TWILIGHT sucks my freshly shaved balls! Sorry… I just needed to get that out of the way. Now, I actually didn’t hate the first TWILIGHT movie when I first saw it in the theaters. I liked the story, but thought it wasn’t executed well. I didn’t mind the performances. But then I watched it a second time before NEW MOON came out, and it was worse than I remembered. The first 3 entries I gave two stars (out of four). I like the concept of the movies, I just thought they were amateurly acted with lackluster direction. I never saw BREAKING DAWN part 1 in the theater last year. In fact, I just watched it the night before I went to my press screening for BREAKING DAWN part 2. Since they were both filmed at the same time, and was originally written (in book form) as one story. I’m going to review both movies at once here, but giving them separate star ratings.
Part 1 begins with Bella and Edward getting married. And they finally have sex! YAY! But Jacob gets upset when he finds out that she isn’t going to be turned into a vampire until after the honeymoon. Cause Edward is so much stronger than her, it’s very possible her could kill her while they’re fucking. So yes, they do it, and Edward breaks the bed. But, awwww, it’s so romantic! Horseshit! Anyway, Bella returns all pregnant. No one seems to know why or how this happened (maybe none of them had Sex Ed?). And the creature growing inside her may or may not be a fierce monster. What’s going to happen? Well, since I can’t talk about any of BREAKING DAWN 2 without spoiling the ending of part 1, here it is. She has the baby, but it kills her. But Edward turns her into a vampire at the last minute. Also, as soon as Jacob sees their baby daughter Renesmee, he is immediately drawn to her and imprints on her, which means he’s going to marry her someday, or some shit like that. The film ends with Bella opening her eyes, as they glow.
For me, this first part of BREAKING DAWN is the worst in the series, by far!!! Everything about it is unintentionally laughable. You know, at least in the first one they were trying to make it serious, but now it seems like the franchise is just parodying itself. People were making fun of Stewart’s and Patterson’s performances before, but this time the actors themselves seem to be making fun of themselves by delivering truly awful performances. This is soap opera acting! The honeymoon stuff contains some of the funniest scenes I’ve seen in a movie in quite a while, and none of that was supposed to be humorous. The skinny dipping, Bella getting ready for sex by brushing her teeth, the breaking of the bed. It’s just all so terrible. Then we get countless scenes of Jacob whining about Bella’s safety, Edward whining about Bella’s safety, and Bella just whining in general. All of the supporting characters are at their worst here. Alice, in particular, is especially annoying. She’s so perky, I just wanted to bash her fucking head in. She drove me up the wall. None of these characters are fleshed out. They have as much genuine personality as cardboard cutout versions of themselves. The child-birth scene could have been interesting, but director Bill Condon shoots it with all of these wonky shots and jarring edits that just made it lame. So yeah! I hated BREAKING DAWN part 1.
Part 2 begins with Bella waking up as a vampire. She loves her new power but can’t control it. She’s stronger than anyone else in the Cullen family, even more than that fucking meathead that Nikki Reed is seeing. Renesmee is growing at a rapid rate and before the halfway point already looks like she’s 6 years old. Bella is pissed about Jacob imprinting on her daughter, and that scene is kind of amusing because Edward is chuckling as his wife chews Jacob out. But things get complicated when a distant relative of the Cullen’s, Irinia, sees Renesmee and mistakes it as an Immortal. You see there’s this whole backstory on Immortals and …. fuck it. I’m not explaining it. They’re just really evil, okay? Anyway… Renesmee ISN’T an Immortal, but the Cullen’s need to prove it by having a bunch of their vampire friends testify on their behalf to the Volturi (the vampire order), which the leader, Aro, is on his way with his cult of vampires to destroy the child. Edward, Bella, Jacob and his wolf pack, the Cullen’s and all of their relatives band up to confront the Volturi on an open snowy battlefield for a big finale. And unlike the book, there’s a HUGE battle.
There is a lot of shit going on here. Over a dozen new characters are introduced, and since the film is under 2 hours, no one gets the right amount of screen time for you to fully invest in them. While I like the story better here than in the previous films, the execution is still about the same. The acting is atrocious, the directing is not good, and the visual effects would have been dated back in 1995. They look terrible. The CGI work is embarrassing. I know the vampires are supposed to move fast, but I hate the way how they speed everything up when they move. It’s like Benny Hill! Oh yeah! And the CGI face on the baby! What the fuck were they thinking?!? When Renesmee is a newborn, her face is an obvious special effect. It was really distracting. And even when she gets older, she still has an artificially looking face. I guess I didn’t understand why the hell they would do that. It would have been better if it was just a normal baby and child. In fact, this entire franchise falls to the victim of constant bad decision-making on the filmmakers behalf.
The story is pretty convoluted this time, mostly because of all of these new characters. Why are they setting them up like they’ll actually matter in the long run? They all get a couple of minutes to shine, but every time they get screen time, it takes the focus away from Bella, Edward and Jacob, who are supposed to be the main characters. Who cares if Lee Pace likes an artificially hot vampire blonde?!? She zaps him with her electric power and he falls in love with her. But she doesn’t seem into him, which doesn’t matter cause the next time you seem them they’re holding hands. Great characterizations, guys! Speaking of super powers, I guess every vampire has a power and Bella gets the force field thing. Whatever. If I ever become a vampire, I hope that I get a power that would be able to stop crap movies like this from being made.
As I said, the movie ends with this huge battle, as the Cullens (and friends) pit again the Vulturi. There are some neat things here. I was surprised by how violent it was for a PG13 movie. Even though it’s mostly bloodless, countless heads are ripped off of vampire bodies. It’s crazy! The best thing about this sequence was that some of the characters that I’ve always hated get beheaded, which got me cheering! YAY! But, even though the action is sloppy fun, it’s completely out of character from the rest of the series. It definitely doesn’t feel like it belongs here. I brought a friend who read the book with me, and she said there was no big action scene at the finale. So my guess is that the studio execs saw the latest HARRY POTTER movie and said” Hey! We need to have a big battle scene just like that one, and we can have every main and secondary character have their moments to shine during the battle. If Harry Potter can do it, we can too!”. It feels so tacked on and forced. The film also ends with a big cop-out, which made the entire theater grown, and made me say, “What the fuck?” out loud.
Yes. The acting is still terrible. Kristen Stewart seems to get worse with every film and this one is no exception. And is it me or does it look like she lost 20 pounds, cause she looks like shit. Robert Patterson still says his dialogue like he really has to take a big dump. Taylor Lautner’s tough guy performance seems so forced that I laughed out loud when he tries to sound mean when he says, “Time to get this show on the road”. He even seemed to have a hard time saying that line. Couldn’t the director have the actor do a second take? Sheesh! I have always liked Billy Burke as Bella’s father, and he’s fine here. Ashley Greene is bad. Nikki Reed is bad. Peter Fettucine is bad. Jackson Rathbone! Fuck my life, this guy can’t even stand perfectly still correctly as he constantly mugs the camera. I just want to smash his face! Michael Sheen is a great actor, but he seems to know he’s in a horrible film so he gives an equally horrible performance. Everyone busted out laughing during a moment when Aro delivers a supposed creepy, evil laugh. It’s so bad! Poor Dakota Fanning. She’s all dressed up and has nothing to do. I mean, literally nothing to do… but give blank stares. This movie also doesn’t help to prove that Maggie Grace has any talent. And Lee Pace…. shit…. he’s terrible as a douchebag vampire. And then there’s these 2 Dracula sounding vampires that seemed like they could very well be John Travolta’s goon friends from GREASE. They definitely tried desperately to be funny like those characters did.
Okay. I get it. I think I can see the guilty pleasure appeal of the franchise. Everyone I talk to that likes these movies admits their shortcomings. Every Twi-Hard I know complains about the acting and what they did to the books, but then they say that they still like the movies. That doesn’t make any sense to me. If a movie sucks, it sucks, right? But you know, the BREAKING DAWN movies weren’t made for me. They were made for people who like TWILIGHT. And I don’t like TWILIGHT. Unlike most TWILIGHT fans, I actually like my movies to have good acting, good visual effects, good dialogue, and decent direction. 5 movies and 4 directors later, they still haven’t gotten it right. I don’t think it would be hard to make these stories good. I actually like the premise to the TWLIGHT SAGA, but they are presented in the same way a bad CW show is, like EVERWOOD or THE HILLS. It’s a teen soap opera. Do you like the OC? Well, then you’re in luck! Cause that’s TWILIGHT, except there are vampires and werewolves and more people take their shirts off.
I’m not sure why I even bother to review these movies. TWILIGHT fans are going to see these regardless of what I think. They’re going to like BREAKING DAWN part 2, just because it’s TWILIGHT. They’re blinded. Even though they’ll be watching an extremely flawed film, they would never admit it’s a bad movie. Now, my Twilight fan friend I brought enjoyed herself. She had some problems with some of the changes the movie made, but she still said that it was good. She told me she gave it three and a quarter stars, which I found amusing. I respect her opinion and all other Twi-Hards. I guess I have the STAR WARS prequels. Even though they’re flawed, I still love them. I even love the rotten performances, so maybe that’s what TWILIGHT fans are like. They love the bad stuff right along with the good stuff, just like I do with the latest STAR WARS films. I can accept that. But for me, these movies are shit!
So, finally, the franchise has come to an end, and it’s one of the worst in the series. These movies have become one big joke, with hokey acting, slapdash visuals and Kindergarten dialogue. BREAKING DAWN part 1 is the worst of the bunch though. It doesn’t even have heads coming off in that one! It felt like such a parody that it might as well have been directed by those jerks who made DISASTER MOVIE and EPIC MOVIE. BREAKING DAWN part 2 has a cool battle at the end, but loses points for the battle being completely unnecessary and out of character with the rest of the series. And it also sucks because it still stars all of the actors from the previous. Boom!
Years from now, THE TWILIGHT SAGA is going to be remembered as one of the worst fantasy franchises of all time. I guarantee you that these movies aren’t going to hold up at all. Even fans are going to look back 20 years from now and go, “Man, what the hell was I thinking?” I think most fans like the idea of TWLIGHT more than they like the actual movies. But I’m not afraid to let you all know that these are simply not good movies. It’s hard to believe that both parts of BREAKING DAWN were directed by the same guy who made KINSEY, DREAMGIRLS and GOD AND MONSTERS. It’s heartbreaking to see such a talented filmmaker waste his time here.
BREAKING DAWN PART 1 – ★ (out of ★★★★)
- Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements.
- Running time: 1hr 57min.
BREAKING DAWN PART 2 – ★½ (out of ★★★★)
- Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity.
- Running time: 1hr 55min.