Oh, thank Christ it’s over…”The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part Two)

November 18, 2012

And it’s done. After four years and five films, the stupid-a-thon that is Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight saga comes to a close by taking a long, slow valedictory lap designed to make its target audience squeal and (hopefully) distract anyone else from the fact that A) a victory lap is totally unearned by these movies, and B) nothing much of consequence really happens in this movie. I mean, even by the (admittedly ropey) standards of Twilight movies—movies in which a coherent line-reading by either Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson counts as a plot-point—The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2) is pretty thin.

Okay, so when we last left the various supernatural beasties of Forks, Washington…wait, is this the last time I’ll have to recap a Twilight movie? Woo-hoo! I’m so getting drunk! Okay, where was I? Right, well, after the LSD bender that was Part One, Bella’s monster baby was born, and killed her in childbirth, forcing Edward to vampirize her to save her life. Well, that all went okay, and now Bella can be undead with her bf and their weird baby. So far so good, right?

Yeah, as a matter of fact, the movie has so little to do that it gives us scenes of Bella performing various feats of strength as she discovers her new powers. Now, we’ve seen demonstrations of these powers since the first movie but since it’s Bella we’re all supposed to find this interesting, and not, say, an excuse to send anonymous love-emails to Kelly Hu (what? Everybody does that, right?)

This is what counts for an “action sequence” in this movie.

Pretty soon, though, the, um, Voltran—those weirdly-dressed Italian vampires headed up by Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning get wind that the vampire couple has a baby. They think the baby is just some kid that was vamped by them, which is a vampire no-no (we saw this in an earlier movie, but we get an explanatory flashback in this movie, because, well, we can’t pad it out with Kristen Stewart’s stammering line-readings alone). So, they’re on the warpath, and Bella and her in-laws, the Cullens, must gather vampires from all over the world to witness the fact that it’s just a living kid and not a vampire spawn.

Pictured: The only person bothering to actually *act*

And that’s where this movie gets its weirdness. Sure, it’s lower-key weirdness than the batshit craziness of Part One, but you still end up watching some really , really inane stuff. It’s really not even worth getting into narrative, because, well, that’s pretty much it. Instead, what we get…

* Okay, so first let’s get into their creepy-as-fuck kid, Renesmee. She starts out as a CGI baby, and, I gotta say, the CGI in these movies just seems to get worse the more money they make. The baby looks genuinely disturbing, and seems to vary in size from shot to shot. In one scene, while Bella is holding it, the damn thing’s head looks to be the size of a basketball.

Don’t look into its eyes!

* Okay, so remember how Jacob—the rapey werewolf–imprinted on her? Yeah, that’s a major plot development here, as he spends the whole movie either looking at her protectively or longingly. Jesus, even Bella thinks it’s wrong. I mean, when one of the characters in a series known for its frankly horrifying portrayal of relationships thinks a relationship is ookie, you know you’ve crossed some kind of Rubicon.

“Seven years…then she’s legal.”

* And to continue: They learn Renesmee will hit maturity at about seven years-old and then stop growing, so Jacob is basically just biding his time until she’s legal. He even jokes with Edward, “Should I start calling you Dad?” And Edward laughs it off, because he thinks it’s great that the rival for his wife’s affections is now smitten with his prepubescent daughter. Unfortunately for me , I bought tickets to this with my credit card, so, yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m on some FBI watch list now. That’s just super. Thanks Twilight.

Let me be absolutely clear: This is who Taylor Lautner is in love with.

* A bunch of vampires show up from all over the world, all dressed in the most stereotypical (and culturally-inappropriate) outfits imaginable. The sisters from the Amazon are kitted out in leather miniskirts and bikini tops, while an Indian couple from…ah, somewhere are in leather thongs and face paint. I didn’t see an African native with a bone through his nose, but I’m sure there’s one in there somewhere.

Close enough.

* In one hilarious scene, the Cullens give Bella tips on how to act human (fake breathing, blink, etc.) You’d think someone might have given Kristen Stewart this little talk in her trailer back before the first movie.

* Also, along with their normal vampire powers, these vamps have superpowers, like throwing fire and causing earthquakes. They’re like the lamest X-Men ever.

It says something about this series that a scene like this is one of the less offensive things we’ll see.

*  Once more, Stephanie Meyers’ ideas about sex are on full-display and they remain freaking scary. When Bella learns she can now have sex with Edward without him having to hold back, and that they don’t have to rest between bouts of bang-chika-wah-wah, she’s all like, “Wow! We can do this for weeks on end.” So, yeah, after four movies of not even being able to kiss, the happy couple is ready for a bone-athon. Goddamn, these movies are creepy.

* Did I mention how bad the CGI is? Yeah, it’s bad. The massive wolves still look like something that should be fighting a mega-shark on the SyFy network, And Bella’s super-speed is laugh-out-loud atrocious. In one scene, she is clearly running on a treadmill while a badly-rendered background plays out behind her.

Can you spot the special effect in this scene?

* Twilight continues to be a wholly consequence-free universe. Despite damn near dying in the last movie, now Bella is super strong and immortal and can totally hang with the Cullens. They give her a house (!!), completely furnished and a closet full of designer clothes. You know, in most other treatments, there’s at least some downside to becoming a vampire. Here, it’s basically flat-out wish-fulfillment. Bella doesn’t actually get a pet unicorn that farts rainbows and barfs Lucky Charms, but maybe there’s a deleted scene…

* There’s a weird rehabilitation of the actors going on, so let me hold the line here: They’re still awful. Maybe Stewart and Pattinson are genuinely talented (Lautner has repeatedly shown that he’s not), but their refusal to do anything even glancingly interesting here really speaks badly of them. Look, I know these movies suck, but they agreed to star in them, and as a result the two of them are huge Hollywood stars now. To treat the vehicle which gave them that with such utter disdain is really kind of obnoxious.

Really stretching the acting chops on this one, aren’t you, Kristen?

* The movie ends with a long, loving tribute to damn near everyone who appeared in any of the movies. It’s like if the Vietnamese gave John McCain a photo album of his years in captivity as he walked out of the Hanoi Hilton.

* This movie ends with a twist that should be absolutely, indescribably appalling, and yet it’s so in keeping with the non-stakes of these movies, it almost seems like a natural development (and not, say, a desperate filmmaker’s attempt to make something happen in this movie.

Okay, so that wraps up the Twilight movies. Now let’s never speak of them again…

Oh, and Jacob’s a pedophile (in case that wasn’t totally clear).

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