The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
SO, this is it. After five films and over 600 minutes the final Twilight serves up a plot device that Dallas would be proud of. You could argue that it’s a fitting end to this soap opera of a vampire saga.
No doubt mindful of the disappointment expressed by some fans at the anti-climactic nature of Stephanie Meyers’ final book, Bill Condon’s film attempts to go for broke with an exhilarating action set piece that’s not in the novel.
The ensuing sequence genuinely exhilarates but… and it’s a big but that ultimately renders the film series as underwhelming as the book. And maybe more so for the way it toys with perception.
Prior to that Breaking Dawn Part 2 offers pretty much what we’ve come to expect, albeit shying away from the book’s darkest or most awkward elements in favour of the lovey dovey stuff and some curious X-Men style new character stuff.
Picking up in the direct aftermath of Breaking Yawn Part 1, the film finds Bella (Kristen Stewart) as both a new vampire and a new mum.
As she comes to grips with the former under the tutelage of hubby Edward (Robert Pattinson), she also has to contend with the alarming growth of her daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), who is now under the protection of werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), courtesy of the imprinting that took place at the end of Part 1.
The Cullens’ idyllic existence is soon threatened, however, by the impending arrival of The Volturi (led as ever by Michael Sheen), who have been misinformed about the immortal nature of Renesmee and who intend to wipe out the Cullen clan as punishment for breaking the law.
With time running out, the Cullens attempt to resist by summoning their own army of witnesses, or vampires with special powers who each have their own reasons for keeping the Volturi at bay.
For the most part, Condon’s film is as preposterously undemanding as ever, albeit now far removed from the indie values and earthy characterisation that so marked Catherine Hardwicke’s original film.
If anything, the dialogue is now even more sappy and the situations utterly ridiculous, an acknowledgement of which is sort of made in the film’s lighter tone.
But the arrival of a batch of new characters adds little and feels derivative of superhero movie-making, while the dissipation of the central love triangle relieves the picture of any sexual tension.
What emotion there is lies within the final confrontation, which flatters to deceive in the worst possible way. It’s hard to imagine some fans not feeling at least a little cheated afterwards by a tactic that really doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.
But whether the die-hard Twi-hards (those who camp out for days before a premiere) will complain too loudly remains to be seen given that, in the final analysis, the Twilight film saga does, like the books that inspired it, promise more than it eventually delivers.
Running time: 115mins
UK Release Date: November 16, 2012
- Read our review
- Breaking Dawn Part 2 - Photo Gallery 2
- Breaking Dawn Part 2 Photo Gallery 1
- Breaking Dawn Part 2 Trailer
- Breaking Dawn Part 1 coverage
- Eclipse review & coverage
- New Moon review & coverage
- Twilight review & coverage