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REPOST: Monkey-nuts crazy: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part One”

November 18, 2012

In preparation for the conclusion of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn (Part Two), I thought you might want to get up to speed on the story so far…

What the hell was that?

I mean, prior installments of the Twilight saga have merely been stupid, poorly-acted, shabbily-directed, and contained offensive and downright disturbing subtexts. Never before, however, have they been this pants-crappingly insane. Usually any given scene in a Twilight movie leaves me thinking, “Jesus, I can’t believe I’m watching this…why didn’t anyone ever tell me it’s physically impossible to swallow your own tongue?” But with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One, more often than not I found myself thinking, “what the fuck?” or sometimes “seriously, what the fuck?” and even more, “am I seriously fucking seeing this?” Because this installment of Stephanie Meyer’s teeny-bopper bodice-ripping fantasy series takes its inane premise to its logical conclusion, and that is a very, very bizarre place.

Look, I’m not gonna recap the plot of this movie, since you probably know it already (and if you don’t, there are doubtless dozens of overheated teenage girls willing to do that for you), but the story breaks fairly neatly into three distinct parts. In the first part, newly-graduated-from-high-school Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart, wearing the dead-eyed look of the truly damned) marries her century-old vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson), in what is actually one of the least disturbing plot-developments. She has a lavish wedding under the stars of Forks, Washington, courtesy of Edward’s vampire-clan. And no one Bella invites thinks there is anything strange about this. Not the fact that she is getting married at 18. Not the fact that the groom’s family can afford a lavish-wedding-porn spread. Not the fact that some of the groom’s family have weird, orange eyes. Not even the fact that they have to have the wedding at night so the groom and his family don’t glitter like a disco ball. Nope, it’s all perfectly normal.

Throughout the perpetual night, Bella and Edward 1) get married, 2) fly to Rio, 3) take a launch to a private island, and 4) have sex for the first time. Yes. In the same, damn night. But, hey, let’s get down to the important stuff. Mormon author Meyer finally allows her characters to have sex. Up until this point, the central, overheated romance has been chaste, but now Edward and Bella can let loose with the full power of their raging hormones. The result is a demolished bed and a bruised-up Bella. Well, naturally, Meyer can’t allow her characters to enjoy sex, so Edward gets all angst-ridden over bruising Bella. Jesus Christ, this guy’s a downer. He just got laid and he still brings down the whole room.

But Bella’s not. She’s into it and wants more, and thus begins the second part of the movie. Bella repeatedly tries to seduce Edward on their honeymoon (okay, are you seeing what I mean about this being a batshit-crazy movie? Yeah, we’re just getting started). So he’s all like, “I can’t allow myself to hurt you again.” And she’s all like “SERVICE ME!!!” Well, that goes on for a couple excruciating scenes until Bella discovers that she’s pregnant. Weird, right? Since she only had sex a few days ago. Plus, you know, her husband’s undead.

Well, this miracle child puts everyone into a tizzy when she returns to Forks. On the one hand, the fetus is gestating superfast and killing her in the process. Never that healthy-looking to begin with, Bella gets progressively more emaciated and haggard, and pretty soon has to slurp down blood smoothies to sustain the mutant-fetus. At the same time, the werewolf-clan gets the news about this thing and totally freaks the fuck out. I don’t totally get this part, since in the beginning of the film, they were totally cool with the vampires and Bella and Edward’s marriage, but once they hear about the pregnancy, they’re all like, “Obscenity! The pact is broken! Kill them all!” I’m fuzzy on the details of the pact. Did it cover demon-babies?

So that brings us to the third part of the movie. After the werewolf pack have a telepathic staff meeting—no, seriously, we have a scene in which a bunch of CGI wolves stand around having an ESP conversation—in which they decide to kill all the vampires. Well, Lucas Black (Taylor Lautner…Jesus…) doesn’t like this idea, because he’s still pathetically and inexplicably pining for Bella, so he challenges the Alpha of the pack, whom he doesn’t like, and has taken a position Jacob could have had…or something…I think something went on between the movies that I didn’t quite grasp. Anyway, long story short, Lucas breaks off and starts his own pack (with gambling! And hookers! No, wait, that’s Bender) dedicated to protecting Bella.

So, the movie barrels towards its insane climax, in which the werewolves attack, Bella dies in childbirth as her demon baby basically rips her apart internally, Edward must deliver by using his fangs for a makeshift C-section (no, really…it only sounds like bad fanfic), and then resurrects Bella by changing her into a vampire using (subtext alert!) his venom. Oh, and Jacob falls ass-over-teakettle in love with Bella’s infant daughter. Yep, the series’ rapiest dude is paired off with a newborn. Holy shit, there are renegade polygamist commune leaders in Utah that would look at this movie and say, “No…just no…that’s too twisted for me to get onboard with.”

I mean, where do you start with this stuff? It’s hard not to see a disturbingly conservative agenda run rampant in this story. First off, any girls that Stephanie Meyers didn’t adequately scare off of sex in the first three books sure as hell are going to be carrying some hard-sided baggage from this tale. Sex leaves Bella bruised up, then transforms her first into a lust-crazed harlot, and then into an incubator for a nightmare spawn that destroys her from the inside out. On top of that, she loses her humanity. This should be sad, but the story treats it like it’s the best possible thing she could do—just joining the family of awesomeness by shucking off her humanity. Almost like discarding an old life by joining a religion of some sort…

Okay, what other nuggets of craziness do we have?

* Yeah, the scene in which the wolves have their telepathic conference literally does just show a bunch of cgi wolves snarling and growling accompanied by voice overs. It’s all, “Grr…snarl…grrr…Bella’s hellspawn must be destroyed! Grrr…woof!” “Rowr! No! It’s not Bella’s fault! Grr!” And I’m thinking: how could that much LSD get into my system without me knowing it?

* Yeah, I’m still fuzzy on this whole “imprinting” idea. Jacob describes it always being there for someone, being whatever they need, a father, big brother, and a bunch of other twaddle that sounds like the lyrics to “Father FigureGeorge Michael cut from the first draft of that song. What’s weird, though, is that when we see the imprinted couples on the beach they’re all canoodling and making out. So…um…imprinting means being that big brother that she makes out with? Wow, Stephanie, you managed to check both the pedophilia and the incest boxes in one fell swoop. I don’t know what kind of award you get for that, but I’m pretty sure it has Caligula on it.

* More on “imprinting.” Fellow wolf-chick Leah (Julia Jones) obviously pines for Jacob, but he’s too busy sending “I’m so gonna rape the shit out of you in my van” looks Bella’s way to notice. She mopes about being all alone, because she didn’t imprint or did or something (again, I think this happened between movies or something). Whatever the reason for her lovelorn state, it just seems highly improbable. On account of the fact she’s Julia Jones.

* Jacob confronts Bella about the fact she plans on having sex with Edward on their honeymoon. This leads to an argument that eventually encompasses the entire werewolf clan. So, yeah, you have a bunch of dudes standing around arguing over Bella’s virginity. Nope, nothing strange or disturbing about that…

* Edward keeps a massive vial of his venom laying around? Subtext or not, that’s just weird. What does he do, milk himself like a poisonous snake every day?

I have no idea how much crazier the next chapter can get, but I’m almost looking forward to finding out…

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