MOVIE REVIEW: Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

SPOT.ph’s movie critic Paul Daza takes a bite out of the vampire saga’s latest, and last, movie.

(SPOT.ph) In Breaking Dawn-Part 2, the final film of the Twilight movie saga, Bella (Kristen Stewart) has become a loving mother to Renesmee, the rapidly-growing child fathered by her vampire husband Edward (Robert Pattinson). Bella has also embraced vampirehood, having been turned into one by Edward to save her during her life-threatening pregnancy in the last film. The bliss of parenthood, however, is cut short when Bella and Edward receive word that the Volturi-the powerful coven that enforces the laws of the vampire world-are planning to destroy Renesmee, believing her a threat to the existence of their very race. Bella and Edward, with the help of werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and the other Cullens must now get help from allies all over the world and prepare for war against the Volturi.

 

 

 

Watch the trailer here


PLUSES

 

Bella becomes a vampire. Who'd have thought that playing an undead creature would inspire Kristen Stewart to deliver her liveliest performance yet? Despite all the deathly dull parlor talk that makes it difficult for one to stay awake during Breaking Dawn Part 2's first hour, the movie gets jolts of much-needed visual excitement when it shows Stewart flashing those fetching red eyes, hunting a mountain lion in the forest, leaping like Wonder Woman over a waterfall, and effortlessly pursuing an unsuspecting rock climber she wants to eat. Stewart also earns intentional laughs in the scene where she's being coached by the Cullens on how to act "normal" when she entertains a human visitor. Among the instructions she's given by her in-laws: look more relaxed while sitting and try to blink at least three times per minute. Feminists who want to see Bella as an aggressive "woman on top" might also enjoy the PG-13 bed scene where she manifests her insatiable sexual appetite and chides Edward for "holding back" during lovemaking.

 

The pull-the-rug-from-under-the-audience climactic twist. A decapitation that will make Twihards cheer and other deaths that will shock those who have read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books are some of the things in store for you in BD-Part 2's gutsy, twisted, and totally unexpected climax.

 

Bella (Kirsten Stewart), Edward (Robert Pattinson), and Jacob (Taylor Lautner)
with the vampire child who’s the story’s linchpin

 

MINUSES

 

Kristen Stewart's cheating scandal. Breaking Dawn-Part 2 would certainly have been more emotionally engaging had Stewart's indiscretion with her Snow White & The Huntsman director not hung like a pall over the movie, like an elephant in the room (or movie theater, as the case may be). Whenever Stewart and Pattinson would gaze at each other lovingly in the film, thoughts of her summer scandal would take me out of the movie. One line in particular that Bella tells Edward nearly made me laugh out loud in my seat, because what it conjured in my head was not what Bella wanted me to see, but that viral photo of Stewart sitting on her Snow White director's lap as they kissed. Art does imitate life, but sadly, cinematic art can also be tarnished by real life scandal, as proven by Breaking Dawn-Part 2.

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The clunky, "mountain out of a molehill" story. Basically, the Volturi's big man, Aro (Michael Sheen), wants to kill Renesmee because he thinks she's a human child who was transformed into a vampire after being bitten by one. Volturi law states that no such child can be allowed to live because they are uncontrollable and their behavior could lead to the exposure of the vampire race. And so, the Cullens must find witnesses from all over the world to testify that Renesmee is NOT a transformed child, and that she poses no threat to the race of bloodsuckers. But it's been established that the powerful Aro can tell if someone is lying just by touching them. So why don't Bella and Edward just bring Renesmee to Aro in Italy and have him touch any one or all of them to prove that the little girl is harmless? Wouldn't doing so have saved lives and so much energy? (But we all know the answer to that...there'd be no movie!)

 

The shoddy visual effects. Any digital effect in BD-Part 2 involving a living, breathing creature-whether it's baby Renesmee or the snarly wolf pack-is surprisingly, annoyingly substandard, especially for a big-budget production like this. It's almost like the computer animation wizards employed on the film were instructed to make BD-Part 2 look like a B movie, like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. (That may be too harsh. The visual effects are closer to a "B+" movie than a "B" movie.)

 

The shades of Fantastic Four and X-Men fight scene. The twist that's revealed in the climax is VERY cool, but the super powers displayed during the final battle are not. Elements of BD-Part 2's final battle look more suited for a superhero ensemble movie rather than one that pits horror flick creatures against one another, with the warriors using super powers to win the conflict. The most distractingly misplaced superpower of all? Bella's "shielding" ability, which sounds and looks like something Stan Lee cooked up for Marvel comics!

 

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Can you say "awkwaaard"?

 

IN BRIEF: The best thing about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 is its totally wicked climax, which viewers will either love or loathe. As a whole, though, the movie is merely an okay send-off to the beloved saga rather than a spectacular one, more than a whimper but hardly a bang.

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RATING:

3 out of 5 spots â€¢â€¢â€¢.

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