Title: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
Those Vampires Are Pretty Popular, Huh? Less and less every day. Which is bad news for my Blacula remake script.
Rating Using Random Objects Relevant To The Film: Two-and-a-half Bunk Morelands out of five.
Brief Plot Synopsis:Newly vampified Bella Swan must contend with both her newfound bloodlust and maternal instincts to protect daughter Renesmee from the dread Volturi.
Tagline:"The epic finale that will live forever."
Better Tagline: "The halting finale to the series that seemed to go on forever."
Not So Brief Plot Synopsis: Bella (Kristen Stewart) has survived rebirth as the undead -- thanks to vampire husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) -- to find she's gained enhanced senses, super strength, and the ability to run barefoot through the forest without worrying about stepping on pine cones (not to mention finally getting to make love the Bela Lugosi way). She gets over her initial peevishness at Jacob (Taylor Lautner) "imprinting" on her daughter soon enough, and good thing too, for it seems they've been ratted out to the Volturi, who think Renesmee is an "immortal baby," (a big vampire no-no). Now they must Race Against Time(TM) to assemble allies among far-flung vampire clans and convince the Volturi Renesmee is not a threat.
"Critical" Analysis: I will say this about the folks at Summit Entertainment: they've done an admirable job taking 90 minutes of story and stretching it out over five two-hour movies.
Has there ever been a film franchise in which so little happened? You can argue the last couple Lord of the Rings movies were excessively padded, and maybe Deathly Hallows didn't need to be split in twain, but those are practically Cloud Atlas when compared to the Twilight "Saga". If you removed the endless (literally now, since Bella is as undying as Edward) soulful gazes and tender caresses, this whole series could've been delivered as a two-night SyFy Channel exclusive and wrapped up before the next airing of Sharktopus.
That said, some events of import to occur this time around. In Part 1, the couple spent the first two acts lounging around on their haunted honeymoon, the action not kicking in until Bella's pregnancy threatened her life and the [hot upside-down cross] bun in the oven threatening the uneasy peace between vampires and teen wolves. This time, as if realizing they've been dicking around for the last four movies, director Bill Condon hits the ground running (literally) as Bella flexes her new vamp muscles, arm-wrestling Beefcake - er - Emmett Cullen and killing and feeding on a mountain lion that was about to eat the deer she was stalking.
[That entire sequence was more ridiculous than usual, by the way. It's been conclusively demonstrated that Twilight vampires can outrun a speeding car, so why does Bella need to *stalk* anything?]
And in case you were worried about the lack of new characters, fear not. Cullen patriarch Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), Edward and the others cross the globe to bring together their estranged vampire brethren from such far-flung locations as Egypt, Ireland, and the Amazon (I felt really bad the Cullens didn't have any spare pants for those particular ladies). And none other than Wendell Pierce of The Wire/Treme has a small role as a Cullen family lawyer. I've seen comments elsewhere about how Michael Sheen (Aro)/Lee Pace (Garrett)/Wendell Pierce (Jenks) should fire their agents for letting them appear in this. Fuck that, I hope they all got points off the back end.
Billy Burke is also back as Bella's grieving, then confused, father Charlie. He gets the choicest lines, which will hopefully console him when that terrible show Revolution is finally canceled.
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Of course, it wouldn't be the climactic Twilight movie without the Volturi, who arrive en masse at that big snow field outside Forks, WA where all the bad shit in these movies happens. A battle of sorts is joined, which is probably the natural outgrowth of a bunch of actors awkwardly standing around trying to pretend they're not in front of a giant green screen. Funny thing is, this action sequence is actually...good. Like, surprisingly exciting and gratifying enough to make you wonder, "Why the hell haven't they been doing stuff like this the whole time?"
But it's ultimately too little, too late. After five of these movies, I've more or less run out of things to say. The gratuitous violence at the end of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 elevates it slightly above its horrible predecessors, but only just. Hopefully the adolescent girls who made the books so popular have made it to college by now and are getting all worked up about Sylvia Plath instead.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is in theaters today. Surely you have better things to do.