Movie Review: The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn part 2 – 2012 – directed by Bill Condon

Posted: March 13, 2013 in Children's / Teenage Movies, Romance
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I will begin by saying this will be my most controversial review so far. (I considered not even reviewing it but thought what the hell. Please don’t think less of me.) The review will also feature major spoilers……..

Right…..

Well let’s start at the beginning;

  • Twilight – I hated it. I thought it was poorly directed, awfully scripted and really badly acted. It instantly put me off Pattinson and Stewart and their hideously soppy relationship that was basically a more girl friendly take on Romeo and Juliet or even Underworld. I guess the visuals were ok but they couldn’t save it. 5/10
  • New Moon – I liked the fact the film had more scope then the first but I thought it was equally as bad. The script was just as bad and the acting although slightly better was hindered by the introduction of Lautner as a main character and love interest. The three way relationship annoyed me and just came down to lots of overlong glances between each of the characters. 4/10
  •  Eclipse – I don’t even know why I watched this but I’m kind of happy I did because it did contain a pretty awesome fight sequence that used the fact that vampires shatter when killed to create some brutal beheadings and violence. I also thought that the CGI on the wolves was really good. That being said, the script was still awful and the acting pretty bad (but much better than the first two). The directing was a noticeable step up as well with David Slade bringing some of the style from his previous vampire film ’30 days of night’ across for good measure. 6/10
  • Breaking Dawn part 1 – kind of enjoying the third film I held out a bit of hope for the fourth. Visually the film was brilliant and I thought the score was great. The acting was better than all of the previous films (probably because of the mature nature of the film) but that still isn’t saying much. What we have is essentially a build up for the 2nd part which is just boring. It’s padded out as a way of splitting the film and making more money from all of the twilight fans out there. There is the odd scene like the wedding that does carry some kind of emotion but the rest was just rubbish. There is also a ridiculous amount of sex (not particularly graphic but still kind of out of place in a film like this.) The film just made me annoyed at the fact that I’d have to sit through another 2 hours of another film to see how it all ends. 5/10

This brings us to the final part in the Twilight Saga. The film many regard as one of the worst films ever made. I only wanted to see it because I felt cheated at the fact the previous film didn’t really end and left on a cliff-hanger (the best way to make someone see another film). I sat down in front of the TV and prepared for the worst.

The first thing that shocked me was the great music that accompanied the amazingly well filmed title sequence. I don’t usually take that much notice of title sequences as they usually serve as simply a list of names and add nothing to the film itself (except for some, most notably ‘Se7en’.) This was a bad sign as the film was bringing me out of defensive mode straight away. The Time-lapse photography is really great and is stunningly beautiful at times. The sequence does feel like it’s building to a finale and has a certain ‘epic’ feel none of the other films had.

I will say that as soon as you see Pattinson and Stewart you can see that they have developed as actors (Pattinson especially). That is not to say that they are great in the film, but they are highly watchable. I think it is also the fact that Bella is now a vampire. For some reason this instantly makes her a cooler character and the red eyes are awesome. They feel comfortable in these roles after the previous 4 films and it’s nice to see them not really looking like they’re acting, more just being themselves.

One thing that I really dislike about this film and the previous films is how they make the vampires move quickly. It reminds me of the old ‘Flash’ television series where they just sped up the footage. I find it just looks really bad compared to some of the great effect that the filmmakers use in the film. I will say that the seemed to give up on the whole ‘make the vampires glisten in the light’, which made me happy as I always found that kind of stupid and pointless. While I’m on the effect I will mention that the wolves are stunning to behold and the animation on the fur especially is true art. They move like real wolves and the look like they have proper weight to them. On the other end of the scale is the baby. The CGI baby is almost as creepy as the Baby in the film ‘junior’ featuring Arnie’s face. The baby just looks awful and is laughable.  (This leads me onto the side note of how they could have had a baby in the first place as no blood is running around Edwards’s body. How would he essentially get it up? It’s a question that worryingly stayed on my mind for quite a while.)

From here we’re pretty much straight into the point that they are preparing for battle (they say they’re not, but they are). This film has already got a better pace than any of the previous films. It still has the awful script and some truly laughable scenes and lines but for some reason it didn’t bother me as much. It felt like the cast knew this and they were just having fun. Every line is delivered like a statement with dramatic pauses added to make the characters think. They knew they wouldn’t be making any more so they just thought they’d play it more tongue in cheek. The film is so much better because of this. In the preparing for battle the Cullens gather a group of vampires who all seem to have powers much like the X-men. you have the electric one, the one that controls the elements, the one that can make a shield, the one that can trick the mind, the over strong one and the big furry one (although technically he’s been in the saga from the first film). I kind of liked this gathering of people as it felt like it was building to something, unlike the previous films flat line pace.

I quite like this new group of vampires we are introduced to. They’re all pretty likeable and actually seem to have had a little thought put into them. (It really does feel like the build-up to a massive X-Men fight though.) Also, when Alice disappears with jasper it just reminded me of Gandalf going off in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and saying that he will come with the coming dawn. (This film just takes bits from everywhere.)

We get a cool back history of the Volturi which features a cool beheading of a lady and Dakota Fanning throwing a baby into a fire. I thought it quite extreme a thing for a character to do on screen for a film aimed at young teenage girls. But to be fair this film has the same style sex scenes we had in the last film which I again think may be a little too much. (It also does not promote safe sex. Vampires may not worry but I really think that we should not be promoting young teenage girls to be having children at an early age in the current climate we are living in.)

I really like the idea of Resesmee (Bella’s daughter) aging ridiculously quickly as I thought it may have been going for the darker angle of Bella having to accept that she may outlast her own daughter who she barely knows. Alas the film didn’t go down this route. It went for a much happier tone with Jacob possibly becoming her future mate. (Which I thought really weird. ‘Can’t have the mother so he’ll have the daughter’. They have a weird relationship.)

The Volturi arrive and the two ‘armies’ square off against one another on an icy field surrounded by trees. (They just step into a massive arena for battle). It is here we get the most brilliantly bad piece of acting in the whole film. Michael Sheen, who is usually a great actor, here portrays an over the top leader of the ‘bad’ vampires. He plays it brilliantly over the top but during this sequence he does this thing after touching Renesmee. He laughs. It may not sound like much but trust me when I say it is so out of place. I could understand an evil laugh but what comes out of Sheens mouth is a crazy high pitched laugh like I’ve never heard before. (Just check it out on YouTube. It’s both brilliant and awful at the same time.)

Alice then turns up and grabs Sheen’s hand. This is when all hell breaks loose and the epic battle music begins. The vampires rush one another and start battling. The music and the combat paly off one another like a classic heavy metal music video. Characters are torn apart and burned while others flip in slow motion and behead the enemy. I loved every minute of the battle and was so happy seeing some of the characters die. I thought it was a brave move until….

IT ALL TURNS OUT TO BE A DREAM (well a vision).

It was like ‘Dallas’ all over again. No one was dead (well they are vampires so they are kind of). I was so annoyed. I was literally shouting ‘NO!’ at the screen. Why did they have to screw up this awesome battle by making it not happen? It is such a cop out and is the films biggest let down. After this we just have a bit more bad dialogue and a romantic bit in that field of flowers from the first film (or second. I can’t entirely remember.)

We then get a really beautiful credits sequence that sums up all of the characters that have come and gone throughout the 5 films. This sequence is possibly the most moving, romantic feeling scene in the whole franchise. It is a really great finale after the annoying ending of the actual film.

So it’s pretty obvious that I did enjoy this film. It was just pure guilty fun. I would argue that none of the other films are needed and that this film would work even better if it were entirely stand alone. You don’t need to know how she became a vampire or any of the padding that came before. You could just have this. A nice well-paced piece of guilty fun. You even get a little recap near the end which would work better if there were no films before it. I wanted to hate this film but I just couldn’t. It delivered what it’s been trying and failing to give for the last 4 films. FUN!

I advise people to watch this film without seeing any of the others as it is really what all of them seem to aspire to be. It’s the most adult, most well-acted and the best directed (it feels so different form part one which was also filmed by Condon). It’s really worth a shot and is nowhere near as bad as people say it is (I was expecting the worst but I don’t know if I’d even call it bad) It’s not going to be for everyone and there are those that have already made their minds up but for those who are open minded just go into it expecting fun. Its guilty entertainment and great fun.

7/10 (It may have gotten an 8 if they had the balls to not make the battle a vision.)

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