The Epic Finale That Will Live Forever

Bill Condon

Robert Pattinson
Kristen Stewart
Taylor Lautner

In the last film, Bella [Stewart] the whiney human marries Edward [Pattinson] the whiney vampire, gives birth and becomes a vampire herself – all of which I thought could have been covered in twenty minutes. Part II opens with Bella enjoying her new vampiric existence and seemingly having no problem with the transition or controlling her immense overpowering urges (if the first film is to be believed). Her newborn, the appallingly named Renesmee, being neither human nor vampire, is rapidly ageing and concerns grow as to how long she will live. Further complications are added when Bella discovers that werewolf Jacob [Lautner] has involuntarily ‘imprinted’ on her baby and has some sort of (and I quote) “wolfy claim” on her. The revelation of this is particularly amusing as Kristen Stewart doesn’t exactly do angry very well. Then out of spite or some sort of selfish impulse, Jacob exposes the crazy world of vampires and werewolves to Bella’s father, Charlie [Billy Burke], who deals with this knowledge EXTRAORDINARILY well. Everything begins to slowly settle down when one of Edward’s ‘cousins’ witnesses the young Renesmee. Thinking she is an immortal child (a child that has been bitten and turned into a vampire), Irina [Maggie Grace] informs the governing vampires, the Volturi. Seeing this act as a criminal offence, they raise an army and journey to America to destroy the Cullens and all who stand with them.

Just as a pre-review statement, rather than continually stating ‘there are spoilers embedded in this paragraph,’ we’ll just assume this whole thing is riddled with spoilers, ’cause let’s face it, you either already know what happens or you don’t care, either way, this breakdown shouldn’t bug you.

After my horribly scathing review for Breaking Dawn: Part I, it’s hard to believe this movie is brought to us by the same director. I’m not saying it’s good (because it really really isn’t) but it’s a completely acceptable film. Guillermo Navaro’s cinematography is rich and crisp and Carter Burwell’s score is an elegant mix of haunting tones and heart-pounding waves of symphonic bluster. Then there’s the third act, which was the most pleasantly surprising element of any Twilight film to date containing an astonishingly good fight sequence, befitting of any big budget film. Bold, well organised, simultaneously interesting and engrossing, it was.. it was a riot. Granted, it started very badly with a lot of familiar posturing and Michael Sheen acting like a long-haired weirdo but the actual fight itself was pretty impressive. It did get me thinking though; I don’t know how much of that sequence was present in the book, as its clever design seems wholly out of place with the rest of the franchise, even if the whole thing was nothing more than a vision of the future. Having said that, I thought Alice’s powers didn’t work when werewolves were involved (See? Despite the fact I have not enjoyed these films, I have been paying attention) so maybe it was part of the book, who knows? Finally, the closing credits were a very nice touch. A curiously tender look back at those involved with the entire saga over the last five years.. not the montage, that was wanky nonsense, the ‘Twilight’ credits, treating the whole franchise as an enclosed experience, rather than five stand alone pieces. Cinematically speaking, it was a commendable move.

Ok, enough fawning, let’s get onto the obvious; we need to talk about why this film was a fucking mess. At one point it was suggested that as this film would be viewed through Bella’s eyes as a vampire, the whole thing should be in 3D. In a way, that actually makes a lot of sense, even if 3D is bloody stupid. Thankfully, Condon would only do it if the appropriate 3D cameras were used, rather than a post production conversion and the idea was scrapped. But that still meant that they had to represent how a vampire sees the world somehow. Cue vamp vision! Bella awakens with super sensory powers and every minute detail is heightened WITH ZOOMING! Look over there at that rug THEN ZOOM IN ON THE FIBRES! What about that spider weaving a web? ZOOM IN ON THE FUCKER! GET IN CLOSE! WOOOOOW! WHAT UP, SPIDER? Then there’s the super speed running nonsense, which has never looked good; a combination of blurry backgrounds and wire work weirdness. And another deplorable sex scene! One that actually confused me more than the last film. Previously Edward tore the room to pieces WITH THE POWER OF THEIR LOVE MAKING but he was apparently holding back. So now they’re both vampires and can go at it like furious rhinos, right? Well.. no.. it’s sort of tender looking and nothing gets broken. Not that I’m saying it should, I’m just annoyed by the lack of consistency and mixed messages. And the dialogue! Oh, the dialogue is so bad! The one-liners are just as atrocious as ever, wall-to-wall agony with secondary school level elegance. There’s also a creepy CGI/animatronic baby thing but as the later digital effects weren’t hideous this time round, we’ll glaze over that as an unfortunate bump. But the biggest problem I had has been the hardest pill to swallow from the very first film. We are still expected to believe that a.) Bella is an appealing person and b.) She’s some super awesome girl – no one else thought so but deep inside, she knew she was different.. ARGHH! The same shit annoyed me in the Harry Potter and Star Wars franchises but at least they explained it with ‘didn’t know their lineage.’ The apparent message here is ‘shy girls make shit-hot vamps in terms of strength and speed but also control’ so don’t worry if people think you’re weird. Nauseating teen wank bullshit!

The fact that Lee Pace made an appearance really upset me. The way they completely wasted an incredibly talented actor highlighted the awful way the entire series treats supporting cast: here’s a name, here’s a face. Don’t be silly.. they don’t need a backstory or individual personalities! Fool! Just look at their pretty face, bug eyes (thank you contact lenses) and blank expressions! What more could you want? Bar a series of brief flashbacks in Eclipse that explored some of the Cullen’s history, everyone fades in and out of obscurity with relative ease. This time around, however, it’s not simply enough to separate the names and faces, these people also need super powers! There has been mention of certain vampires receiving dark gifts or something but I didn’t think they were super fighting powers. Alice can see the future and Edward can read minds and.. er.. well that’s it. I don’t think anyone else has a power. Good thing Carlisle knows plenty of people across the world who can assist with their X-Men like abilities. Seriously, controlling the elements? Fuck off. Also when does a shield become some memory vision projecting thing? And how does she simply evolve like that by practice alone? Or does this fall under the aforementioned ‘she is the special chosen one’ category? And how did she have that before she was a vampire anyway? And how comes the shield doesn’t work on her daughter’s memory forcing power? And.. why the fuck do vampires have magic powers!? AND WHY DO THEY SPARKLE IN FUCKING SUNLIGHT!? AND EXACTLY WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!? *ahem* Sorry.

This whole series has been an absolute turd. From start to finish, the only highlights were Burwell’s melodic score, a mediocre third film and a big battle finale, which I’m still convinced wasn’t in the book. Breaking Dawn: Part I was fan-service filler, trying to cram in as many cast cameos as possible before bowing out, Part II wasn’t badly paced but even then, still failed to explain what makes Bella so bloody special and ended the whole thing as neatly as possible. How this series has made billions of dollars is genuinely beyond me.

Release Date:
16th November 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
I’ve already prattled on about the battle scene, so what else can I draw your attention to. How about the scene in which several members of the cast give Kristen Stewart a breakdown of her acting in the first four films? No? Oh, the medieval flashback. Yeah, that was reasonably interesting. To emphasise the whole ‘we’ve been around forever’ bit and to explain the concept of an immortal child, we are treated to a reasonably interesting flashback which illustrates the Volturi’s merciless execution of a child and the one who spawned it. It’s fairly short but a welcome break from the same old routine.

Notable Characters:
Shit.. I’ve got nothing. The main characters are hideously annoying and highlighting the supporting cast would be pointless as they’re little more than underdeveloped cameos. Fuck it! Washington! Washington and Canada are my favourite characters.. of the entire series! The only thing that has been consistently entrancing and flawless is the wooded mountainous backdrop. British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest are pretty impressive and seeing them utilised so much is pleasing.

Highlighted Quote:
“Ok, I got it. Move around, blink, slouch”

In A Few Words:
“The Twilight saga finally takes a giant step to being something worth watching but it’s a moot point as this is the last film in the series. Too little, too late”

Total Score: