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"Breaking Dawn: Part Two" Packs A Double Punch

Lindsay Dale |
November 17, 2012 | 5:42 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Edward (Robert Pattinson) seduces Bella in Breaking Dawn, Part Two (Summit Entertainment)
Edward (Robert Pattinson) seduces Bella in Breaking Dawn, Part Two (Summit Entertainment)
Try as you might, it’s pretty much impossible not to smile at least once during the final chapter of the much-maligned but very profitable Twilight series.

To all the girls out there who have convinced themselves that, as grown-up collegiate women, their film tastes have matured and these silly vampire movies are far too juvenile to appeal to their newly sophisticated palates: you’re wrong. Embrace your inner Twi-hard because you’re still going to like this movie. The end of “Breaking Dawn: Part Two” (out now) and the fantastic dual punch of action and romance it packs will once again draw in female fans of the franchise. And this time, it will fondly remind them of the days when they sat entranced as they took in the first “Twilight” movie, simultaneously marveling at Bella and Edward’s romance and wondering if they would ever find boyfriends.

Boys…you’re still not going to like this movie. Sure, a few more heads pop than usual, but Taylor Lautner still takes his shirt off. (Just a side note: he looks kind of pale. The movie may be set in winter, but nevertheless he should have hit the tanning beds before filming.)

“Breaking Dawn: Part Two” picks up shortly after the conclusion of “Part One,” once Bella has given birth to a vampire-hybrid child unfortunately named Renesmee and has been turned into a vampire herself. In “Part One,” Bella experienced the world’s most painful pregnancy and the world experienced the most painful Twilight movie. Now, however, times are good. Aside from the fact that wolfy Jacob has fallen in love with Bella and Edward’s infant daughter, the couple doesn’t have a care in the world – but they do have an adorable new child, played by Mackenzie Foy, and a new house in which to have all the passionate vampire sex they want.

That is, until the Volturi, the vampire police, come in and threaten to destroy their busy sex-and-child-care schedule. Alice, the spunky fortune-telling vampire enthusiastically played by Ashley Greene, experiences a vision in which the Volturi confront the Cullens and, frightened by a human-vampire combination that they do not understand, pose a threat to Renesmee.

This inspires the Cullens, and the movie, to hop into action – what they do best.  Edward, Bella, and the clan reach out to Cullen relatives, fellow vampires with fascinating talents, and persuade them to stand as witness to Renesmee’s harmlessness. Given the Volturi’s short attention span when it comes to listening, however, this usually involves fighting rather than standing.

The unquestionable high point of the movie is the battle scene that follows. This is one case where deviation from Meyer’s slow and anti-climactic last book truly pays off. Despite the movie’s slow start – and it is quite dull watching Bella marvel over how not eating humans as a newborn vampire is a piece of cake – “Breaking Dawn: Part Two” redeems itself as the Cullen clan tears into the Volturi, demonstrating director Bill Condon’s knack for orchestrating an amazing action scene.  

The principle of that action being the most interesting aspect of the movie has held true throughout the franchise. After all, a vampire-human love affair is not supposed to be easy, and throughout the first three movies much of Edward and Bella’s chemistry hinged on the fact that their courtship was dangerous, forbidden and incredibly romantic. “Part One” lost some of that intensity, as Bella’s incredibly unromantic pregnancy pains simply didn’t seem so potentially fatal without a battle to back it up. But in its second half, “Part Two” brings it back and ends the series on a high note.

New parents Edward and Bella play with their daughter Renesmee (an adorable Mackenzie Foy) (Summit Entertainment)
New parents Edward and Bella play with their daughter Renesmee (an adorable Mackenzie Foy) (Summit Entertainment)

Of course, this is not a perfect film. Bella loses some of her relatability when she becomes a vampire, partly because she is no longer an awkward teenage girl shocked that a cute boy likes her and partly because even after five movies, Kristen Stewart needs acting lessons now more than ever.  

Luckily, Robert Pattinson remains as charming as ever, and the Cullens’ tight-knit family dynamic is a highlight of the movie. Also fortunate: the fact that this was filmed before Stewart’s affair with the married director of “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which could have been really detrimental to her chemistry with Pattinson.

Real-life adultery aside, though, on screen Stewart and Pattinson seem more in love than ever. Once you get through its slow beginning, “Breaking Dawn: Part Two” will reel fans back in and remind all of us grown-up females why, once upon a time, we were just lovestruck Bellas looking to find our Edwards.       

Reach Staff Reporter Lindsay Dale here.



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