“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part One” – Review by MovieManMenzel

Breaking Dawn Part One is the best film of the franchise and no, I am not a Twihard.

The time is here gentleman, so let the whining begin. The first half of the final chapter of the Twilight Saga will be hitting theaters tomorrow and the lovers and haters have already began to battle it out all over the net. The amount of hate that stems from this movie almost intrigues me as much as the amount of love the series has. I, however, am a man who stands in the middle. This is not the worst franchise to ever come out and it’s certainly not the best. What is it then, you may ask? It’s mediocre, just like the majority of Hollywood films that are released each year. Twilight has a huge mass appeal that no one can define so I basically label it as a franchise that speaks to the sexes. A lot of females love it and a lot of males hate it. I am indifferent so as you read my review below, you will get a real and honest take on the film rather than some biased take of love or hatred.

Breaking Dawn Part One starts off right where Eclipse left off. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) have made it to their wedding day and it’s as elaborate and as cheesy as you can imagine. The happy couple marries about 30 minutes into the film and then ventures off to Rio for the honeymoon. The honeymoon is when the moment all the Twihards have been waiting for as Bella loses her virginity to Edward. After this happens, Bella becomes pregnant with what the film labels a demon baby. The baby is slowly killing her and yet she does not wish to give up the baby to save her life. This is pretty much the entire focus of part one, which ends with a scene that leaves those who love these films counting down the days until the “epic” conclusion.

I can totally understand why people have issues with this franchise, especially males. The franchise is basically about forbidden love with some really creepy elements of obsession mixed in. If you look at these books/films from a clear perspective, you will realize just how weird of a franchise this is and that is why it is so fascinating to me. I don’t get why it has the mass appeal it does. The males who hate these films, from what I have gathered, are bothered by the fact that women have fallen in love with these two factious characters who broke all the rules that the world has written as to what a vampire or a werewolf should be or look like. They also probably don’t get why anyone woman finds either character attractive and are annoyed by the transparent and poorly developed storyline.

Personally, I can see past the fact that they are werewolves and vampires. I don’t get the mass appeal of the two male leads either, but than again I don’t have a vagina and don’t swing that way so I wouldn’t understand it. To me, Twilight is more about women falling in love with the bad boy and as much as no one wants to admit it, every female at least who I have encountered, has had a desire or has dated a bad boy. That is all this franchise really is about, the average girl falling in love with the mysterious bad guy. It’s unique because its told through some weird vampire/werewolf storyline that really makes no logical sense any way you slice it, but it tries to be different and I give it credit for that even if its incredibly flawed. But enough about me trying to dissect the franchise as a whole…lets get to the actual review of Breaking Dawn Part One.

The film is probably the most easy to follow out of all the films. Bella and Edward are happy so they get married. Jacob, who was the best friend all his life and got the shit end of the stick, is not happy about the wedding but supports her because that’s what good friends do. The rest of the film as I said earlier is about this unknown baby/demon/fetus/vampire that is growing inside Bella, which creates a build up of emotion that feels really bloated. In all fairness, I am not sure if Breaking Dawn really needed to be broken down into two films. This entire first half focuses about an hour or so of its time just on how Bella has a fetus or baby (and yes there is a scene where the Cullens are arguing with one another about if its a baby or a fetus) inside her. It builds some suspense, but seems rather long and uneventful leading up to what I will admit was a solid cliffhanger that peaked my interest.

The side story of Jacob trying to protect Bella is interesting, but due to the poor storytelling it comes off as rather forced and silly. You see the whole subplot is that if Bella dies, Jacob’s werewolf family wants to seek revenge on the vampire family (The Cullens) for taking a human life. It’s really simplified far to much and that is ultimately what hurts the film and the franchise in general. The writing is simply sloppy and full of plot holes. The entire franchise was directed by a solid slate of directors ranging from Catherine Hardwicke to Bill Condon and they all added something to each film, but its the story that ultimately makes this film flawed.

Breaking Dawn is filled with moments that make the audience laugh at loud. Some are intentionally funny like some of the wedding speeches, while others are just funny because of how weird and awkward they are. Spoiler Alert: the famous scene where Jacob falls in love with the baby near the end of the film is just creepy. It really is. I don’t get and I won’t even try to explain it. The entire baby name scene is just so cheesy and over the top that its funny. It’s like all these characters are for some strange reason obsessed with one another. I don’t get it but it does add a ton of unintentional comedy to the film.

The acting in this franchise has never been that good, however, Taylor Lautner as Jacob to me is always the worst. He always has that same expression on his face and he just always comes off as awkward. He is the only actor out of the three leads who I feel might not make it past this franchise. Kristen Stewart outside this franchise has done some great work from Welcome to the Rileys to Adventureland. She is a solid actress,but sadly this film doesn’t show off her talent, even though out of the leads, I feel she is usually the best. Pattinson is also average at best, but again has more talent than this franchise leads you to believe. I think all these actors have fallen victim to a poorly written story with poorly written characters so they are looked upon negatively when that doesn’t seem like the case except for Lautner who the verdict is still out on.

All in all, I actually had some chuckles here and there when I watched the film. The film is far more entertaining than the previous films and the build up is actually solid even though it feels a bit longer than it needed to be. The film itself looks really beautiful and the scenes are really well shot. The biggest flaw is the storyline above all else. The acting is mediocre, but it is what it is at this point. This definitely isn’t the Harry Potter films where the leads get better with age, because as I said I am not sure the acting is that bad, but rather how poorly the characters are written. The majority of females who have fallen in love with this franchise will more than likely love it and the guys who are forced to see this will just be complaining for days at end. Its really not that bad of a film and Bill Condon’s direction definitely helps the weak the story. While I will never say any Twilight film is a great film, this film is a step above the rest and for those who are Twihards they will love it.

MovieManMenzel’s final rating for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One is a 6 out of 10.

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