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Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, The

Summit Entertainment // PG-13 // November 16, 2012
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Anrdoezrs]

Review by Jeff Nelson | posted November 16, 2012 | E-mail the Author

The Twilight Saga has been incredibly popular ever since the books were released. As soon as a movie deal was struck, the fans have been foaming at the mouth to see the next adaptation. Even though they enjoyed each one, the rest of us have found them to be uneventful, unintentionally funny, and an outright mess. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is supposedly the final piece of the franchise and fans are wondering if it will end on a high note. While the previous entries are simply unwatchable, this finale is clearly the best movie of the series, but that's not saying much. The previous entries featured a teenage girl constantly whining while being in the middle of a love triangle, which got stale extremely quickly. Fortunately, the final entry delivers the most this story can muster.

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) are now parents to Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), who is half mortal and half immortal. The Cullens find themselves being falsely accused by the powerful Volturi. Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) puts his feelings aside and aids in clearing their names before they're killed. Their only hope is to look for witnesses who will help prove that Renesmee was born while Bella was still a human. If they aren't able to convince the Volturi that they didn't break their laws, the Cullens will die along with anybody who has helped them.

The majority of this franchise is composed of irritating drama that takes place between Bella, Edward, and Jacob. After so many uneventful features, audiences are finally treated to something bearable. The scope has expanded from a few characters to a showdown that proves to be crucial for vampires, wolves, and humans. Our lead characters have become slightly more interesting than they were before. Bella, Edward, and jacob have all emotionally matured and moved on from their teenage angst. Bella's physical transformation is a big part of it, but she has moved out of Edward's shadow and can take care of herself. While these are welcome changes, the dialogue could have used the same treatment. There are plenty of conversations between the characters that are laughable and others that are filled with disgustingly mushy lines. Writer Melissa Rosenberg's screenplay contains some of the same issues that plagued the other films, but she has fortunately improved upon the pacing. The running time is around two hours, but there's enough going on to make it go by fairly quickly.

This motion picture could have easily turned into more of the same fodder we've had to previously endure. However, the story goes in a different direction, which allows for new characters and a new spin on the plot. Once the Cullens have reached out to numerous other vampires around the world, we're introduced to vampires with some cool special abilities. While they're worthwhile additions, their characterizations are as one-dimensional and weak as they could possibly get. These cookie-cutter characters are only in the film to appear that the Cullens have a small army. We don't need entire backstories, but some exploration of who they are would have helped. There are moments in the feature that attempt to be heartfelt, but come across as being forced and awkward. This issue is so noticeable that it pulls its viewers out of the story. Fortunately, it gets better as it goes on. Writer Melissa Rosenberg took an extremely big risk with ending. I won't ruin what happens, but it's fitting for the series. This screenplay has some pros, but it has its major drawbacks.

While there are some new characters, the original cast has returned. Kristen Stewart has improved a little bit on her acting as Bella Swan. She isn't awkwardly biting her lip through the entire movie, which is a big deal. Stewart brings a stronger female to the franchise, but she isn't entirely consistent. She's fine when she's alone with Edward or Jacob, but is unconvincing in the role of a mother. Robert Pattinson delivers more of the same as Edward. This performance isn't anything special, but it's suitable. Taylor Lautner continues to bring the most uninspired presentation out of the entire cast. He simply can't deliver any believable emotion. The remaining members of the cast are satisfactory, especially considering the dialogue they're working with. The acting department has its ups and downs, but it could have been much worse.

With all of the success these movies have received, the budget should allow for better visuals. The biggest problem with the technical side is the CG work. The wolves would look fine on their own, but the environments make them appear tacky. The digital FX progressively gets even worse with the execution of the vampires' abilities. One of them are able to control the elements and creates a wall made out of water. As soon as the water leaves the pool, it looks like a digital mess. All of these disappointing visuals are unpolished and sloppy, which is unacceptable for such a successful franchise. Fortunately, the complete opposite can be said about the audio work. This is a truly bombastic track that sounds great in the theaters and will be fantastic on Blu-ray. You'll want to crank up the sound for the big battle, which is what we've been waiting for this entire time. This is surprisingly brutal for a PG-13 rated film, as it has a large amount of decapitations during the big climax.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 brings the franchise to a close. I won't be missing the series, but millions of fans sure will. Even though this is a flawed picture, it's a huge improvement over its predecessors. The characters have finally emotionally grown and the story works. This finale is the most eventful and exciting out of the bunch, which isn't saying much, but it's a hefty difference. Some of the same issues still haunt the series, such as the acting and the dialogue, but writer Melissa Rosenberg has fortunately created a bold and risky ending. The credits are a nice farewell to audiences who have supported the franchise from start to finish. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is a problematic film, but it's better than I thought it was going to be. The fans will see this on the big screen regardless of what I say, but it's worth renting for casual moviegoers.



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