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'The Twilight Saga-Breaking Dawn-Part 2

The Finale to the series directed by Bill Condon

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I Was Pleasantly Surprised.... In a Way

  • Nov 30, 2012
Rating:
+4
When it comes to the Twilight movies, I enjoy immensely.  No, they're not good movies by any stretch of the imagination, but they are enjoyable bad movies because of just how laughable they really are.  The problem is that... way too many people take these movies way too seriously within their criticism and I always found that really strange.  In part because given the books they're based off of, I can't imagine why anyone WOULD watch Twilight and take it seriously.  So that has always intrigued me.  See, a bad movie that should be taken seriously is something like say... The Amazing Spider Man or The Lorax.  The Amazing Spider-Man is bad... but it's intriguingly bad.  One which you can learn from.  The Lorax is bad but in the most fascinating of ways.  But Twilight?  Twilight is like Battleship.  You already knew it was going to be bad... why the hell did you walk into the theater with such a serious mindset? 

No, I'm not joking on that.  I've actually found the people who hate Twilight that much more insufferable than the people who actually really enjoy it.  In part because the people who hate Twilight either A.) Jumped on a bandwagon or B.) decided to hate it so much it became serious business.  As for me?  I've enjoyed sort of poking fun at it since it hit store shelves. 

On the other hand, though, the one book in the series I actually did take seriously... was Breaking Dawn.  See, the books are terrible, but they're still a lot of escapist fun.  For those striving to be writers, especially, they should read those books because much like Christopher Paolini's Eragon or anything written by James Patterson after the year 2000, you learn a lot more about writing from those books than you do about the good books.  Because you learn what not to do... AND you see why it doesn't work.  So yeah, I actually like Twilight... but for the exact wrong reasons and in my mind Twilight isn't worth taking that seriously to spend a lot of time hating and dumping on.

Breaking Dawn was the exception that proves the rule.  See when Meyer wrote the first three books she wasn't writing them to try and say something or anything like that.  They were quite literally escapist books she wrote for her... and only her.  She never imagined they'd be huge successful books and she certainly didn't imagine people would read and enjoy them.  In this regard I actually give Stephenie Meyer a lot of credit.  But Breaking Dawn... was the book where Stephenie Meyer actually tried to be serious and not so surprisingly it was the worst book of the four.  Even people who really loved the previous three books ended up being emotionaly pissed off with Breaking Dawn.

But as I said, the Twilight books are bad in the sense of how candy is bad for you.  You can have some of it and be giddy at just how silly it is.  But Breaking Dawn is a different story.  In part because so much happens in the book that it has gone from being some strange escapist, romantic, fantasy to actually being a book that tries to have a message.  I'm not talking the Mormon propaganda... to me that's just another stupid thing to talk about and something bad parents say to excuse their bad parenting.  What I'm really talking about is that Breaking Dawn the book hits the ground with a stringent pro-life message and if there's one book (and film) that I wasn't sure really could've provided a discussion about Abortion to its audience... it was Twilight.  Needless to say when Breaking Dawn the film (part 1) pushed this harder I was a little unsure how to take that... because Breaking Dawn isn't mature enough to handle that and it certainly isn't mature enough to expect it's teenage target audience to be mature enough to handle it.  Notice I didn't say the film "preached" this stuff... it talks about it.  But it's a very one sided discussion that doesn't even give the other side any sort of leeway.

That being said... because I hated Breaking Dawn Part 1 (I actually didn't see that one in the theater) and because I really didn't like the book, I was hesitant to go see Breaking Dawn Part 2.  Until a friend of mine told me that the movie... was surprisingly awesome.  And you know what?  He was right.  Breaking Dawn Part 2 was surprisingly awesome. 

So before moving on, I must warn you, there will be spoilers here.

So when we watch this movie, Bella is now a vampire and all that crazy stuff now.  Who apparently doesn't have to worry about being a crazy Newborn because she's apparently so stubborn she doesn't have to worry about that.  More on that in a moment... 

But because of her daughter it turns out that Bella has upset the Volturri, who have gotten this impression that a child was turned into a vampire and that's wrong for reasons that actually make sense.  The threat of the Volturri becomes real that the Cullens have to prepare themselves for the final battle.  And that's pretty much what Breaking Dawn Part 2 is.  It's a movie that's almost nothing but resolution.  It doesn't focus quite as heavily on the Bella and Edward romance so much as it focuses on trying to tie up all the loose ends and bringing it all together.  This involves a whole mass of vampires who come together at the end to join the Cullens and ultimately fight the Volturri. 

Now, as you've probably heard... Breaking Dawn the book is probably the most anti-climactic thing ever.  I hate to bring about comparison to Harry Potter because that's just unfair to Harry Potter... but part of the reason Harry Potter worked so well is that we actually worried about the characters and there were actually consequences for their actions.  Both good and bad.  Breaking Dawn the book wasn't disappointing because of the cheesy romance and all the stupid fluff.  It was terrible because of the way it ended.  See, in the book it ends with the Volturri showing up and the good guys and bad guys prepare to have a battle and then... they just sit there and talk.  That's all they do.  They sit there and talk while Bella puts up a protective shield.  Alice then brings back another half-vampire and half-human thing to show that Renesmee is virtually harmless and then the bad guys leave.  All that build up to a battle and NOTHING happens.  No characters are forced to think about what they've lost.  No characters are forced to learn anything and no character has to sacrifice anything.  There's virtually nothing at stake.  Fiction can survive characters that don't die.  Fiction can survive poorly constructed characters for amusement... but one thing fiction can't survive is having absolutely nothing at stake for the characters.  And that's what Breaking Dawn did.  It had nothing at stake for the characters.

So naturally, I expected Breaking Dawn to end just like that.  No consequences for anyone and no actual battle.  Something incredibly anti-climactic. 

Instead what I got... was the fucking battle I wanted!  And guys... it was awesome.  No, I'm not kidding.  A Twilight movie has one of the best battle sequences I saw all year.  That final fight was awesome.  People on both sides are dying.  Main characters die.  Bad guys die.  And they die in horrifying ways.  People's heads get ripped off, wolves tear vampires apart.  You see vampires using their super powers to do certain things.  It's a HUGE and epic battle where suddenly things are at stake.  Lives are lost and the characters are actually forced to make a stand.  It was surprising.  I had moments where I cheered, moments where my jaw dropped in horror and moments where I actually found myself WORRYING about the characters and wondering just who was going to die and who was not.  The danger they were in suddenly felt (for the first time ever in Twilight) real.  And yes, this battle was pretty amazing.  I'd recommend anyone go and see Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 JUST for that battle. 

The rest of the movie is the same joke the franchise has always been and yeah it's hysterical... but I'm getting the sense the cast and crew seemed to know that now as you don't get the sense that they're taking themselves seriously anymore either.  The first Twilight movie didn't try.  The second tried too hard.  The third actually had an exciting fight... but this one?  At this point you get the sense the director said, "Fuck it, we know this is terrible, guys... so just have fun and hopefully this'll all be over soon."  I imagine when the whole thing was over Robert Pattinson danced a little jig and celebrated (if you couldn't tell by now... Robert Pattinson really hated these movies).

And then that battle happens and it's actually serious, enjoyable and a lot of fun.  No, I'm not kidding.  And it may be because my expectations were really that low, but really I think it was because I actually had some fun..

But here's the one GLARING problem with this movie.  That battle you saw turns out to be a dream.  No, I'm not kidding it's a dream.  I was disappointed in that... Mostly because the people who made the movies were so torn about following the books to a tee and trying to be inventive.  I get a lot of flack for saying how terrible Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is and the excuse is always because, "It's closer to the book than the other movies," and that's actually the enormous problem I have with them.  I mean, don't get me wrong there's also the idea that Chris Columbus is just a terrible terrible terrible director who hasn't made a good movie since ever.  But mostly it's because the first Harry Potter movie is so concerned with staying true to the book that it's boring as hell. 

For Breaking Dawn Part 2 the issue seems to be that the people making this movie totally didn't like the ending of the book either... but figured they had to stick it in somehow.  Basically they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.  And sure it's a cheap shot... but here's the part that I'm very amused by.  The battle that we see before the ending... even Twilight fans REALLY loved.  They seemed to love seeing some of their favorite characters that they'd spend so much time becoming acquainted with die.  Not because they WANTED to see them die, but because they got to have that experience of wondering if they'd survive and wondering how the situation would turn out.  See, ultimately what makes the Twilight books so bad isn't the mundane love story or characters it's actually that the books are relatively safe.  They don't take risks in the slightest.  From the second book onward we never get the sense that the characters are in any real danger and I don't see what the point of building to such a huge climax is if the characters are not in any danger.  That's really the only major issue the books suffer from.  Everything else pales in comparison to the idea of just how anti-climactic it was.  By now we all know that Bella is a shell of a character that readers are supposed to project their image on.  And we know Edward is supposed to be a fantasy.  But that meant that the OTHER characters we never got a chance to really worry about and see if they were in any real danger. 

Of course this is also what makes the, "Yeah, it was all a dream..." so darn disappointing.  Because you just KNOW the director here really wanted THAT battle to be the ending... but was probably forced to make it end the same way as the goddamn book or else really piss off fans (who in reality... didn't like the ending either but you know how ANYONE freaks out when a movie based on a book isn't EXACTLY like the book).  And to me that's such a cop out when you've created a sequence that tense and that emotionally investing for your audience.  Imagine if at the end of The Empire Strikes Back you saw that Darth Vader was Luke's father and then five minutes after that Darth Vader wakes up to an imperial soldier handing him a paternity test that said he wasn't the father.  You'd wanna punch the director right in the crotch for that.  And that's what I wanted to do here.  I wanted to get on a plane, fly to Bill Condon's home, ring his door bell and then punch him right in the crotch, watch him writhe in pain and fall over and then kick him again while he was on the ground.  The one time when Twilight truly reaches... and then it's not allowed to.  Not because the director or the cast didn't want to.  But because they were so concerned with sticking as true to the book as possible.  And I'm sorry to say guys... that sucks.

But on the other hand, I'm actually still glad I got that sequence in the first place.  It made up for all the shortcomings the movie had.  Ya know, the same old same old.  Bad emotionless acting etc. etc. 

The point is this, regardless of how I felt I actually had a lot of fun with this movie.  I laughed (albeit at points for the wrong reason) and I rather enjoyed what I saw.  It took five movies but yeah... Breaking Dawn Part 2 actually doesn't suck.  It WILL suck if you're the type of movie goer who takes things a little too seriously (and if you're seeing Breaking Dawn Part 2 with that mentality then something is wrong with you).  I'm not expressing it's a GOOD movie, I'm only saying it's actually an enjoyable one.  I'd probably sit here and say, "Yeah, go see it," but I already know you guys aren't going to listen to that kind of thing when it concerns a movie that... ya know, is actually popular. 

Point being, I came out of theater actually enjoying it.  Even if for the wrong reasons I still enjoyed it.  It's hard to give a rating here because it's not a well made movie.  Just one that doesn't suck and is actually enjoyable. 

What did you think of this review?

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December 01, 2012
Looks like a good action packed film to me!
 
December 01, 2012
great battles.....people dying? Hmmm...I stopped watching the movies in the franchise after the 2nd movie, but I suppose I can try and catch up when the last two chapters hit DVD.
 
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I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Movies, Action, Thriller, Romance, Vampires, Love, Funny Movie Reviews, Violence, Werewolves, Dakota Fanning, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Peter Facinelli, Twillight Bestselling Novels, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Green, Mother And Daughter Relationship, Billy Burke, Stephanie Meyers, Michael Sheen, Elizabeth Reaser, Bill Condon, The Twilight Sagabreaking Dawnpart 2, Nikki Reed

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