Previously on The Twilight Saga: Days of Our Immortal Lives: Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) get married and finally consummate their relationship. Though Edward has not been a human for hundreds of years he can somehow still produce sperm and knocks Bella up. Knowing that birthing the rapidly growing fetus can kill Bella, the Cullens try to convince her to terminate the pregnancy, but Bella has made up her mind and she’s keeping her baby…or non-baby or whatever the technical term for a half human/half vampire child is. After delivering the humpire, Bella is near-death so Edward bites her all over her body in the most lovingly way he can and turns her into a vampire. To shake things up even more, upon seeing the female child for the first time, Jacob (Oscar hopeful Taylor Lautner) decides that he is in love with her. Yes, Jacob is in love with a BABY. He calls it “imprinting,” the rest of the world calls it creepy. Oh yeah, and also? Ridiculous talking wolves.
So here we are, after four years and four movies of this seemingly never-ending ludicrous story from the mind of Stephenie Meyer plus one Robsten cheating scandal, plus 50 Shades of Grey plus Oppa Gangnam Style we, at last, arrive at the conclusion to the saga.
Part 2 picks up immediately after Part 1’s ending with “newborn” (freshly-turned vampire) Bella opening her now-red eyes and discovering her new super-strength and ability to run really, really fast. She and Edward settle into wedded bliss (the Cullens bought them a lovely house—where do these vampires get money anyway?) and have lots and lots of PG-13 rated vampire super-sex. Their daughter, Renesmee (I feel so sorry for any child that is given the name Renesmee as a result of these books/movies) apparently has that disease Robin Williams had in Jack and grows at an increased rate. This is a good thing, because CGI’d infant Renesmee is very disturbing, though it’s nice to see the E-Trade baby still getting work.
Everything is wonderful and Bella even smiles a few times. This happiness is short-lived though when one day, while Bella, Edward, and Renesmee are sparkling and frolicking in a field, another vampire, Irina (Maggie Grace) spots the child and alerts the Volturi (the bad vampires). See, she thinks Renesmee is an “immortal child,” that is, a child that has been bitten and turned into a vampire. Immortal children, while adorable, are very dangerous because they are extremely powerful and can’t control themselves, similar to mortal children. As a result, they have been outlawed by the Volturi and as the rule goes, any immortal child found must be destroyed. The Cullens decide to gather all the other vampires of the world as witnesses to convince the Volturi that Renesmee is not an immortal child but a human-vampire hybrid, which is not illegal. Got it?
I have to hand it to director Bill Condon and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg for coming up with one hell of an ending to this entire thing. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, there is a big twist at the end that dramatically deviates from the book. And it’s a doozy. While I have seen all of the Twilight films, I haven’t read the books (I got two chapters into Twilight and gave up) so I didn’t know how the conclusion plays out in the novel. I also did not read any spoilers and had no idea how the film would end. Now that I know both, I’m holding my glass high on this toast.
I’m not going to give it away and I would advise anyone planning to see this movie not to seek it out because it’s that awesome. The audience response at the screening I attended was well-worth the price of the ticket. Confusion, anger, tears. It’s almost as if Condon created the ending as a payoff for those of us non-Twihards who have been dragged to every previous installment by the loyal fans (in my case, my 60+ year old mother. Love you mom!) just to witness this reaction. And the sequence was legitimately suspenseful and exciting. I loved every second, even with the awful CGI effects that had me laughing out loud which in turn got me a few looks of DEATH from nearby fans with tears in their eyes. At the same time, Condon also gifted the die-hards with a fabulously over-the-top climax they had no idea was coming and for the first time in the series, put them in a situation in which they didn’t know what was going to happen next. And then, the big reveal that pulls it all together and is equally satisfying for everyone. It’s pretty genius. Yes, I just called something in a Twilight movie genius.
Would you believe I have another toast? Would you believe it’s for Kristen Stewart? Believe it. After eight hours of the angsting, lip-biting, hair-tucking, and moping, Bella finally gets interesting and (gulp) likable once she becomes a vampire and a mother. She actually shows concern for other people and is brave and strong and damn Edward, why didn’t you just knock her up and turn her into a vampire four damn movies ago? She even gets to deliver the movie’s funniest line.
“Stallone’s got nothing on me!” (Don’t worry, that’s not the line.)
Now that I’ve completely humiliated myself let’s get to the bad. Because, this is still a Twilight film after all. There’s still plenty of groan-worthy dialogue (“No one has ever loved anyone more than I love you.”), unnecessary narration, pacing issues, and a whole lot of absurdity. The first half is filled to the brim and drags.
In addition, a whole slew of new characters are introduced and it’s difficult to keep track of them all.
“Little girl, can you help us? I think we took a wrong turn somewhere. Do you know where the America’s Next Top Model set is?”
In Meyer’s world, vampires each come equipped with a special power that seems to be made up on the fly. Oh guess what? This one can control the elements. This one can electrocute everyone she touches. This one…are these vampires or superheroes?
The resolution with Bella’s father (an underused Billy Burke) is rushed to get him out of the film as quickly as possible. It’s like, “Hey Dad, everything you know as real isn’t and things are really kind of screwy but you’re cool with it right? Okaythanksbyehidoggy!”)
“What the hell just happened?”
Like the other movies, you just have to go along with all the nonsense or else you’ll just bang your head against the wall for two hours which, depending on your tolerance level, may be the better choice.
I mentioned the CGI effects earlier. They’ve always been one of the main complaints of all the Twilight films due to their Syfy Channel-esque quality and this one is no exception. This time, we get to see vampires getting their heads ripped off in the most hilarious fashion imaginable.
It’s kind of like this. Photo credit
Also, unfortunately, there are no talking wolves this time.
“I told you you overacted in the last movie!”
Yeah, you knew this one was coming.
Jacob’s growing “relationship” with Renesmee is even more creepy now that she’s a little girl and the two have scenes together. It’s not as weird when he’s in wolf form as strange as that sounds, but the scenes of Jacob as a rippling-muscled grown man glaring longingly at the prepubescent child is never not unsettling. At one point Jacob even quips to Edward “So, can I start calling you Dad?” STOP IT!! STOP IT!! STOP IT!!
The strange thing is, Twilight fans are perfectly accepting of this and see nothing weird about it. Here’s some evidence I found on the internets. Brace yourselves:
This is a real fan-photoshopped picture of a shirtless Jacob and little Renesmee. Here is the link to the page it is on. Read the first two comments. These fans are noting that this picture is strange, not because it looks to be depicting pedophilia, but because Renesmee’s EYES ARE THE WRONG COLOR.
HER EYES ARE THE WRONG COLOR.
And let’s just accept this whole “imprinting” thing as completely normal and absolutely not weird at all for a minute. So Renesmee’s future is already determined for her? What if when she finally grows up to be of consenting age she decides she doesn’t want to be with a guy who’s been pining for her since she was an infant? Doesn’t she get a say in the matter? Was there a dowry involved? What exactly is this teaching young girls? Then again, this whole series is about a young woman completely changing who she is for a guy so I guess this shouldn’t be so shocking.
Anyway, there’s no way around it. It’s wrong on all levels. I understand Meyer had to keep Bella linked to Jacob somehow, but surely there had to be a less-gross way.
The Twilight Saga: Breakin’ Dawn – Part 2: Electric Boogaloo is for the most part, more of the same ridiculous drivel we’ve grown familiar with throughout the first four movies with the exception of a pretty damn killer final twist that will make even biggest hater stop bashing it for a minute. The ending, along with some actual suspense, and a few self-knowing winks throughout (keep your eyes on Pattinson), make this chapter hands-down the best of the series. Still, that’s not saying it’s a great movie by any stretch.
Take a Drink: every time someone sparkles.
Take a Drink: every time you’re creeped out by Jacob and Renesmee.
Take a Drink: every time someone says “Renesmee” because it’s a stupid, stupid name.
Take a Large Sip: when Jacob takes off his shirt because there’s only instance this time around.
Take a Drink: every time a character is decapitated.
Take a Drink: every time you are distracted by Dakota Fanning’s eyeliner.
Do a Shot: when it’s finally over. You made it!! That’s the end!! There will be no more Twilight movies!! EVER!!!!
Last call: We get a final roll call of ALL the actors from ALL the films that sadly is not set to the Full House theme song. Take two extra shots for both actresses that played Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre and Bryce Dallas Howard).