Release date: 15th November 2012
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Kellan Lutz
And so it’s time to say goodbye. After 4 years, 4 films (or 3.5 depending how you look at it), and an accumulative total of 2.5 billion dollars, ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2’ finally closes the chapter on the tween opus that is ‘Twilight’. The previous films have never been the stellar events the target audience would have you believe they are (and something tells me they too are even aware of the series’ poor cinematic form) and the idea to split the final book into two parts was just a selfish hungry money grab from the studio hoping to bleed tweens just a little drier as the novel was hardly exciting enough to be granted two full length features, but thankfully as part 1 dealt with the boring, lovey dovey aspect of our eternal lovers, part 2 kicks right into gear. And anything to inch this movie towards its close should at the very least be commended.
The love affair between vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) and human teen Bella (Kristen Stewart) has finally come full circle as she too is now an immortal following Edward’s decision to bite her during life threatening complications in child-birth. The result of this is their daughter Renesmee, a half-vampire/half-human child who grows at such a rapid rate that only a week or so into her life she already has the appearance of a 7-year old. There isn’t an explanation as to why she stops conveniently ageing for the majority of the film, but at least it means we only have to suffer through a few moments of her as a CGI created baby, an image that evoked a bit too much laughter from the crowd. On that note I’d like to know where the film’s budget of a reported $75 million went as all the computer effects here are so poor it comes off like a cheap made-for-cable TV movie.
When Renesmee is spotted by a fellow vampire (in this case a constantly infuriated looking Maggie Grace) it is reported to the Volturi, the council governing all vampires, and it is feared she is an immortal child. Vampire children are a big no-no in the fanging community apparently and when discovered, they’re hastily disposed of. The illegality surrounding a vampire child’s existence is presented in a flashback sequence that hints at a darker, more daring aspect of the story that was so unfortunately overlooked in favour of the tepid love story we have come to know. With the Volturi intent on eliminating Renesmee, Edward, Bella and his family reach out to their extensive vampire acquaintances in the hope of either convincing the Volturi she is not a threat, or facing them in a showdown battle. This is another aspect of the film where it finally shows it has a little bit of nerve, but without revealing great detail it doesn’t take much for us to be reminded that we are watching a safe vampire film and I dare say this will be the one moment unanimously voted as the series’ biggest blunder.
As to be expected the script is pedestrian, the direction is uninspired, and the acting is pitiful. Stewart gets points for managing to crack a smile, on more than one occasion no less (perhaps a gleeful reaction to the fact that this segment of her career is ending) but she’s still amateurish at best. Pattinson fails to emote anything other than being constantly constipated and Lautner, who for the record does get his abs out as per his contract obligation, once again goes for dramatic and ends up borderline comical. The supporting cast don’t fare much better with Michael Sheen in particular delivering a horridly camp performance as the Volturi leader. At least we can say they were consistent in their mediocrity.
If you’ve never bothered with the books or previous films you will have no desire to see this and so you can consider yourself the lucky few. If you’ve tolerated, or gasp even enjoyed them, you’ll probably find this marginally better, which is perhaps the most positive thing I can say about it. The dawn has finally broken, and not a moment too soon.
My rating 1.5/5 (Good riddance)