Finale atones for erratic pace
The Twilight Saga:
Breaking Dawn - Part 2
M, 2 hrs 10 mins
Reviewed by Katy Breheny.
The uneven pace of the latest instalment of the Twilight saga has you either rushing through the forest at breakneck speed or curled up by the fireplace snoozing. Even so, you have to admit there is something about the Twilight movies that gets under your skin.
While Twilight devotees will know all the ins and outs of every book and/or movie in the series, you still have not missed out if you are a newcomer. Essential to understanding the plot of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, however, is having seen part one which is readily available on DVD.
The end of Breaking Dawn - Part 1 has Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) hovering between life and death after the birth of her half-vampire, half-mortal child, Renesmee. The final scene shows her opening her eyes to a new life as a newborn vampire.
This moment of pivotal change is the starting point of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 as the plucky but vulnerable Bella embarks on her new life as an immortal creature with super-charged senses as well as a thirst for blood.
Now immune to the ravages of age or disease, Bella is not indifferent to love and this movie underlines her ongoing devotion to husband Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) as well as her concern for her daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). Friendship and devotion is found in the wolfish loyalty of the child's self-nominated protector, Jacob (Taylor Lautner).
As an anomaly in the vampire world, the half-mortal child is not developing normally which creates fear about her future. While Bella and Edward desperately search for answers, a new threat arises as the vampire council, the Volturi, decrees that Renesmee is an aberration.
Vampire factions for and against the child form, that lead to a final showdown where everything that Bella holds dear is endangered. Even immortality cannot hold out against the threat of obliteration when the all-powerful Volturi decide to exercise their authority.
Having been somewhat half-hearted about the first movie, Twilight, and missing New Moon and Eclipse, I was completely drawn in by the events of Breaking Dawn - Part 1 as a terrified Bella faces marriage to a monster that she loves. This movie ends in her humanity being devoured.
Part two was then an intriguing prospect but the opening scenes were a bit of a letdown, as Bella becomes as beautiful and as remote as the rest of the Cullen clan and their relatives.
There are some mildly humorous vampire jostling and in-jokes where Bella proves her "awesomeness" in her new role.
Kristen Stewart is not a powerful actress and did not command attention in this movie, with some of the narration coming across as tired. In saying this, her trademark style does sometimes work well. A lack of energy was evident in some of the scenes, which seemed stilted even in key moments. Probably the most committed acting came from Taylor Lautner, although there were times when the antics of the werewolf alter-ego seemed puppyish and silly.
Irresistible, though, were the Cullens: Dr Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli), Esme (Elizabeth Reaser), Alice (Ashley Greene) and Emmett (Kellan Lutz), all who breathed timeless reliability against the corrupt Volturi. Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) was another strength in the story.
The final confrontation was thrillingly played out and definitely made up for the weaknesses that cropped up here and there.
Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and part two are definitely a duo worth seeing, and not just for teenagers, as they have the elements of human drama. That they're strangely memorable is probably thanks to the writer of the novels, Stephanie Meyer.