworkers cited my decision to review the Twilight books as some sort of "expertise," I wound up watching and reviewing every single movie in the Twilight franchise. Two days ago, my long journey finally came to an end. I watched Breaking Dawn, Part 2 with a growing sense of relief as the credits drew near. Never again would I watch another Twilight movie*.

If you don't know the story by now, you'll be completely lost. There's not even a refresher at the beginning of the movie—probably because a "story so far" reel would nakedly reveal the story to be the rantings of an insane person. In the fourth film in the series, our human heroine, Bella, became a vampire after giving birth to Renesmee, the child she fathered with vampire Edward Cullen. Now the evil vampire illuminati believes that the Cullen family have turned a human child into a vampire and are coming to destroy every vampire in the Pacific Northwest. And Bella's other boyfriend, the werewolf Jacob, has fallen deeply in love with Bella's infant daughter. Naturally.

So what do we have here? Surprisingly little romance. Now that Edward and Bella are married, they don't really pine after each other too much. (Kristen Stewart's acting ability has notably declined since the first Twilight movie. In the first film, she made every line interesting, and her lust for Edward was striking in a female protagonist. But in this movie, where her Bella should be reveling in her newfound power, she barely seems present. There's nothing there.) And the bride and groom have a war to prepare for, anyway, so they go around the world collecting super-powered vampires for the big showdown. If anybody in the Twilight universe owned and knew how to operate a phone, this movie could have been cut down to a clean 45 minutes, and all the major problems could have been easily resolved.

If you read the books, you know the "climactic battle" is a huge anticlimax. The filmmakers have made some changes, presenting a battle scene that throws the whole movie over the edge into total absurdity. It's an orgy of decapitation, a senseless melee that at least provides a sense of finality. And Michael Sheen, as the leader of the bad vampires, is given one moment to trot out a line reading packed with such unbelievable camp that he earned possibly the biggest laugh of the entire series at all the press screenings I've attended. But then it's time for the movie to end, and the fans are serviced with montage after montage when one character discovers that she possesses the ability to transmit music videos with her eyes. As a movie, it's disjointed, cheap-looking, dumb, and featherweight. Which means it's a perfect ending for the series. And at least it's all, finally, over.

* At least, until the inevitable reboot, but hopefully I will have resigned in disgrace from The Stranger by then.


Comments (12) RSS

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Bella should have used birth control or gotten a damn abortion. Steph Meyers, good little Mormon, couldn't write that story. Better to have the mother die in childbirth and, moreover, WANT to die in childbirth.
Posted by wxPDX on November 16, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
I would be interested to know whether you would rather watch all the Twilight films again or attend another Republican National Convention. I suppose there is the possibility of real drama at the convention, but the villains are far more frightening.
Posted by dbgill56 on November 16, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
The Twilight films are why Rifftrax exists, and probably the only way to watch the films at all. God knows that's why I'm actually kind of excited by this.

Oh the humanity!
Posted by Chris B on November 16, 2012 at 9:07 AM · Report this
TVDinner 4
There are days when I seriously ponder which crime it was that Paul Constant committed that earned him both the election and Twilight beats. Does he stab his eyes with forks at the end of some days?
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 5
Michael Sheen in the second movie, was it? The one where Pattinson gets his face cracked open like stone when the big guy that played Colossus in X-Men smashed him into the ground. Sheen in the end being a complete lunatic was the best thing. Whenever he plays raving idiots like he did in this and Tron, I could watch all day.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on November 16, 2012 at 9:47 AM · Report this
I believe Richard Mourdock said it best:
"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of a young girl being impregnated by a blood-sucking undead monstrosity, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on November 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
Knat 7
This series is like a hard drug. You decide to check it out just once, to "have the experience" and know what all the fuss is about, knowing full well what could happen, how the stories you've heard could become yours. But you watch it. You watch the whole first movie, and you can't stop laughing at the ridiculous makeup, the not even halfhearted acting, the bad special effects. But then afterwards you think, "Well, the first movie was pretty bad, but I really should see if the next one is any better or worse. It's supposed to all be pretty terrible, so the next movie should be just as much fun, right?" And before you know it, you've watched all of them, multiple times, because you have to show your friends just how bad it is.

And then, one day, your husband comes home earlier than you expected, and he finds you watching it without irony. And he's aghast, furious, betrayed. He rants about how this isn't the real you, not the woman he knows, the one he fell in love with. The one he married. The girl he knew watched good movies, or at least kept herself away from the obviously bad ones. He deletes them off the hard drive. He cancels your shared Netflix membership. He forbids you from visiting a video rental store (if you can find one) to get yourself another hit. He tells you, over your sobs and wails, that he loves you, and this is for your own good. He begs you to watch something else, anything else. "You want structureless films with bad actors that you can laugh at? Watch Showgirls! Watch anything directed by Uwe Boll! Watch Plan 9 from Outer Space! But please, for me, don't watch any more of this horrible schlock! I love you, and I don't want this to destroy you!"

I know, because this happened to my wife.

Now, thankfully, after weeks of pain, of tears, of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 detox, I have my wife back. Our marriage may never be the way it was before Twilight--the chance will always be there that she could try it again, to surreptitiously torrent it and watch it one more time "for nostalgia's sake"--but next time, I hope, she has the strength and the firsthand knowledge to resist that temptation.
Posted by Knat on November 16, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 8
Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 16, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
the child she fathered with vampire Edward Cullen
I don't blame you for this - you're mostly coherent only days after subjecting yourself to this ridiculous film - but what's your editor's excuse?
Posted by Warren Terra on November 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Posted by Joe Glibmoron on November 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
I've only ever seen the second one (got dragged into the theater by a friend, not proud of it... anyway!) and I think the thing I found most frustrating about it was the wasted potential. Had Stephany Meyers chosen to focus on the fact the Cullans are basically the vampire X-men, facing against the bad ass super powered vampire Illuminati, this could have made for a cool premise... Instead, we see Bella mope around doing nothing for 75% of the movie, and the cool aspects are glossed over in about 10 minutes. It's just a travesty of plot.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on November 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Delishuss 12
@10 Combination of the grandmothers' names. Rene and Esmee.

Please, please someone, put Stephanie Meyers out of her misery before she attempts to start whaling on this dead horse again.
Posted by Delishuss on November 16, 2012 at 7:55 PM · Report this

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