There are many issues with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part Two, the overly punctuated title, the shameless splitting of the last book into two films without checking if there was even enough plot for one, the continued insistence that there is any kind of screen chemistry between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. But there are some things that should only be discussed with those who have already seen the film or who have no intention of doing so, ie, the movie spoilers that are also plot spoilers.
10. Digital infancy (and adultcy)
Stephenie Meyer is said to have feared the final book in the Twilight saga could never be made because digital technology would have to improve in order to portray the infant Renesmee as she intended. Well, she can rest easy, baby Nessy (and yes we'll get to that nickname) was a visual success - assuming the goal was to portray her as a freakish looking digital reject from Titan AE. That baby is the first truly terrifying creature in these five films, looking neither human nor half-mortal, just like an early demonstration of what Peter Jackson was trying to avoid with Gollum. The moment where Bella met Renesmee was far more precious (MY precious) than maternal and almost explained why Bella had all the maternal instincts of a park bench.
Then there was that end scene with the older Renesmee wandering with the Twilight trio on the beach. Somehow she looked digital there too. Perhaps that's what you get when two one dimensional characters breed.
9. The National Geographic vampire special
The scene in which Edward takes Bella hunting for the first time was gut-wrenchingly awful. First off, how many different animals were we going to get long, drawn-out, close-ups on? It reached a point where Sir David Attenborough should have started planning a Forkes documentary series. If he did, he could do an episode on the local species known as the Shrieking Bad Running Effect Banshee. Seriously, after five films they still can't make the running vampire look at least as good as the Six Million Dollar Man from the 1970s TV show. It would have been more convincing if Edward and Bella had been making na-na-na-na-na noises as they raced along. At least then they could have changed their facial expressions from the permanent 'What's that smell?' look they wore the entire time they were 'running'.
8. Parenting 101 with Charlie
It was hard not to feel sorry for Billy Burke in this film. His career is on the up, he's made it through the saga without having to engage in any of the glittery shenanigans. He's still rocking that facial hair. Then just as he thinks he's going to pull an Anna Kendrick and make it out of the series with only an appearance in the strange end-of-saga montage, he gets told he has to shoot a scene in which Jacob comes out to him as a wolf - only after a bizarre half-hearted your-daughter-is-dead fake out though, because Jacob is such a prankster. Fair play to both he and Taylor Lautner, they tried to play it for laughs, but when the director chose that to be the only time in the entire series that a wolf carefully removed every piece of clothing prior to changing it made the whole thing a lot longer than it needed and cranked the awkward up to 11.
Then Charlie got to meet his "adopted" grand daughter and was handed a scene where the direction he was given was apparently at best "play numb" but more likely "we just need you to get out of the way." Suddenly the all-caring parent of the first four films was a guy who had better places to be, probably starting a new relationship so we didn't pity his new found solitude. His character crucified in the interests of plot efficiency, Charlie ducked off to wait until he could attend the world's most awkward Christmas where he could finally get the farewell he deserved, sent to sleep with the fishes ... oh no, he was just sent fishing. Great farewell that.
7. 'Nessy' and a world of discomfort
Apparently the solution to the social discomfort created by the ridiculous and more-than-a-little icky adult Jacob 'imprinting' on baby Renesmee was a terrible joke about Loch Ness. Kirsten Stewart clearly didn't want to deliver that line, we didn't want to hear it. Yes humour is a great way to deal with the elephant in a room, but (a) this joke wasn't actually funny, and (b) this particular elephant is the kind that needs to submit its name to the local authorities so it can be on a watch list. Perhaps if they'd made THAT joke, particularly given Charlie is the local authority, perhaps it would have ... no, not even then. Bella's reaction to the imprinting was that of a shocked mother who has read ahead in the script. Everyone just wanted to get past it and hope the audience would forget. We didn't. The film should have been proud of its genuinely unique story point, worn it with pride. Perhaps had one character always make jokes about it. By being ashamed of it, it just made the whole thing worse.
!!SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT: Don't read on if you want to remain spoiler-free.
6. Dallas endings and random acts of narration
Not one but two of the hallmarks of lazy filmmaking were key to the entire film. After the initial rounds of vampire sex, vampire hunting and Nessy joke killing, how to advance the plot? Easy, get Bella to crank out the old voice over. Except the film didn't start that way and we'd really rather lost the whole Dear Diary aspect of the Twilight Saga a while back. Still, at least they didn't use the old "it was all a dream trick."
To be fair, the fake-out battle-didn't-really-happen moment was actually done well, but it was the only moment of drama or plot twist in the entire film.
5. DVD special features in the film
Sure, one expects a healthy dose of montages in a film such as this, but having already included the deleted scene where the actors prank each other (Jacob and Charlie) and the commentary track (Bella's vastly unnecessary narration), the addition at the end of a five minute "let's just check with every actor who has ever appeared in this series" over-effected PowerPoint display was bizarre. It didn't even pretend to add to the story. Instead it just added to the running time. Particularly nice to see both actresses who played Victoria get a look in. Not. Awkward. At. All.
4. Can I get a witness?
Let's overlook the use of the word witness when they clearly meant gang / army / posse / support group. The global quest undertaken as the lesser known Witness Location Program delivered some pretty unimpressive results both in terms of quantity and identity. We spent a lot of time with these witnesses and yet managed to learn shockingly little about them. At the end as they all went their ways and we were told in voice over where they were going, it was hard not to wonder if we weren't seeing some of them for the first time. For those that didn't have electric hands or a Captain Planet like ability with the elements, there wasn't even a nod to backstory. That is of course except for the token nationality stereotypes, which brings us to ...
3. Can I get an accent?
The Russians were just comical. The Irish were mildly offensive. But there were several sets of witnesses who appeared to hail from Dubioiusaccentopia, a small nation state that drifts wildly around the globe.
2. Can I get an actor (and an optometrist)?
Finally the Cullen clan got to hang out with Bella more and wasn't it a great experience. Alice let us all know what it is like to see the future when she walked into the room carrying a vase of flowers that may as well have had DROP ME WHEN SHOCKED written on them, Jasper really emoting how concerned he was about Alice immediately afterwards by racing vampire-style to her side to look confused. Everyone getting to wear their ill-fitting amber contact lenses a lot more so we could enjoy again and again the joy of a vampire who can look in two slightly different directions at once.
Then the witnesses arrived and the bad acting vampire olympics truly kicked off with the Russians winning by a nose.
1. Powerful Bella the impotent
So, Bella was the strongest vampire there. We know this not only because Edward kept telling everyone, but because she participated in a brief bout of rock abuse to prove it. Bella is strong. Bella has a family to fight for. So Bella ...
... did bugger all in the final (imaginary) fight. She told the dingo to run off with her baby then mostly stood around being really strong as she watched everyone else fight.
And one more ...
Endings are important, so it would have been really nice if this film had had one and didn't just peter out like an article that doesn't know how to finish.
-Sydney Morning Herald