Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robern Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Running Time: 115 mins
Release: Nov 16th
Fathers, husbands, boyfriends: rejoice! The war is over, the great menace that has plagued our society for far too long has finally laid down arms. The Twilight Saga has come to an end, and it’s even had the decency to go out on a high. Though—much as if ol’ Adolf himself arrived at your door with a tin of Roses and a really good excuse—for most it’s probably a case of too little too late.
Bella and Edward are finally happy; she’s a vampire now, they have their dream home, and a beautiful, super smart, clearly CGI baby; which would be weird enough for a pair of humans but apparently for vampires it’s quite unheard of. Even the ever scorned Jacob has finally found love, in the form of said newborn digital miracle. Odd, but as Jacob himself defensively declares “it’s not what it seems like!”—it totally is. Sadly not everyone is as enamored as our pretty young heroes with this artificial infant—it really can’t be stressed enough how fake this child looks—and The Volturi (bad vampires) begin cooking up a scheme to deal with the helpless unholy offspring.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 tackles Twilight’s eccentricities with unprecedented self awareness. Even the creepier elements are wrapped up in a layer of goofiness that makes the whole thing easier to swallow. There’s much less of the angsty teenage self seriousness that has blighted the franchise; Breaking Dawn Part 2 is the drunk college student of the series, less inhibited and up for a good time. The story has momentum, and there are actual stakes this time—no, sadly not that kind—so it escapes the sickly sweet melodrama that has characterised the series so far. Twilight has consistently shied from rich plots, which has left the previous entries feeling distinctly barren. The simplicity of the storytelling finally pays off here though, the film is surprisingly self contained, and doesn’t suffer from the same frenetic exposition dump that’s usually symptomatic of final installments.
Of course it’s not all sunshine and sparkles, TTS:BDP2 would hardly be a Twilight film if it wasn’t in many ways kind of awful. It’s hard to decide whether Jacob Black is less believable as a cartoonish CGI werewolf or as a human being played by Taylor ‘the plank’ Lautner. Though at least Lautner’s character is vaguely interesting, Stewart’s Bella and Pattinson’s Edward barely scrape together half a personality between them—almost every interaction between the pair seems one lustful dissolve away from an awkward silence. The story’s ‘happy ending at any cost’ approach will leave many viewers with a bad taste in their mouth, especially after a late game fake-out that will either impress you with it’s ballsiness, or leave you flabbergasted with it’s commitment to anticlimactics.
It’s not the best in the series (David Slade’s Eclipse shall forever be the only Twilight film to reach the echelons of ‘very good’), but it’s a fitting swan song that rights a fistful of the franchise’s wrongs. Fans will be pleased, and anyone else who gets caught in the crossfire should be able to walk away unscathed.