The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review

The end of an era has come to pass, with the long anticipated release of the final installment in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Stephanie Meyer’s hit book series-turned-blockbuster has grossed over a billion dollars at the box office, none of which includes DVD, soundtrack, merchandise, or book sales. In a word, this franchise is ridiculous. Luckily, for die-hard Twi-hards, the long awaited conclusion (though admittedly dreadful in many aspects) was EPIC – and I do not use that word lightly.

I’ll start with the good stuff, and good stuff there is a-plenty. The imagery in this movie is phenomenally breathtaking, from start to end. The tone of the movie is captured instantly with the opening credits flashing to various landscape and nature shots, often of plants blossoming, snow covering/melting various wildlife, and some ultimately tedious but well-executed editing work. I’m killing you, aren’t I?

Ok, so the stuff you actually care about. Bella (Kristen Stewart) has taken to her new vampire self quite well, and she even says (in a terribly edited and horribly cut-to scene) that she was “born to be a vampire.” No longer tripping over her own two feet, she embraces her newfound grace and beauty with near giddiness. Her new family anxiously awaits to see her transformation, and more than anything, she wants to hold little Renesmee. Here’s where it gets a bit weird.  Horrifically bad imaging effects transplanted the face of actor Mackenzie Foy onto the body of differently aged versions of Renesmee, until her plateau age hit about a third of the way into the movie, and Foy assumed the role.

If you don’t know the rest of the story, then clearly, you aren’t going to be seeing this movie; so a continued synopsis is moot at this point. What I will reveal is spoiler-free coverage of the best and worst parts of Breaking Dawn Part 2.  I’ll start with the ultimate clincher.

I do not apologize for my loathing of Kristen Stewart. I’m not talking about her personal life here, this is business only. I have two lines of thought regarding her acting:

1. This girl is a freakishly gifted actor, and doesn’t want to intimidate her fellow colleagues by out-performing, so she over-compensates for her character by being incredibly awkward and stiff.

2. (What I really think) Kristen Stewart sucks at acting. Period.

In all honesty, watching someone pick their nose is more entertaining than watching her feign any human emotion. Her ability to convey a semblance of maternal love is not only nonexistent, it is so far removed from what any normal person would do.  I digress. In addition to Kristen’s lack of…well, everything, the worst part of this movie was certainly the poor special effects, which cheapened the obviously sought-after polished look that the rest of the movie maintained impeccably.

All right, enough negativity.  The rest of this movie was absolutely brilliant, and I loved nearly every minute of it.  What sets this movie apart from the other movies in the series is the irreverent attitude that director Bill Condon takes in crafting the story, particularly the meeting of the Volturi and the Cullen’s amassed army of various vampires and werewolves.  Certainly, this part of the movie is what brings it all home.

With the exception of our favorite drone, the acting in this movie well exceeded the previous four movies. Robert Pattinson still made the ladies swoon as the sparkling wonder Edward Cullen, and an unexpected strip down (wait, wha?!!) by the hunkiest werewolf I know, played by the tan and toned Taylor Lautner, really got the crowd going. The rest of the Cullen gang, played by Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, and Nikki Reed, take somewhat of a backseat in this movie, mainly to the addition of a variety of new vampire faces.

My ultimate favorite part of this movie is made all the more wonderful by the ominous quartet that is Aro (Michael Sheen), Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower), Alec (Cameron Bright), and Jane (Dakota Fanning).  Michael Sheen delivers the creepiest performance that I have seen in any movie in quite some time.  He definitely plays up the events that occur, and the payout is 100% worth it.

I will admit that I love this movie. What I will not admit is that this movie is any feat of cinematic genius, because – well, that would be absurd. What this movie possesses is a large investment of nearly seven years of my life, and for that, I will bask in its completion with the knowledge that such is quite a pathetic statement about my extracurriculars.  At any rate, I pray to God that this movie truly is the end of this chapter of my life (in case you didn’t hear, there are rumors of a *gasp* remake), and that soon another blockbuster series will obsess me and consume the lives of all tween/teen girls for years to come.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – 6.5/10

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