Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
2

Awesome: 4%
Worth A Look: 4%
Just Average: 24%
Pretty Crappy: 24%
Sucks44%

3 reviews, 7 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Hercules (2014) by Daniel Kelly

Hal by Jay Seaver

I, Origins by Greg Ursic

Boyhood by Daniel Kelly

Uzumasa Limelight by Jay Seaver

Goal of the Dead by Jay Seaver

Yasmine by Jay Seaver

Mr. Go by Jay Seaver

Hercules (2014) by Brett Gallman

Wish I Was Here by Jaycie

subscribe to this feed


Twilight Saga, The: Breaking Dawn - Part II
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Brett Gallman

"Twihard with a vengeance."
2 stars

Bill Condon's struggle to lift the “Twilight” saga above its adolescent supermarket trash novel trappings isn’t so much a Herculean effort as it is Sisyphean. Despite his best efforts to broadly play up and embrace the source’s inherent absurdity, there’s no overcoming the overwhelming stupidity that continually rolls back to crush everything in its wake.

Not only that, but Condon is essentially forced to squeeze blood from the stone in “Breaking Dawn Part II,” as Summit’s decision to split the final book into two reveals itself to be ill-advised almost from the get-go (though I’m sure they’ll get over it when the receipts roll in). The entire movie feels like a third act, a hurdle that Condon attempts to furiously leap early on, when the movie feels like a sitcom or a fucked up episode of “Teen Mom.” Bella, having recently given birth to Renesmee (initially portrayed by a bafflingly terrible CGI baby), emerges from her post-delivery stupor having also been turned into a vampire.

And, save for the fact that she now resembles an airbrushed Photoshop model with red eyes, everything’s pretty much fine. Even though Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has fallen in love with their days-old baby, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella let him crash on their couch and continue to ogle the creepy infant (though, to be fair, that just might be Lautner’s only expression--I’m not sure he’s blinked at any point during this series). At least someone is paying attention to Renesmee, though, since Bella and Edward are too busy frolicking through the forest and fucking in their new cottage. There’s some anxiety surrounding Renesmee’s advanced aging, but it doesn’t seem to be much of a biggie.

To his credit, Condon makes a lot of this stuff compulsively watchable by diving right into the silliness. Even those of us who wrote off “Twilight” early on still held out some morbid hope for this final entry, which is full of so much batshit insanity (and inanity) that one can’t quite be sure if author Stephanie Meyer is really all that serious about it. She is, of course, but Condon is just aware of how bad it is, so he dials it up to 11. Bella tackles a cougar, arm-wrestles, and aggressively consummates her marriage now that she can finally enjoy it. Shot as fever-dreamy, adolescent softcore porn, I imagine these sequences play out exactly as they did when they were devoured from the printed page by Meyer’s target audience.

You can almost feel Condon rolling this thing up to the precipice of the hill--it’s indeed morbidly entertaining because you’re just not sure how many stupid bullets Meyer has in her clip, and Condon just keeps emptying it at a rapid rate. However, the rock swiftly rolls back down the hill once the director runs into the thudding inertia of the story; he’s almost able to carve out some semblance of decency out of a series of scenes that feel like the “happily ever after” epilogue, which is quite a feat when you consider the whole thing might as well be put on by mannequins. That slight is only halfway directed at the actors, many of whom feel like they’ve got one foot out of the door, eager to finally bolt; instead, the fault largely lies with both Meyer and screenwriter Mellissa Rosenberg, whose work still fails to truly treat these characters as anything but plot instigators. They’re automatons who smile or scowl until they happen to deliver dialogue.

Case in point: Ashley Greene enters a scene as psychic Alice, and she’s traded in her doe-eyed Happy Face for a sullen Sad Face because she’s had a vision that the Volturi (led by Michael Sheen, who relishes every second of screen time as one of the few actors in on the joke) are going to eventually descend on the Cullen abode. It turns out they’re concerned that Renesmee (who thankfully grows into a human actor around the second act) is an immortal child; in one of the more inspired concepts this mythology has bred, these are kids that get turned into vampires and never outgrow their infantile stage. A beautifully shot, hellish flashback reveals this to be a bad thing because these kids are prone to laying waste to entire villages, so it’s important that the Volturi track them down and toss them into a fire.

Anyway, the Volturi see this as their chance to finally rid themselves of the Cullens, so they take their sweet ass time in trekking across the world. As luck would have it, it’s just enough time for the Cullens to do their own globe-hopping and assemble their own vampiric Avengers for the express purpose of serving as witnesses that Renesmee is actually Bella and Edward’s hybrid spawn. For some reason, they need a dozen vampires to convince a bunch of psychics that this is the case. Typically treated as a montage in any other movie, the “getting the band together” sequence basically serves as the entire middle act, where everyone sits around talks about what’s finally going to happen when the Volturi arrive.

Save for a couple of guys affecting Bela Lugosi accents, none of this set prove to be any more interesting than the Cullen clan, which is quite a feat. Most of them have some sort of superpower that they show off whenever they aren’t trading ancient war stories or cursing the Volturi. Remarkably, the main cast somehow becomes even more of a nonentity here; in fact, I’m not even sure Edward is really exists in this movie--instead, he’s just sort of lingering around like a bad fart while Jacob takes care of his kid.

Ironically, the whole conflict is built on a misunderstanding, of course, which seems appropriate since the entire movie is a comedy of errors, and I actually mean that seriously. Meyer’s original text has the gall to reference the Bard when a copy of “The Merchant of Venice” plays a pivotal role in the proceedings; I suspect Meyer made the reference as foreshadowing, but Condon seems to have keyed in on the tragicomedic implications underpinning “Breaking Dawn.” Its plot is so absurd and contrived that he can’t help but go big and bold with it, even going so far as to bring audiences in on it during the bizarre, bloody climax that finds Condon playing both the Twihards and those on the other side of the fence.

Since not much really happens in “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” it goes without saying that the climactic fight scene is the most exciting moment, likely because Condon and company go way off the page in an attempt to troll and bait fans. The scene plays like a skewed “Twilightploitation” riff on the franchise as it’d be drawn up in some coked-out fan-fic. Depending on their disposition, audience members will either recoil in horror or delight as characters are gleefully decapitated, set ablaze, and chewed apart in campy, over-the-top fashion. Few moments in this series can be referred to as awesome without irony, but this Condon at his most unhinged and gonzo; the violence is so cartoonish that the film can still eek out a PG-13 rating, but between all the jaw-rippings and the giant hellpit, it’s the most savage and insane thing you could ever imagine in a “Twilight” film.

However, something even more interesting is impossibly gestating during this sequence that may act as a meta commentary on fandom. Even though their passion has dominated pop culture during the past five years, Twihards have been a target of ridicule, and “Breaking Dawn Part 2” slyly throws this in relief; there are times when the untamed battle sequence was constructed solely with the intentions of making the diehard fan base weepy and irate. Whether intended or not, it raises questions about the commonality of passionate fanbases; are Twihards really all that different from the fanatics that pour into theaters for “The Avengers” or “Star Wars?”

“Breaking Dawn Part 2” seems to argue that they aren’t, which is probably why the last, crushing Sisyphean blow sees the film lapse back into banal sentimentality--which is exactly what the target audience wants. If nothing else, this finale will send fans home happy and even provides a bit of a victory lap through memory lane.

None of this makes the film good, of course; it might be well-made, beautifully shot crap, but it’s still crap all the same, lined with the nuggets of wooden performances, inane dialogue, and cheap effects. That it’s just remotely interesting for twenty minutes seems like a minor victory, even if defeat is inevitable at the hands of Meyer’s voluminous but vapid tome that doomed this proposition from the start.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=21333&reviewer=429
originally posted: 11/15/12 23:38:01
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

1/08/14 Gary Wilcox Teenage garbage. 1 stars
1/20/13 dmasz91 excellent fight scene, but the ending cuts short 5 stars
1/03/13 action movie fan see near dark instead of this bore 1 stars
12/04/12 Cat Renee Smtih TTG this craptacular franchise is over. The dullest vamps ever to hit town. 1 stars
12/02/12 Edler It was good! Lots of awesome right scenes. Imaginative 4 stars
11/26/12 Flipsider Yeah... no. 1 stars
11/22/12 garett worst movie ever 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  16-Nov-2012 (PG-13)
  DVD: 02-Mar-2013

UK
  N/A

Australia
  16-Nov-2012




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2014, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast