“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” – Review By Laurie Coker

Today, a student accused me of bias when I told her I have not liked any of the Twilight films. I haven’t read the books either, but then I have no interest in such dribble. If biased means looking at the quality of a film based on entertainment value, quality of acting and story and other such points, then I am indeed guilty. I believe I attend far too many screenings to be considered too biased, since, I make every effort to offer merit where deserved. I simply look at what is good or bad, entertaining or not, through my own eyes. Luckily, I am not the target audience for the Twilight Saga, because quite simply, I find the whole ordeal idiotic – even this final (thankfully) showing.

Since this newest The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is a part two, seeing the first is helpful, although viewers can catch up pretty quickly and when the film opens, we find Bella (Kristen Stewart – newly a vampire), Edward (Robert Pattinson) and the rest of the Cullen clan hovering around Renesmee Cullen, the half human, half vampire, child of Belle and Edward. This child is as creepy as the other members of the family, odd redish eyes and the ability to speak through touch. Soon, almost overnight, the infant grows into a young girl, apparently an effect of her bi-creature birth. We also discover that the child imprinted on Jacob (Taylor Lautner), making Bella furious with him at first, but then all seems well – a nearly happily ever after feel.

The story turns when the child is seen by Irina (Maggie Grace). She reports of her existence to the Volturi, who believe the child a danger to their kind. The every-crafty Cullens ban together and gather vampire witnesses to prove that Renesmee is mixed and therefore a threat to no one, and if necessary, to go into battle against the Volturi to protect the girl. Of course, it must come to this and director Bill Condon provides a vividly wild, albeit awkward and bloodless, battle sequence, with a particularly interesting twist (one I appreciated, even if I reviled the rest of the film).  This one glimmer (like Bella’s new body sparkle) of excitement lacks any epic oomph. Truth is, this snippet of slightly entertaining action can’t make up for the previous two-thirds of the film that offers little more than inane dialogue and a great deal of standing around. I felt, at times, like I watched a bad Spanish soap opera, with all the pregnant pauses, awkward glares and idle bantering.

From my perspective, a poorly penned, ridiculous romance is a poorly penned ridiculous romance regardless of who loves whom– perhaps made even more dismal when the lovers are oddly self-controlled immortals (or human and vampire as used to be the case).   I still contend, although she looks ridiculously far more beautiful as a living-dead person, Stewart’s Bella mouth breathes and this drives me nuts and everyone else looks so humorless, even when they try for funny, that I can’t help but wonder if they, too, found the whole ordeal as dull as dirt. Furthermore, knowing the actress recently cheated on her long time boyfriend/co-star made their love scenes and romance even more absurd and silly. And they are silly!

I help a friend who has gone back to school, with papers and studying, and she talked me into taking the over forty  mile round trip trek to south Austin for the screening, and I went almost literally kicking and screaming. Making matters more untenable, we took my car, because hers had an engine light on. I want my gas and my time back. If I could have fallen asleep sitting up in the uncomfortable, icy theatre, I would have. I sat through the entire ordeal and, despite being bad, It could have been worse.

Final Grade: D+

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