You see this, blogosphere? I do this for you! I went alone to a movie theater, bought a ticket for Breaking Dawn: Part II in full public view, and stayed for the entire thing. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what love is.
It’s never been any secret that I am not a Twilight fan in the slightest. Admittedly I’ve only seen the first film and now both parts of Breaking Dawn, but between the horrible acting, god-awful writing and the amount of pandering the films do to their target audience I’ve never seen any reason to give the films another chance. However, I have a new personal rule that I will see every movie that tops the box office from now on and seeing as Breaking Dawn: Part II is on it’s way to over $140 million this weekend, I had to fulfill my sacred duty. In a surprise twist, however, it ended up not being the cinematic torture I had expected it to be. Instead, I found myself laughing harder than any in any movie I’ve seen all year. Breaking Dawn: Part II is a ridiculous finale to a ridiculous franchise, and while a good half of the movie is just as terrible as you’d expect it to be, the rest is filled with an uproarious amount of unintentional humor that made it more than worth watching for me.
Oh boy, where to begin. If you haven’t been following the series yet, the movie makes very little effort to get you up to speed. Regardless of the rest of the supernatural Soap Opera that came before, here’s what you need to know for Breaking Dawn: Part II. Bella (Kristen Stewart) is a newly turned vampire, having just been bitten by her husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) to save her life after giving birth to their vampire/human hybrid daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). Along with Werewolf/underwear model Jacob (Taylor Lautner), Edward
and Bella raise their daughter in the peace and quiet of their Northern Washington coven with the rest of the Cullen Family. Unfortunately, cousins Irina (Maggie Grace) is a bit of a dullard, and tells the Volturi, a sort of Vampire Ministry of Magic led by Aro (Michael Sheen), that Renesmee is a dangerous abomination known as an Immortal Child, and the Volturi mean to cleanse that abomination form the earth. In order to help convince the Volturi of Renesmee’s innocence, the Cullens set out to gather their blood-sucking friends from around the globe to support them.
Thankfully, the Bella-Jacob-Edward love triangle is no longer the focus of the series at this point. Unfortunately, where the cast of Harry Potter managed to improve their acting skills over time, the cast of Twilight has either not been able to do so or not made any real effort to. I will admit, I have a decent amount of respect for Robert Pattinson, if nothing else because on many occasions he has publicly denounced his role of Edward in the series and stated that he’d like to put it all behind him. The respect can’t be echoed with either Stewart or Lautner though, as both are just as wooden and (pun intended) lifeless as ever. In Lautner’s case this is especially problematic as his “imprinting” on Renesmee (who is about 8 for the greater part of the film) just comes across as really, really creepy.
Breaking Dawn: Part II is about more than these three though, for better or for worse. The movie jams a huge amount of characters in, and while some of the Cullens are more bearable than others (Ashley Green, for example is much less laughable as Alice than Kellan Lutz is as Emmet) and at times I found myself almost liking Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), but the rest of the characters felt more like an excuse to let the movie Globe-trot a little. We have stereotyped Amazonians, Russians, Irish, Egyptians, and more, and the broad cast gives many chances to say “Hey, that’s that one guy/girl from that one thing!” but none of those characters were given any development beyond their nationality. That being said, I love seeing Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) being so busy lately between this, Lincoln, and the upcoming Hobbit movies.
It’s movies like this that make it impossible not to make comments. As I was alone, here are some I would have made while watching the movie.
- Some sort of digital effects were added to baby Renesmee that made her really creepy to watch, i.e. Uncanny Valley creepy
- Aro’s high pitched laugh/exclamation when he meets Renesmee is about as silly as his Drum-Major inspired garb
- The amount of decapitations in this film is outstanding, Game of Thones level even. Apparently this is the proper way to dispose of a vampire, but it was so over-the-top gruesome that it made me majorly crack-up during the would-be-serious climactic battle.
- I really hope the scene in which Jacob reveals his lupine nature to Bella’s Father (Billy Burke) was intended to be funny, since it nearly gave me a headache with how far it made my eyes roll up into my skull
- The “Vampire Running” scenes are just as silly as ever, reminding me of a live action roadrunner cartoon set to a clumsy green-screen background
- I heard a lot of complaints from people who have read the books about how there wasn’t even supposed to be a final battle like the trailers suggested, rather a simple truce between both sides. I think that even those people will be satisfied with the way the movie handles things, as it goes a way that lets the audience have its cake and eat it to. Which I also found hilarious
The Verdict: 6.0/10 Passable
I expected to hate this movie. Instead, I think I may have found my new favorite comedy of the year (Sorry, Ted). I know that avid fans of the series who love certain characters will be more invested in their fate, and the things that I laughed at might strike them as emotionally wrenching rather than amusing. From a cinematic perspective, the film doesn’t do much of anything to correct the faults of previous entries in the series, but it does add just enough so that the casual viewer might find something to keep them interested. Just as a warning, the first half of the film is still truly awful, but once you get through it I’m confident the last hour or so will keep you much, much more interested in what’s going on in front of you.