Book: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Movie: Breaking Dawn: Part 2
Genre: Young adult, romance, vampires, werewolves, drama, teen angst, best fake-out in the history of ever, “Law & Order: Forks, Washington”
Rating: 2.12 out of 5 stars (movie), 2 out of 5 stars (book)
Summary: In the second half of a book that didn’t need to be split up into two movies, vampires of every ethnicity ever (and the Avatar) come to help stop a fight that doesn’t really ever happen, Bella is sad because she doesn’t understand the concept of forever, Jacob wants to bone a baby, there’s the most boring vampire sex in the history of the world, and the vampire marching band arrives to give the movie a plot and a little bit of entertainment. Also filler. So much filler.
Last night- or rather when the clock hit midnight and last night became today- I was in a theatre full of Twi-hards ready to mock Breaking Dawn: Part 2. It’s become one of my favorite annual traditions since Breaking Dawn: Part 1, the #1 comedy of 2011. You can read my full mock worthy review of that film HERE. If only I had been able to loudly yell through Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse, but that was before it was cool to mock Twilight.
WARNING: I very rarely include spoilers in my reviews but it is imperative to my snark filled commentary to discuss the amazing clusterfuck that is the final battle and explain why this movie wins MOST UPROARIOUS AUDIENCE REACTION OF THE YEAR.
Don’t worry, I’ll give you plenty of warning before I ruin the best fake out in Twilight cinema history.
The film opens with the most unnecessary “dramatic” opening credits of all time. Specifically, “artistic” shots of snowflakes and trees and soaring landscapes while you sit through the name of every person involved in this film. Let’s pretend it’s symbolic for Bella awakening from her cold, cock-blocker alter ego and shifting into her new vampire life. Gag.
It’s good to see there’s already filler in the first five minutes. The movie is two hours of run-time in which nothing is accomplished, might as well fill up that time with a National Geographic video.
Bella awakens to discover her new vampire senses and it is quickly apparent that Kristen Stewart is the worst vampire ever. Worse than Nic Cage, Aaliyah, Gary Oldman, Colin Farrell and Stuart Townsend combined! She seems to be under the impression that being a vampire involves lots of strange voice modulation and yelling. So much yelling. And roaring. Did I mention that she roars when she takes down a mountain lion and runs around through the forest like she just took mescaline?
Yeah, that happens. On the plus side, Andy Serkis did a great job on his motion capture work for Kristen Stewart when she scaled that mountain.
Enter Jacob, who to make up for the fact that he’s not shirtless is wearing a shirt that is skin colored. Close enough I suppose. Then the worst conversation ever happens…
BELLA: Since when do you care about Renesmee?
JACOB: Since I started having sex with her. Oh yeah, I nicknamed her Nessie.
BELLA: ROAR! ANGER! YOU NICKNAMED OUR DAUGHTER AFTER THE LOCH NESS MONSTER!?! LOUD NOISES! HULK SMASH!
I might have paraphrased a little bit. But that was about 90% accurate.
Then there’s vampire sex, which is apparently the most boring sex ever. At least the sex in part one was amusing, this is slow and involves sparkles. If vampire orgasms manifest themselves into sparkles, then these vampires are even stupider than I thought.
While Bella is enjoying her new vampire looks (read: hair extensions, eye lash extensions, eye makeup and better clothes), Jacob goes to turn into a wolf in front of Charlie. Sadly, it just turns into an awkward looking molestation scene. What would you think if Jacob showed up while you were chopping wood, he tells you he needs to show you something that may be frightening and hard to understand and then proceeds to remove his pants?
And this is all without the slow, dramatic music that makes everyone look like they plan to make out with each other.
To make a long story short, the baby is a creepy CGI baby, being an awkward fledgling vampire is pretty much the same as being Kristen Stewart and when you become one of the undead you suddenly forget to put on pants. Also: TEAM CHARLIE!
Since this is a Twilight movie, the plot doesn’t arrive for a while as the audience waits in boredom for something (anything) to happen. Then of course there’s a lot of plot all at once and the whole movie suddenly turns into “Law & Order: Forks, Washington” as Bella meets up with a mysterious lawyer named J. Jenks and Alice and Jasper leave to go find evidence to save the Volturi from killing Renesmee who they think is a vampire toddler.
Yup, the whole plot of this movie: make sure no one kills the baby.
Meanwhile, the Cullens gather their own witnesses to help save Renesmee and they go on a hunt to find the most racially diverse vampires around the globe. In fact they’re so diverse they wind up being giant racial caricatures of themselves. It’s worse than if Captain Planet had hand picked everyone.
There are the Indian vampires, one of whom is, I shit you not, a vampire Avatar (he literally has power over all four elements), Lee Pace from “Pushing Daisies”, some Russian vampires with incredibly thick accents who show up yelling, “OPA!”, a pair from Africa decked out in tribal gear who arrive with racially specific music, a Japanese vampire named Tohiro, and a ginger Irish family in scally caps who smoke out of wooden pipes.
Oh, and let’s not forget the very blonde Icelandic vampires with their super botoxed faces and white blonde hair who are somehow related to the Ice Truck Killer.
It’s worse than that scene in The Mummy 3 where a bunch of Irishmen get into a fight in a club owned by an Englishman with an ancient Egyptian theme. In China. Worse than that, and there’s not much worse than that.
Better possible vampire choices: all the Baldwin brothers.
There are a lot of montages and everyone re-enacts that one scene from Spartacus before the battle. DUN DUN DUN! They spend their pre-battle time hanging outside in the woods in tents (not intense) despite having a house twenty feet away from them. Fucking vampires.
WARNING, SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT! I’M SERIOUS, TURN AWAY NOW IF YOU CARE ABOUT THAT SORT OF THING!
Random aside: Bella even has dead eyes when she’s being used as a battering ram.
Now it’s onto my favorite part of Breaking Dawn: Part 2, the battle. I know what you’re thinking, there was no battle in Breaking Dawn, it was an anticlimactic almost battle saved by Bella’s ability to surround everyone with a shield of love.
To which I say, sort of.
The Volturi/the vampire marching band arrive in their matching outfits to dramatically remove their hoods and just look generally evil. Minus Aro (AKA Wesley Snipes on “30 Rock”) who is awesome and spends the whole time laughing the best laugh ever (I NEED A GIF OF THIS ASAP) and telling Anthony from Sweeney Todd to shut up. Meanwhile, the “good” vamps look on and the women cling to the menfolk despite the fact that they’re all deadly vampires.
Okay, so how do you have an epic battle in a movie when the book doesn’t have any battle at all? You have a battle anyway.
A crazy, insane battle where main characters like Carlisle and Jasper get decapitated and werewolves are strangled to death as the audience goes bat-shit insane because none of those characters died in the book. Then, one of the vampires creates a rift in the ground which opens up a cavern to a lava pit that more main characters can fall down. Finally, in a fit of revenge, the good guys start ripping apart all the main evil vamps and feeding them to wolves.
And just when everyone in the theatre is screaming and cheering for the good guys because they’ve just seen some pretty epic kills, the screen fills with flames and IT TURNS OUT THE WHOLE THING WAS A VISION ALICE WAS SHOWING ARO. THE WHOLE TIME!
This is when the audience completely lost their shit. Best fake out in the history of cinema. I have to applaud them for that. By the time everyone had just gone along with the changes and were embracing them, it turns out it was basically just a dream.
The battle is called off, nothing is accomplished (like in every other Twilight movie) and Aro yells out, “A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night” and the Volturi run back to Italy. The end.
Except there’s a worse epilogue than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 to sit through. We learn that Bella has the power to make montage music videos with her mind and she and Edward make out in a Monet painting and claim that no one in the history of the world has ever loved anyone as much as they love each other.
UGH! And they live happily ever after. Forever. Or at least until the sun implodes and they have to move to Jupiter.
Finally, just when you thought it was over, the music video theme continues and you have to sit through a montage of every single cast member to ever be in a Twilight movie. Literally. They even show both Victorias.
Thankfully, when it’s all over you can rejoice that you have finally earned your freedom.
At least until the inevitable reboot.