Cinema Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

DIR: Bill Condon • WRI: Katherine Fugate • PRO: Wyck Godfrey, Stephenie Meyer, Karen Rosenfelt • DOP: Guillermo Navarro • ED: Virginia Katz • DES: Richard Sherman • CAST: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

The international success of the Twilight saga can be traced back to a single demographic – teenagers. And their mothers. From its inception, it’s abundantly clear that Twilight is catering to a specific niche market that enjoys poorly constructed stories involving teenage angst, one-dimensional characters and weak plots. It had vaguely promising beginnings with Catherine Hardwicke – she of Lords of Dogtown / Thirteen fame. But now, in its fifth and final film, the magic has well and truly worn off. The story follows on from Breaking Dawn, Part 1 and let us be clear from the start – you need to have seen it in order to know what’s going on. No true explanation is given to goings on or events throughout the film. It’s simply understood that the viewer has seen the previous films, is aware of the canon and can follow the story. Unfortunately, this serves as one of many stumbling blocks to watching the film as key scenes and subplots hinge on specific knowledge of the previous films. As such, there’s a good two-fifths of the film that is baffling to the uninitiated.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have clearly moved on from Twilight and the poor script. Those who’ve seen Cosmopolis and On The Road will know that, when given decent material, both actors manage to amp up their efforts and abilities. Here, both of them look listless and bored – very clearly phoning in the performances as part of a contractual obligation. Taylor Lautner, who is very clearly this generation’s Keanu Reeves, gives a ‘spirited’ performance but ultimately ends up falling flat. Michael Sheen, playing Volturi leader Aro, looks like an idiot. Hamming it up in every scene under two and a half inches of make-up, it’s a little depressing to see an actor of his calibre slumming it in this affair. Likewise, Lee Pace, Dakota Fanning, Maggie Grace and Rami Malek all work their roles with sufficient effort but come off looking the worse for it. Bill Condon’s direction is tame and boring, failing to put any kind of individual stamp on the film and makes it feel more like a TV movie instead of a tentpole franchise. The CGI throughout the film is laughable at best, particularly the scenes involving the love-child between Pattinson and Stewart. The ‘immortal child’, Renesme, is straight out of the Uncanny Valley and is genuinely unsettling to watch. Overall, Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is a laughable excuse of a film. Regardless of critical reaction, the film will do huge business and close off the franchise for the next ten years.
Brian Lloyd

Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is released on 16th November 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – Official Website

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