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

November 16, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – An eOne Release

http://www.breakingdawn-themovie.com

Release Date: November 16th, 2012

Rated PG for violence and some scary scenes

Running time: 115 minutes

Bill Condon (dir.)

Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)

Based on the book by Stephenie Meyer

Carter Burwell (music)

Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen

Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black

Mackenzie Foy as Renesmee

Peter Facinelli as Dr. Carlisle Cullen

Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen

Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen

Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale

Kellan Lutz as Emmett Cullen

Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale

Billy Burke as Charlie Swan

Michael Sheen as Aro

©eOne Films.  All Rights Reserved.

Bella (Kristen Stewart), Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.

Our reviews below:

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

As The Twilight Saga comes to a close, director Bill Condon delivers the best film yet in the immensely popular series with Breaking Dawn – Part 2.  This is an entertaining and sometimes knowingly over the top blockbuster that is better than last year’s disappointing Part 1 and is sure to thrill the hardcore Twihards.  Whether you’ve read the books or just seen the other movies, this film is a lot of fun for fans and casual viewers alike.

After having the child they conceived literally ripped out of her body, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has completed her transformation into immortality and is now “the same temperature” as her vampire husband, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).  But their daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) is rapidly growing and catches the attention of Aro (Michael Sheen) and the Volturi, a group of vampires who view the child as a potential threat to their power.  It’s up to Bella’s previous love interest Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) who has “imprinted” on Renesmee and the Cullen family to keep the child safe, as they gather witnesses for an epic battle amidst the snow.

From a critical standpoint, the popularity of the Twilight films has been an interesting phenomenon to watch over the last four years.  The fans have embraced the franchise since it started, as the internet trolls have gotten needlessly nasty in the way that they rip down not only the films but the people who support them.  I personally thought that the first two films, Twilight (2008) and New Moon (2009), were both pretty good for what they were and the third one Eclipse (2010) was the previous highlight of the saga.  Although I wasn’t really a fan of last year’s Breaking Dawn – Part 1, this final instalment is a lot of fun and ranks as the best of the series regardless of what you think about the other films.

The special effects of the vampires running are still campy and there are also several lines of dialogue that are unintentionally laughable.  But there is also a refreshing self awareness to the film and everyone involved seems to be having a lot of fun.  The performances are also better this time around.  Robert Pattinson has finally found his footing, not just in this series, but as an actor in general.  Taylor Lautner actually seems to be enjoying himself, even when he has to take his shirt off, and Kristen Stewart also takes things up a notch.  Now that she’s playing a vampire, she actually fits the character better.

There is an incredibly effective twist that comes during the standoff at the end of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and it’s worth seeing the film before people spoil it.  Although changing some things from the book, it ranks as one of the best and most inventive things in the franchise.  This twist is one of the things that the film gets right, helping elevate it to the level of the best in the series.  Fans will still be the main audience and I can’t imagine those who haven’t seen the other films buying a ticket, but The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 also offers an entertaining time at the movies for more casual viewers and is a fitting end to the series.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review by Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

For the past four years, the Twilight films have been a yearly release, starting with the pretty good Twilight, followed by the sort of boring New Moon, the entertaining Eclipse, and last year’s Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – the only one in the series I really did not enjoy at all.  So, it was with a slight hesitation that I went into Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – would it be the sort of unpleasant experience I had at the last one?  Thankfully not – the series, I am pleased to report, goes out on a high note in my book.  This film is entertaining, and provides a few twists both for those who haven’t and have read the book.

In this film, the daughter that Edward (Robert Pattinson), and Bella (Kristin Stewart) had at the end of the last film is now growing rapidly everyday.  And as young Renésmee gets older, questions are raised with the governing vampire powers of the Volturi, led by Aro (Michael Sheen).  Is this young girl going to remain an immortal child, completely illegal in the vampire world?  And so with their suspicions, they plan to confront the Cullens, who are raising witnesses and forces of their own, should they have to fight.

What entails is an entertaining film with a standoff that led to a few gasps in the theatre as a certain twist was revealed.  I wouldn’t think of spoiling it for you.  The actors this time around also seem to be having a really good time, and there are plenty of funny lines and scenes, in particular one between Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and Bella’s father Charlie (Billy Burke).  The vampires still move around super fast and sparkle (albeit a bit inconsistently), and the wolves are still bear sized, but I’ve gotten used to it by now.  In fact, it is more amusing than anything else and the filmmakers finally seem to be aware of this.  The special effects are fun to watch although certainly not completely realistic, and the script is still what it is, but that’s fine too.  Worth a note though, is the score by Carter Burwell which works well in the film.

While there were kids in the auditorium where I viewed the film, it really is not appropriate for those under 12 or 13 (it’s PG-13 in the states and the rating makes sense).  But for the rest of us, it is a ton of fun – if you’ve seen the rest of the films you’ll definitely want to see this one, although even if you haven’t, this is the one film in the series that seems like it could stand on its own and you wouldn’t be too lost since it explains itself pretty well.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review by Nicole

*** (out of 4)

The Twilight Saga is finally over.  But unlike Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Part 2 is a lot of fun, ending the series on a high note.  Little Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) is cuter than ever and growing at an alarming rate.  This captures unwanted attention from the Volturi, who mistake her for vicious “immortal child,” an ancient breed of undead tykes.  It is now up to the Cullens and the wolves to join up to prove Renesmee is just a rapidly growing but otherwise normal and very sweet little half-human, half-vampire little girl.

Good vampires from all over the world come to Forks, combining their superpowers to protect Renesmee, who now appears to be around seven in human years.  This leads up to a shocking battle sequence with a surprising twist.  Both wolf lovers and vampire fans should stick it out to the end, despite what is seen on screen.  The film’s ending is satisfying, with a final flash forward before the credits.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is completely bloodless.  While there are still disturbing elements, for once Bella (Kristen Stewart) actually has some sense when she is concerned about Jacob’s (Taylor Lautner) borderline pedophiliac interest in her daughter, overall Breaking Dawn – Part 2 makes up for the mess that Part 1 was.  Yes, there are bursts of violence, including fight sequences where vampire heads pop off like Barbie dolls, wolves get killed and a flashback to the days of “immortal children.”  There is also a scene where Bella munches on a cougar, which isn’t really violence, although when will filmmakers learn to leave cats alone?

But Breaking Dawn – Part 2 also has good characters, a fun plot and a beautiful musical score by Carter Burwell, including the saga’s haunting theme.  I really liked the scene where Edward (Robert Pattinson) is teaching Renesmee the piano.  Robert Pattinson is a musician in real life.  I also love the natural setting where The Twilight Saga is set, much of which is filmed in the currently unprotected Great Bear Rainforest.  I hope that fans of Twilight will take a stand to protect wilderness places such as the GBR from oil companies, loggers, developers and trophy hunters.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is, along with Eclipse, probably the best in the series.  This is a fitting end to an entertaining saga.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review by Maureen

*** (out of 4)

All good things must come to an end and Breaking Dawn – Part 2 does a good job wrapping up the five film Twilight saga.  Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is now a wife, a new mother and is quickly getting her teeth into her new reality as a full-fledged vampire.

It’s amazing to watch Bella run around barefoot through the woods at vampire hyper-speed, tracking animals so she can feed and control her desire for human blood.  Supportive vampire husband Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is both impressed and surprised when Bella takes down a cougar that was going after a deer she was stalking.  Her strength and powers are more than the couple imagined they would be, not that Edward’s complaining about her stamina in the bedroom.

But Bella’s newfound assets as a vampire are not the only changes the couple has to deal with.  Their newborn daughter Renesmee is aging at an abnormally fast rate.  It seems that before they can even play peek-a-boo with the little tyke, she’s four, then seven, then eleven.  Little Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) is a lovely child who has special powers of her own.  The half-human, half-vampire child makes the Italian Volturi clan, led by the scary looking Aro (Michael Sheen) very nervous.

The future-seeing Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) predicts a showdown between the Cullens and the Volturi before the snow sticks on the fround.  Fortunately for Renesmee, her mother’s shape-shifting wolf friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) has imprinted on the child, (it’s a wolf thing, according to him), and will protect her until the end of time.  Jacob and his wolf clan are instrumental in resolving things between the Cullens and the Volturi in the final showdown.

The showdown between the Cullens and the Volturi come winter is the high point of this movie.  Be prepared to be shocked and entertained in the high intensity scenes that take place.  Many new characters and plenty of older ones all come together in the name of challenging Renesmee’s validity in the vampire clan.  The supporters that the Cullens manage to find around the world are interesting to say the least, including two old school “I vant to drink your blood” vampires.

There is an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek tone throughout Breaking Dawn – Part 2, and this is a far more entertaining movie to watch than Part 1.  The special effects in Part 2 are still as cheesy as ever.  The wolves are still freakishly large and the vampires running and leaping at hyper-speed is still amusing.  The dialogue is also predictably cheesy and delivered with just the right amount of camp.  But all involved give solid performances, with Michael Sheen continuing to be a scene stealer.  The three leads, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Launter also all seem to be enjoying playing their parts for one last time.

The Twilight franchise saved the best for last and Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is solid entertainment for forever Twihards and more casual fans.  This one’s worth seeing on the big screen and again at home on disc.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review by Tony

*** (out of 4)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 begins with newborn vampire Bella (Kristen Stewart) discovering her powers and accepting the special bond between Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and her daughter by Edward (Robert Pattinson), named Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), whose rapid development comes to the attention of Volturi leader Aro (Michael Sheen). If found to be an immortal child, her whole coven would be deemed threats to the vampire race, subject to execution. To prove that Renesmee poses no threat, the Cullens recruit a number of supporters ready to challenge the approaching Volturi army.

Just short of two hours, the film moves along at a nice pace, with a clever script and good cast that don’t take themselves too seriously. Stewart earns top billing this time, even upstaging both Pattinson and Lautner, though Sheen as always steals every scene in which he appears. We are also treated to an amusing assortment of stereotypical characters including Transylvanian partners, IRA militants and rainforest natives, with various gifts reminiscent of the X-Men mutants. There is a twist at the end sure to delight both readers and non-readers of the original books.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 brings the five part Twilight series to a satisfying end, not only for its target audience of fan girls but also for the rest of us.

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Consensus: The final entry in the popular franchise, director Bill Condon closes the series on a high note with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, an entertaining film that is a lot of fun for both casual viewers and dedicated Twihards.  *** (Out of 4)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather Von Zuben permalink
    November 17, 2012 12:30 am

    Well, I have to say that this is my favourite film of the franchise. I loved the Twilight books and have seen all the movies which have not been as good as the books and it bothered me now much of the books were left out. However, this movie has in my opinion followed the book to a tee, even with the surprise twist near the end. I had figured out in my mind what they were going to do but even I was shocked and amazed at how they pulled it off. I loved the trip down memory lane at the end and A Thousands Years is one of my favourite songs to have come out of the Twilight Soundtracks. I would have loved to have seen more of Robert Pattinson playing the piano but that is just my music background speaking. The pacing was great, the movie had lots of laughs and I will probably see it at least one more time (I have seen it twice now) and can’t wait to get my own copy to add to my collection. 4 stars for me.

    Like

    • November 17, 2012 2:00 am

      We’re glad that you enjoyed the film, Heather! It’s nice to get the perspective of a hardcore fan, and we totally agree about the twist ending. It’s always great when an adaptation is able to pull off a few surprises, which is just one of the reasons why we all thought this was the best of the series.

      We always appreciate your comments and thank you for adding your own thoughts to our reviews! 🙂

      -John C.

      Like

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