‘Twilight’ saga ends with a thrilling twist
Updated: November 17, 2012 7:20AM
‘Breaking Dawn Part 2’
For any Twihards out there, or any movies fans who hate spoilers, it’s best you read this review after seeing “Breaking Dawn Part 2.”
The fifth and final installment of the “Twilight” saga movie franchise provides the ending that fans of the book have been craving.
In her fourth “Twilight” novel, author Stephanie Meyer spent the majority of her prose building tension. Her characters were all headed to what was expected to be a massive war between the good guys, the Cullen clan with help from various friendly vampires, and the bad guys, the vampire leaders called the Volturi. However, what readers got was a whole lotta nothing — no war, no fighting, one death. Everyone else just walked away and it was a big letdown.
Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg rectified that by providing the all out battle Meyer couldn’t bring herself to write. The battle is intense. Since the vampires break apart like stone instead of bleed, it’s a bloodless battle, yet it’s extremely graphic. The way to kill vampires is to rip off their heads and burn the bodies. Lots of heads roll, main characters die and bodies burn. The entire sequence may have left theatergoers in complete shock, but if collective and audible gasps were what the movie was trying to achieve, the filmmakers director Bill Condon, Rosenberg and Meyer (as producer)should be pleased with themselves.
Nevermind that the battle doesn’t actually happen.
No, the movie doesn’t revise Meyer’s novel ending. Instead, it’s a vision and one possible outcome provided to mind-reading leader of the Volturi, Aro (Michael Sheen), shown to him by future-seeing Alice Cullen (Ashley Green). The vision can satisfy those viewers who wanted to see a battle and those who wanted the Cullens to head off into the sunset unharmed.“Breaking Dawn Part 2” begins where “Part 1” left off, with Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) newly minted red eyes, signifying her transformation into an immortal vampire. No more weak and whiney human Bella. No this is strong, gorgeous, blood-thirsty Bella.
Bella wakes to find out the daughter she and Edward (Robert Pattinson) created while she was still human, the horribly named Renesmee, is growing at an alarming rate. Bella also learns that her best friend, who can turn into a wolf, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has imprinted on — that is, fallen in love with slash become a lifelong companion to and protector of — her daughter and nicknamed her Nessie.
It’s a lot to get used to. The happiness of their family doesn’t last long as a cousin, Irina (Maggie Grace), gets a glimpse of Renesmee (now played by Mackenzie Foy) and believes the Cullen family has created an immortal child. She reports the crime to the Volturi setting off the chain of events that leads up to the battle/non-battle.The fifth film is obviously the best of the bunch. It still contains a lot of the cheese and the romance that the other four films contained, but keeps it to a tolerable minimum. It could be said that the turning point for the series actually occurred in the last third of “Breaking Dawn Part 1,” when Bella was pregnant with Renesmee and was wasting away as she was being devoured from the inside out.
The acting seemed to improve as well, it could be because of the newly introduced characters and the energy of a surprise ending. Stewart finally gets to kick some butt and be a somewhat tolerable character. It also looks like she’s also figured out how to fix the awkward kissing she has shared with real-life (possibly?) boyfriend Pattinson, which has been a distraction in the previous films.
As Aro, Sheen drives a smidge too far into Creepytown, U.S.A., this go round. Dakota Fanning as vampire torturess is relegated into an almost silent role. Her war paint — heavily black lined eyes — for the battle stand off was distracting. Lee Pace as the newly introduced Garrett is the scene-stealer.
“Breaking Dawn Part 2” is worth the full movie ticket price and justifies the need to split the fourth book into two movies. It might not be the movie that causes any non-“Twilight” fan to finally join Team Edward or Team Jacob, but it’s satisfactory for any established devotee.