Friday, November 23, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 movie review.

Hello, everyone, and I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Over the holiday, I’m sure everybody had something to be thankful for. “For what” you may ask? The final chapter of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 2, that’s what.

Fans of the series - the films, and the books by Stephanie Meyer that they were based on - will be thankful that it ends in a way that will satisfy them, although they’ll also be saddened that the series is now over. Those who hate the franchise will be thankful that it’s all finally over. Bottom line: If you love the franchise, you’re not going to be disappointed. If you can’t stand it, this will not change your mind.

NOTE: Be careful, because the end of my review will go into detail of major spoilers.

Taking place immediately after Breaking Dawn Part 1 concluded, Bella Swan, after giving birth to her daughter Reneesme, has completed her transformation from human to vampire. She adjusts to her new life with her husband Edward and his family fairly quickly, but has trouble with the fact that her friend Jacob (a werewolf) has imprinted on Reneesme... it’s creepy. Soap opera struggles have to wait, though. The Volturi, the high council of vampire law, is planning an attack against the child, fearing that it may pose a threat to their kind, and their secrecy. To protect Reneesme, the Cullens assemble allies to serve as witnesses in their defense.

Like each of the other Twilight movies, the movie is ridiculous. The acting, action, and even the dialogue have tendencies to go over the top, and produce unintentional laughs. If you enjoy that sort of thing, this will suit you just fine. Still, this is the best looking film thus far. The photography is great, and considering Guillermo Navarro shot it, how could it not be?

In addition to all of this, the acting is inconsistent between the stars, many of which seem to gradually accept just how ridiculous these movies really are. The fact still remains that there are so many characters to keep track of, that they can’t, and it goes without saying that the supporting actors, three in particular, are more interesting than the three leads.

Ashley Greene hits all the right notes as Alice, my absolute favorite character from the books. Billy Burke earns his place as series MVP, as Charlie Swan is the one character that every movie got exactly right. Still, Michael Sheen is the clear standout as Volturi leader Aro. You can see, plain on his face, he does not take this at all seriously, and he camps it up to levels of Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. What a delight he is.

In Conclusion, I want to talk about one thing in this movie that rubbed me the wrong way. And here's where we get into major spoiler territory. If you don't care that the movie will be spoiled for you, feel free to read. If you haven't seen it, but you want to, I suggest you stop reading now.

So, before the climax of this movie begins, Alice (who has the power to see visions of the future) brings evidence that Reneesme will not be harmful to their species to Aro (who has the ability to read an individual’s memories). It turns out that no evidence will sway Aro, so an epic battle of the Cullen vampires and the wolves against the Volturi begins. This is easily the best sequence the Twilight saga has ever given us. Epic, beautifully staged, and honestly very intense, this ten minute sequence alone was making this the best movie yet.

And so, just as Aro is about to be killed, we cut back to him and Alice, with the two sides still standing off. It turns out that the whole battle was just a vision that Alice had, one that will happen should Aro attack. In short, this resolution is the most ridiculous, most frustrating, and most insulting cop out that you can imagine. How did these people think that could possibly work? Did they think no one would question it? That we’d just accept it? Well, newsflash! There is no way to accept it. There is no way to defend it, either.

With all of that in mind, if you’re just in the mood for a simple guilty pleasure, this one’s not too bad. At least, for the most part it’s not that bad. For me, everything was going good until that foolish twist.

*** / *****

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