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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

Released 16 November 2012
Director Bill Condon

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Billy Burke, Chaske Spencer, Mackenzie Foy, Maggie Grace
Writer(s) Melissa Rosenberg

Wyck Godfrey, Stephenie Meyer, Karen Rosenfelt
Origin United States
Running Time 115 minutes
Genre Adventure, drama, fantasy
Rating 12A

Breaking Bad.

Call me cynical but I think the decision to break the final Twilight book into two films might have been motivated by box office return rather than artistic necessity. If Joe Wright can fit Anna Karenina into two hours then I’m sure the same could be done with Meyer’s magnum opus, which though substantial in length, isn’t exactly teeming with incident. Yet here we are with Breaking Dawn - Part 2, in which the cracks begin to show as the saga of Bella and Edward reaches its conclusion.

Whereas Part 1 ended on a gloriously bloody bang, Part 2 starts with a whimper. Having survived the birth of her half human half vampire daughter Renesmee, Bella begins life as a newborn vampire. She takes to it all easily and soon she’s jumping off cliffs and tackling mountain lions with abandon. Life is good. But this is Twilight, so we know it won’t stay that way for too long. Enter the Volturi, who believe that the Cullens have trespassed an ancient law forbidding the creation of vampire children. In an attempt to stand up to the Volturi, the Cullens call in their immortal friends from around the globe and the stage is set for a dramatic stand-off.

Tellingly this stand-off takes up a considerable chunk of the running time and it is suitably spectacular and rather cleverly handled, pulling off a neat trick in confounding the audience’s expectations and significantly improving on what was, in the book, a rather lacklustre ending. The first three quarters of the film though are disappointingly bland as director Bill Condon attempts to mask the lack of narrative content by falling back on montage sequences. Some of these are fun, especially the coming together of the differently gifted vampires but five films into the series, I’m a little tired of watching vampires sprint through a forest. A word also needs to be said about the still ropey CGI effects - if you thought the werewolves were badly rendered wait until you see baby Renesmee.

Despite some problems though, Breaking Dawn - Part 2 isn’t a bad film; I laughed out loud several times (admittedly most of this was at the flat cap wearing Irish vampire clan), Michael Sheen is tremendous fun once again and the battle sequence is startlingly effective. But overall it left me disappointed, a tentative wave goodbye rather than a thrilling send-off.

- Linda O’Brien