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REVIEW – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

November 19, 2012

I remember the day in 2009 when, after a routine binge in Waterstones, I came home with all four of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books. It was before all the hype really took off; the first film had not long since been made (and I’d loved it) and I’d just finished a dissertation on early Victorian vampires, so of course it seemed like ploughing through all four books in a matter of days was a better idea than revising for the final exams of my undergraduate degree.

Now, three and a half years on, the saga concluded in film. Breaking Dawn is one of the few films where I understand the recent craze for splitting final installments into two parts – in the book the narrative breaks quite neatly at around the point where Part One ends, so dividing the final installment in film actually makes sense. And what a finale it was.

Breaking Dawn: Part 2 picks up pretty much where Part 1 leaves off – Bella has awoken following the birth of her daughter as a vampire. It’s what she wanted ever since she fell for Edward. Hurray. But, God forbid her happily ever after with Edward and Renesme just lands in her lap. Oh, no. The Volturi have found out about Edward and Bella’s spawn and think that one of the most important vampire laws there is has been broken. Now the Cullens must gather as many vampires around them as they can to help them prove to the Volturi that they haven’t gone breaking any laws and that Renesme is half human, half vampire and not an ultra creepy child vampire as suspected.

Despite my boyfriend sitting very ostentatiously huffing and puffing all the way through, I really enjoyed Breaking Dawn Part 2. It had bits of everything – humour that made me laugh out loud, moments that made me gasp and moments that made me tear up, not to mention a pretty decent epic fight scene. There wasn’t a disgusting amount of Edward/Bella mush because this part of the story isn’t about that; hell, if you don’t know they’re in love after 4 films then you really shouldn’t be watching this one! One of the things I loved about the first Twilight film was the score – Carter Burwell is one of my favourite composers at the moment and I was really pleased to see some of the pieces he composed for the first film return by variations in the last.

Things I didn’t like? The CGI they used to make baby Renesme was pretty creepy. That was NOT a real baby by any stretch of the imagination, and in fact looked more like the result of one of those apps you can get now that blends your face with someone else’s to show what your children might look like. It was pretty terrifying. Perhaps that baby’s the real reason Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart broke up – they just couldn’t bear the thought of what they might produce if they reproduced together.

And speaking of Kristen Stewart, she annoyed me a bit too. While the film had the whole spectrum of emotion, she had absolutely none of it. She seems to be able to manage only two facial expressions; a reluctant half smile and the slightly open mouth that signifies everything from unbearable rage to arousal to unbelievable shock. I couldn’t believe quite how wooden she was. It seems to have gotten worse over the course of the films – I swear she was a better actress earlier on.

Overall, though, I thought this was a great ending to a great series of films. I can’t wait for it to get out of the cinema and onto Blu-ray so I can buy the complete box set and marathon them in bed.

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