I am not a fan of the Twilight film franchise. I do not foresee myself reading any Stephanie Meyer book, ever. However, I would never want to truly disparage an entire fandom. I adore Supernatural and that certainly takes away some nerd cred in some eyes. I am sure the Twilight characters and stories Meyer created have served a purpose for her numerous fans. Now, I can and do hope that purpose isn’t to encourage moony females to surrender their entire lives for a guy because he “sparkles.” (I had to say it, come on!).
Not being a Twilight fan has not stopped me from having to watch the entire film series, however. My desire to be a good friend supersedes the persnickety critic in me. So, I have watched with good humor each installment. Until now. Breaking Dawn Part 2 did not only finally break the camel’s back, it did a number of unspeakable things to that poor camel.
This is not really a review of the film. And truly, I promise even though I do not like Twilight, I will not judge you if you do. As I mentioned, at least one friend is a Twi-hard. But there are a few things I need to get off of my chest because I just don’t get it. And there will be spoilers.
First off, seriously, Renesmee? What the hell kind of name is that? Please do not have a rash of babies born in in 2012-2014 with that name, please, please. It must be said, though, the actress who plays her, Mackenzie Foy, is an adorable beauty.
And Bella? The entire film I just kept thinking to myself “Bella is a selfish b-word.” I really do not like to curse, so yes, I really was thinking “b-word.” Maybe it’s more in depth in the book, or maybe it’s just Kristin Stewart’s cold fish school of acting skills, but seriously, Bella just seemed like “everything be damned but Mr. Sparkles.” She was portrayed as unbothered at the thought of her father believing she had died and was angry at Jacob for telling him the truth. Plus, Bella never really seems to appreciate Jacob’s friendship and the sacrifices he’s made for her and her new vampire family. Would it have hurt to include one heartfelt speech from Bella to the wolves and Jacob? Plus, perhaps it’s nit-picky, but way too many closeups of Bella that really didn’t communicate anything.
What angered me most in this final installment, though, was the lack of cost. I don’t know if the book ended the same way, but this movie’s ending felt cheap and like a big cop out. Fans of Joss Whedon get our hearts broken by some of his choices and we complain that he kills off beloved characters, but Whedon’s world has costs. The actions and risks the characters take have consequences. Those strong feelings of grief the deaths elicit from fans make us feel far more invested in the story and make the fiction seem truer in our hearts. And Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, those books are all about costs. There is no such visceral experience in Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2.
Due to a bitter Irina misconstruing something she sees, she unwittingly makes a false report to the Volturi. So, the Cullens are forced to travel the world to find other vampires to witness that Bella and Edward’s child Renesmee is not a vampire made child, that she is human. Eventually, many of the vampires decide it is time they stand up to the Volturi and align themselves with the Cullens. The film reaches the final scene, a standoff between the Cullens, their vampire and werewolf allies and the Volturi and their black hooded army. Alice (Ashley Greene who probably could have played a much better Bella), the vampire with the future premonitions, goes to meet the Volturi and a battle ensues. Alice witnesses her husband Jasper killed by the Volturi. Then we witness the shocking beheading of Carlisle Cullen, which actually for a moment cued a tear in my eye. A massive battle ensues and there are deaths. Vampires, wolves, and Volturi are struck down. Finally, the film had some balls. But wait, no…
Cut to Alice taking her hand off the mind reading Volturi who just witnessed the premonition of his death in that day’s battle through Alice’s mind. Both sides turn away to probably fight another day. The entire battle didn’t happen. Everyone lives and walks away. The only loss is poor Irina. For unknowingly making false claims, she alone is cut down that day by the Volturi. Cheap, I say. There was no cost or loss to Bella or the Cullens. It made the entire franchise a ball of fluff with no teeth. It was…Disney. But even Disney will shoot Bambi’s mom so that isn’t even a fair comparison.
As asides, I have to give kudos to the casting of the effervescent Lee Pace as Garrett. He was a welcome breath of fresh air on the screen. Only in his scenes did I sense any life or energy in the film. He’s definitely an actor we need to see more of and I am looking forward to seeing him in The Hobbit as Thranduil. Bravo to the cinematography. I certainly dream about moving to Washington State after each film. Finally, the music selection is always surprisingly cool. Those are the three reasons to see the movie-Pace, beautiful scenery, and good tunes.