Breaking Dawn Part 2 is the finale to the teen phenomenon The Twilight Saga that has dominated the silver screen for the past 5 years. If you haven’t heard of the series, where have you been for the past half a decade? The first film was released in 2008 and the money making machine that is the pentalogy has been pumping out a film a year since then. Breaking Dawn Part 1 was notoriously awful. Nothing happened in the film. Bella and Edward get married, make out for an inappropriately long time in front of family and friends, go on their honeymoon and then Bella gets pregnant. And they manage to spin this out for almost two hours. Two whole hours. Suffice to say, after the previous effort I had exceptionally low expectations for the film.
The issues start with the fact they split the book into two films. As someone who has (shamefully) read the book, I know that nothing happens in it. So trying to spin it out for 2 two-hour films seemed like a ridiculous idea to me. And I was right. This film was only slightly less of a none-film as part 1.
Bella is now a fully-fledged vampire, enjoying vampire things like super speed and hunting. And she has a human-vampire hybrid daughter which Jacob the werewolf is in love with due to his wolfy ways. And then the bad vampires find out and are angry, and come to tell Bella and Edward for having a vampire-human daughter. That is the plot in the nutshell, it’s only marginally more interesting than Part 1.There is this ‘plot twist’ that everyone went on about; but honestly, it’s an extra 3 minutes of ‘what could have been’ and doesn’t rectify the rest of the appalling picture.
Kristen Stewart gives a typically pained performance as ‘heroine’ Bella. I thought that because now Bella was a vampire the character might have a bit more life; but she was just as boring and awkward as ever. Robert Pattinson was also the same as ever, delivering his saccharine lines with about as much enthusiasm as a wounded dog (my personal favourite quote was the oh so romantic ‘we’re the same temperature now’). The supporting cast isn’t much better; but there were a few exceptions. Dakota Fanning, Michael Sheen and Jamie Campbell Bower as members of the Volturi (basically the vampire government) are all brilliantly malevolent, and when they’re on screen the film immediately picks up. But nothing can really make up for the poor script, awful acting and lack of plot.
Like the entire saga, the film does have a few beautiful shots of the stunning scenery, and some great use of music (although Carter Burwell’s score can’t touch Alexandre Desplat’s score for the second film in the series, New Moon). And I did enjoy the end credits where they showed clips of all the actors who’d been in the film, and the opening which feature a selection of all five of the films scores; but these things only mildly improved my viewing experience of what is a truly dire film. There’s a happy ending, which all of the twihards will enjoy. But for me the only thing happy was the fact that it was the ending of the film. And thankfully, the ending of this entire series.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), directed by Bill Condon, is released on Blu-ray disc and DVD in the UK by Lionsgate, Certificate 12.