The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 - Cinema Review

'The finale is a head-ripping, tense, riot of unexpected turns and conclusions.'

After the Dexter-inspired opening credits (complete with twinkly music appendages, red and white titles and slow-down-speed-up structure) had passed and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 had settled into the series' now customary opening, where not much happens for quite a long period of time, I drifted off and started thinking. If Bella (Kristen Stewart), newly vampiric and struggling to control her strength, was to suddenly lose control and rip Edward's (Robert Pattinson) head off in a calamitous fit of rage and waning self-control, would I actually care?

The answer to this question, as the film burbled on, not yet finding its aim or rhythm, was no, I would not. That is a problem. This is the fifth film in a series of five, which has spent a great deal of time trying to make me care about these characters - and believe me, I've tried - all to no avail. I still couldn't care less about Edward and his face's odd mix of smug grin and pained grimace and, although Bella is much improved in this by her newly colourful strength and passion, she's spent far too long whining, and four films flopping backwards and forwards between Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and Edward, in the most annoying way possible. The key problem with Twilight, for me, has always been the characters and the leads; I just can't care about them or how they choose to depict their charges.

But then, is that really a necessity, in this outing in particular? Where before we had to care about them for the film to work, here the narrative, thin though it is, is more interested in the development of Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), from weird CGI cabbage-patch kid to fledgling youngster, and of the protection of her by a rallying group of friends and family, than it is about love and all its problems.

Breaking Dawn - Part 2 moves fast, unlike previous incarnations, and punctuates bits of new, more interesting character discovery, with well-composed action. The finale in particular is a head-ripping, tense, riot of unexpected turns and conclusions. Michael Sheen cackles around manically and layers are revealed to main players (the newly protective Jacob) as well as the bit part cast (look closely for what Christopher Heyerdahl's Marcus really wishes for), that previously the series couldn't be bothered with.

There are old problems that remain, clinging stubbornly on. Any scene featuring Kellan Lutz is awful. Images of the vampires scaling mountains in single bounds look unpolished. The boring training sequence is back yet again. There's still this awful air of tweeness (cottage ahoy!) that this outing was never going to shake.

But, for the first time, there's also enough distraction to enable you to see past all that and find something no worse than your average action film. Mindless entertainment about the preservation of a family through vampire head-ripping. Not an unpleasant way, for the most part, to pass a very snappy two hours.


  1. I have not been a huge fan of this series but reading movie reviews like this do peak my interest in it.

    1. The problem is that you've got to go back and watch the first four before you get to one that's even remotely good. I'm not sure I'd recommend that.