Ladies and gentlemen, I have some breaking news – for the last three weekends, there has been a movie occupying the #1 spot at the box office. Vampires and werewolves – um yeah, the last Twilight film is currently playing in theatres, and now that the series is over, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. After all, this is the film that is out-grossing ‘Skyfall’, ‘Lincoln’, ‘Life Of Pi’ – three terrific motion pictures which remind of us of what cinema is capable of doing.
It only seems like four years ago since buff werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and sparkly vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) were battling for the affection of Bella (Kristen Stewart). I suppose it seems that way because the first (and fairly unmemorable) Twilight was released in 2008. This is a series that has been inconsistent in terms of its badness. The material isn’t the problem. On the weekend of the first film’s release was the release of another vampire romance – an excellent and criminally overlooked Swedish movie called ‘Let The Right One In’. In a perfect world, the pubescent masses et al would have been flooding the theatres to see this one. Le sigh.
The full title, ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’ is one of the weaker entries in this insanely popular (but idiotic) franchise. This is the most self-aware film in the series, fully embracing its bat-shit crazy premise. But, it is still plagued by the faults of its predecessors: glacial soap opera pacing, inconsistencies in the ever-changing rules revolving around the vampire mythology. So, what is this movie about? We have the Italiano vampires known as the Volturi. Michael Sheen plays the CEO of the Volturi and he receives some intel –the daughter of Edward and Bella is an immortal and must therefore be destroyed. But, of course, they are dead wrong about this particular matter – just how moronic are these moronic vampires? Anyways, all this somehow leads to a chaotic climactic battle, which is essentially a series of decapitations that push the bounds of its MPAA PG-13 rating. The fact that ‘Bully’ (an important documentary about child/teen bullying in America) nearly received an R-rating for a few f-bombs and this gets a PG-13 rating makes me question the validity of the MPAA rating system.
There’s also a twist in the final sequence that’s unforgivable. I won’t spoil it, but I will say that the same cheap trick was used earlier this year in Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages’ and it is the biggest cop out a filmmaker can take. Ok, I changed my mind – I’m going to (sort of) spoil it. You will be fooled by a fake ending which telegraphs something that may seem epic. Once you’ve had the rug pulled from under your feet, you will have realized that all five of these pictures built up towards something so anti-climactic: a (poorly written) dialogue exchange between all the stakeholders involved in this (imagined) all-out war.
Question for Twilight loyalists: vampires don’t sleep, but Edward and Bella are seen putting their daughter to bed several times. Is it because she’s a hybrid? Because she’s half-vampire, half-human, does that mean she only requires half the amount of sleep that a human infant would require?
There is one good moment here. Just before the “big battle” takes place, everyone is out standing in the winter cold under the grey skies. Sheen’s character sees the child – his eyes light up bright red, and he releases a bizarre combination of a cackle and a giggle. Overacting? You bet. But, at least someone is acting here.
Why am I even bothering? There is an audience for this. All of you reading this have already made up your minds about the series – this review won’t alter your perception. ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2’ will continue to dominate the box office in the coming weeks. At least, we can say for sure that this is the end. For the Canadian Saga Film Division, I’m Jerry N, and I’m signing out. QED.