IN CINEMAS NOW
RUNNING TIME: 115 mins
REVIEWED DY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic
Bella is a newborn vampire. Her senses are sharpened, she’s beautiful, and she’s strong. She is also thirsty for blood, so the Cullen family won’t let her see her baby Renesmee, who is growing at an alarming rate. When Bella finally gets to see her, she learns that Jacob ‘imprinted’ on her baby and snaps and attacks him. Missing her father, she is lost as to how to break the news of her transformation to him until Jacob takes the matter into his own hands by exposing himself as a werewolf to him. Irina, a sister of the Denali clan, misidentifies Renesmee as an “immortal child,” which is one of the highest crimes under Volturi law. The Volturi head from Italy to destroy Renesmee, and it seems Bella and co. need to recruit some help…..
Why do we do it? So many of us do things that we regret, then proceed to do them again and again. A good example is drink. I lost count the number of times in my younger years when I woke up with a splitting hangover after a night out on the lash and said to myself “never again, it’s not worth feeling this bad the morning after”, only to do it all over again soon after. At least though with drunken nights out I usually had a good time. With the Twilight film series, I didn’t even do that. I watched each film and afterwards said to myself I won’t bother with the next one, yet found myself being drawn back again and again. Maybe it’s because they are ‘major’ movies and I feel I ought to see them, if only just to say how crap they are. Maybe it’s because of Kristen Stewart, who may be the only good thing about this franchise and but not because of her acting. Maybe…..o sod it, it’s not worth thinking about! I try to treat films fairly, and I will say that the first movie was just about watchable, if still quite poor. The second and third ones though I found almost unwatchable with their awful acting, horrid dialogue and idiocy so all-encompassing that I would have thought any teenage girl with brains would have found it all appallingly condescending.
Well, I’m no teenage girl and therefore not the target audience for these films, but I like to think I am broadminded enough to appreciate a good film even if it is not aimed at me or my ‘cup of tea’. I was virtually dragged along to the cinema to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but even though it wasn’t really to my taste I could appreciate that it was a decent movie. With The Twilight Saga though I am at a loss. I don’t even buy the romance as it’s so terribly written, overwhelmingly tedious and drawn-out, with much of the second and third film simply replaying the same scene over and over again with minor alteration. In fact you could sum up much of Twilight as consisting of;
Kristen Stewart looking miserable
Robert Pattinson looking constipated
Taylor Lautner taking his top off
……which obviously seems to be enough for some, though I remain dubious that a series with such a depressive and passive heroine throughout most of it is a good influence on impressionable young girls!
The first Breaking Dawn film was actually a slight improvement and even brought a few interesting, if hardly original, elements to the story which could have quite easily have been told over two or three films rather than five [no, I haven’t read the books and if given the choice of giving one a go or a stake through the heart, I’ll seriously consider the stake]. I even wondered if the final film might actually be….good. What a fool to think that! Breaking Dawn Part Two is not quite excruciating as New Moon and Eclipse, but that’s like saying having one finger cut off is better than two; both things would bloody hurt and impair you for the rest of your life. With this film, it really feels like they couldn’t be bothered to end things in a decent manner because they knew the fans would buy it whatever. Melissa Roseberg’s script is an utter mess. It spends a lot of time introducing new characters then does hardly anything with them, has the Volturi take their time to attack so that Bella and her friends can conveniently get all the help they need, and then has a final twist which is one of the biggest ‘cheats’ I’ve seen in ages, the kind of thing where you go “what the ****”, rather than “wow”.
Bar the occasional tedious bit of someone moving in fast motion but shot so you can barely see it, it’s all a build-up to a big final battle, and I must admit I got almost excited at the thought of some decent action in Twilight, but once everyone reaches the area they are going to fight on, we have to suffer what seems like half an hour of chat before the actual battle, which is so ineptly done as to be laughable. Despite having some characters who boast special powers like being able to influence people’s thoughts and firing black ectoplasmic ‘stuff’, these powers are not actually used during the fight and everyone just hits each other and throws each other around, while the camera operator obviously has trouble filming what is happening. As usual, the perverse but all-too-common idea that you shouldn’t really see action dominates here. I will say that there are an inordinate amount of heads cut off, but the CGI effects are lousy. Once again, the wolves look awful and during some scenes I kept thinking of films like An American Werewolf In Paris and wondering if there has been much progress at all in that area.
Bill Condon [what on earth has happened to the director of Gods And Monsters?] just doesn’t seem to have much of a handle on the material. Perhaps he realised he couldn’t do much with it. The acting is as weak as usual. Stewart actually cracks the odd smile here and there but still doesn’t really appear to be actually alive. Pattinson tries to get by on silent movie-style hammy expressions. Lautner, as usual, is made of wood. Michael Sheen is a decent villain though, almost single-handedly creating a bit of fear, though it seems like he’s acting in a far better film than this one. Of course you get the obligatory ’emo’ pop songs throughout which may just make you want to kill yourself. Carter Burwell’s music score is rather good and the film looks good when it isn’t relying on the special effects, with some decent outdoor photography. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part Two ends with images of Bella and Edward’s love from all the films. It’s supposed to be moving and beautiful. I wasn’t touched, but I was very happy. Because “IT’S OVER”!!!