Movie Review: Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part II

Mike Finkelstein was recently treated to more stories about sparkling vampires. This time, however, a little girl was involved, and that caused a bunch of new problems. Damn kids…always starting sh*t…Here is his review of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II”

Mike Finkelstein was recently treated to more stories about sparkling vampires.  This time, however, a little girl was involved, and that caused a bunch of new problems.  Damn kids…always starting sh*t…Here is his review of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II”

PLOT: Everything is right in the world of the Cullen clan: Bella (Kristen Stewart) is now fully sparkling and slowly discovering all the powers of being immortal (including constant sex), and Renesmee is growing into a beautiful young girl.  But when the Volturi hear a rumor that Edward (Rob Pattinson) and Bella’s new daughter is actually an immortal child (strictly forbidden in the vampire world), it is up to the new parents and all possible witnesses to convince Aro (Michael Sheen) of no wrong doing, before he takes out the entire tribe for good.

Check out the trailer:

MIKE’S REVIEW:  Ah, TWILIGHT…it’s the series that every guy loves to hate, and every girl loves to bring their hating boyfriend to see (we are such a weak gender).  I will admit that I have still only seen one TWILIGHT film and it was awful. (BREAKING DAWN PART I was by far the best time I have ever had in a movie theater for all the wrong reasons…read my review here!)  Going into PART II, I only expected more of the same.

For the first half of Edward and Bella Swan’s final entry together, we waste no time getting right back in gear with the crazy.  Let us list the ways, shall we?  Within minutes, Bella is on the prowl as a newborn vampire, trying to satisfy her thirst …Watch Bella run!  Watch Bella hunt!  Watch Bella be tempted by human blood, go after Bambi’s mom, and then chomp down on a tiger!  (And don’t forget that all of it is filmed like a bad 80s music video, complete with horrid special effects…).  The audience was laughing, and not at the parts that were trying to be funny…

The revolting messages to young girls were still going strong as well.   The sex scenes and subsequent references to how they have eternity to bang is just comical, especially when everyone might die in 24 hours, and seeing sparks fly as the sign for Bella finally having an orgasm (what, no volcano moment for Eddie?) is absurd.  Secondly, when Charlie Swan visits only to find his daughter (whom he last saw near death) surrounded by menacing men like she’s a brainwashed hostage, every paternal instinct in you wants to slap the mustache off him for being okay with it.  Something tells me if Stephenie Meyer had her way, every impressionable young tween would run away with a brooding serial killer, because that’s exactly what Edward seems to be (not my words…Rob Pattinson’s…)

And then, there’s the damn baby…the damn strange, creepily disturbing CGI baby that touches peoples’ face.  I know they wanted to showcase the emotion, but really?  On one hand, it’s impressive how far technology has come that you could even attempt such a feat.  On the other hand, between the other effects and this soul-sucker (it had to be made by the devil…it just had to have been!), it’s sad that in 2012, we still have a big budget epic whose SFX will be outdated by the time we see it close up on our high definition televisions.  And don’t forget about the absolutely hysterical battle between Bella and Jacob when Jacob admits he imprinted on Renesmee…just wrong on so many levels…

But then somewhere in the middle of all this crappiness and Taylor Lautner randomly stripping (really?), something happened…. I started to have fun.  I don’t know if they let him loose because it was the last film, or his constant interviews showing his hatred for the series rubbed off on me, but Rob Pattison’s vibe of not caring was just plain entertaining.  Mix that with the comic relief of Kellen Lutz, the sarcasm of Billy Burke, the cold-hearted viciousness of Michael Sheen, and some new, wonderfully sarcastic supporting actors like Rami Malek, Lee Pace and Erik Odom, and I really started to enjoy myself!

What really won me over, though, was the climactic final battle.  Don’t get me wrong…the bad CGI, the overacting, and ridiculousness is still there, but I did not expect anything like this to come out of TWILIGHT.  Bill Condon basically figured out a way to throw everything from the book out the window while still staying completely true to the story and the characters.  Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a TWI-newbie, there’s something to be appreciated about an audience having no control over your favorite characters’ fates, especially ones that you are so heavily invested in.  The scene basically made the movie and the series for me, and for that, I applaud Condon.

For men, the TWILIGHT saga is one that will forever live in infamy.  At no other point in the history of film has there been a series that has engrossed female culture so much, and caused so much pain to the male gender.  BREAKING DAWN PART II is a worthy addition to the madness, yes, but somehow, for just a split second, Bill Condon was able to take a franchise that took itself way too seriously and actually infuse some life.  And while the end definitely doesn’t justify the means (we really didn’t need to suffer through five films for this…), you have to give the guy credit for ending everything on a high note…or at least the highest note that could be possibly given to sparkling vampire love…because quite frankly, who would have even expected

GRADE: B-

Mike’s LIKES:

1) ROB PATTINSON/EDWARD CULLEN DOESN’T GIVE A S*IT: I don’t know if it’s because he made it so obvious in interviews that he doesn’t care, or because Bill Condon just gave him some more freedom, but seeing Edward Cullen be sarcastic and so chill made for the best parts in the film.

2) EPIC FINAL BATTLE: Everything in TWILIGHT has been leading up to this: a moment that isn’t even in any of the books.  To take an unfilmable ending and twist it in a way that left both fans and newcomers in the dark about their favorite characters and still stayed true to the book is incredible, and I applaud Bill Condon on his work.

3) MICHAEL SHEEN: The man is five levels above this saga, and yet still brought a menacing and ominous quality to Aro.  Keep chewing the scenery, my friend…

4) SUPPORTING CAST: With a mix of old classics, including Sheen, Kellen Lutz, and Billy Burke, as well as newcomers like Rami Malek, Lee Pace and Erik Odom, BREAKING DAWN PART II was covered in the support department.  The characters may be secondary to Edward, Jacob and Bella, but they made the film.

Mike’s DISLIKES:

1) RIDICULOUS SPECIAL EFFECTS: Bella taking down a tiger, an 80s style music video, wolf transformations, and a unsettling CGI baby. ‘Nuff said.

2) HORRIBLE MESSAGES TO YOUNG GIRLS: Again, I don’t know what Stephenie Meyer was aiming for when she wrote these novels, but the messages to young impressionable females are absolutely awful.  If you ever hear your daughter say that she’s looking for her “Edward”, lock her up in her room until she’s 18…

3) TAYLOR LAUTNER AND NAKEDNESS…REALLY?: Yeah, there was no need for this…maybe they were trying to mask the awful acting…

EXTRA FACTS:

1) Ten actresses portrayed the rapidly-growing Renesmee Cullen, as well as the really unsettling CGI-animated baby.

2) Sitting next to me in the theater was a gentleman who looked like he had just stepped out of a “Planet Fitness” commercial.  He was seeing the movie by himself.   Forget stereotypes…THAT’S a fan right there…

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