With Bella now a badass, the final ‘Twilight’ flick is a spectacle fans can finally sink their teeth into
- Last Updated: 12:08 PM, November 15, 2012
- Posted: 10:42 PM, November 14, 2012
Breaking Dawn Pt.2
Needs more polish. Running time: 111 minutes. Rated PG-13 (language, drug use, violence). At the Lincoln Square, the E-Walk, others.
The anemic Bella gets a much needed transfusion in the cheerfully hammy final chapter of this teen saga.
After spending the past four films being toted around by her two chest-thumping paramours like some sort of monster-boy accessory, it’s mighty heartening to see Bella (Kristen Stewart) finally stand on her own two feet. Thanks to her conversion, at the end of “Breaking Dawn - Part 1,” to immortality, she now has the same superpowers as Edward (Robert Pattinson), her pasty, brooding soul mate.
If only the whole movie was devoted to Bella’s new lifestyle of arm-wrestling, careening through the air and tearing apart wildlife per her “vegetarian” vamp diet. Sure, it’s hokey — the watchword of this whole series —but fun. Especially watching Edward wince and whine as she grabs him lustfully: “It’s your turn not to break me.” (Cue the sighs of a million Twihards remembering this summer’s gossip-mag covers. Yes, they actually did boo KStew during the opening credits!)
But there’s half an enormous book’s worth of plot to get to, so we move on to the central concern: Bella and Edward’s half-immortal baby daughter, the problematically named Renesmee, has been misidentified as entirely a vampire, apparently a big transgression with the Volturi. This Italian governing body of the undead, headed by the howlingly campy Michael Sheen as leader Aro, is set on doing her in.
And so the Cullen clan (Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone) must take a break from their usual routine of leaning blankly against the walls of their Goth Pottery Barn house in the woods, and get busy recruiting undead friends and relatives to bear witness to their cause.
They hail from the far East and the Amazon, from Alaska and from Ireland; one standout, Lee Pace’s amusing bohemian vamp Garrett, is found feasting on a second-rate street musician in a back alley (“I hated the first British invasion, and I hate this one even more!”). Another two, Vladimir and Stefan (Guri Weinberg and Noel Fisher), have flown directly in from Transylvania, judging by their eyerolling Dracula accents.
And then there’s Jacob (Taylor Lautner), Bella’s long-suffering also-ran werewolf pal, who has “imprinted” on Renesmee. This means, he explains, that he’s identified her as his soul mate, despite her being an infant (and despite the fact that he’s spent the past four films mooning over her mom). “It’s a wolf thing,” he pleads, as Bella throws him across the lawn repeatedly. (Long time coming, buddy. Long time coming.)
Billy Burke, as Bella’s rumpled dad Charlie, is always a welcome sight too — especially given his mostly natural coloring and seemingly actual hair. (Over the course of these movies, the sodden wigs and the troweled-on makeup have increased exponentially; most of the other actors now look as if they’re in some sort of supernatural telenovela.)
As it so often does in these books, the action all comes down to a faceoff on a snowy Pacific Northwest field. But director Bill Condon clearly decided to go for broke with this one, which veers abruptly and delightfully into full-on campy horror movie.
Finally, someone took the source material at its terribly written word and stopped treating the whole affair so seriously.
It wouldn’t be fair to go into much detail about the way things shake out, but suffice to say Italian baddies like brother and sister Jane and Alec (Dakota Fanning and Cameron Bright) are given the sort of treatment fans will likely be cheering for, and Condon departs enough from the plot of the book that Twihards will have a few surprises in store rather than just waiting to hear all the relevant lines doled out.
They’ll still be a little sad to see this silly series wrap up, as am I. Over the past four years this much-maligned franchise has certainly descended to B-movie lows, but it’s also been partly responsible for spawning one of the fastest-growing movie demographics out there: the rabid fangirl. And she’s only going to get hungrier.