Review: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN - PART 2 (2012) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Tuesday, 20 November 2012



Oh, finally! After four highly-successful blockbuster movies (beginning with 2008's TWILIGHT and right up to 2011's THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN - PART 1), the lucrative series has come to an end with the fifth and final chapter that sees director Bill Condon back for the second round. In BREAKING DAWN - PART 1, he had a difficult task to adapt what was widely regarded the most controversial book of the series which dramatically alternated from high-school romance to darker subject matters like intimacy issues and unexpected pregnancy. He succeeded some of those elements there, but mostly failed to deliver a compelling whole due to his lackluster direction. So now he returns with THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN - PART 2, and I'm eager to see whether he saves the best for the last. For some reasons, there are slight improvements here and there. But overall, given the fact this is the final chapter of a highly-regarded series, it remains as a disappointment.

Continue where BREAKING DAWN - PART 1 has last left off, we already learn that Bella Swan has become a vampire after her new husband Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) save her during the near-death childbirth of their half-vampire/half-human hybrid daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). Now Bella feels much more alive than ever, super-strong and also super-sensitive. She tries to cope with her newfound life as a bloodsucking vampire, who trains herself to drink animals rather than humans as well as her power. At the same time, Bella and Edward are worried about Renesmee's aging process which grows at an abnormally fast rate.

But none of that are more worse when Alice (Ashley Greene) receives a psychic vision that the Volturi, lead by Aro (Michael Sheen) will be coming to kill the entire Cullen for breaking the law. Apparently the Volturi finds out about Renesmee's existence and they are misinformed that the little girl is an immortal child that could put all of their vampire kind into jeopardy.

The first half is especially long-winded, while the pacing is as slacking as it goes. Likewise, some of the dialogues from Melissa Rosenberg's tepid screenplay is cringeworthy. All the acting parts here are mixed bag. However, a little credit should goes to the notoriously brooding Kristen Stewart for letting loose in her role as a vampire. The rest, including Robert Pattinson's Edward Cullen and Taylor Lautner's Jacob Black, are more or less the same stereotypical self. Meanwhile, it's nice to see Michael Sheen has a fun time playing an over-the-top, maniacal Aro.

Bill Condon's direction remains as pedestrian as ever, but not until he gives a jolt of life with the final 30 minutes. For a while there, Condon has finally redeems himself with the third-act epic showdown between the good vampires and werewolves and the evil Volturi in an open, snowy land. What follows next is a show-stopping moment of CG-heavy, violently exciting battle (with heads ripped off and such), which is frequently heightened by Carter Burwell's pulse-pounding score.

All seems to be a good turning point, until Condon and Rosenberg almost ruins everything by yanking off all the excitement with a twist revelation that had me in the WTF-moment (you just have to see it for yourself). If you can swallow that particular moment, there's a remaining closure that ends with a classy note reflecting all previous TWILIGHT series' moments -- all accompanied with Christina Perri's achingly beautiful song, A Thousand Years.

Technical credits are above average, while most of the special effects remains as spotty as ever. The F/X transformation of Renesmee's rapid aging process is especially cheap-looking.


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