Breaking Dawn Part 2

By on November 20, 2012

On the behalf of critics everywhere, I say there was one film series that used to strike fear in our very cores – the “Twilight” saga.  And now, fellow critics, at last the day has come to throw away the shackles of this inexplicably popular franchise and get back to living our lives. Critics, boyfriends and husbands that have suffered for all these years, I give you your lives back!

Bella, played by Kristen Stewart, awakes as a renewed vampire-mother in the final picture of the Twilight Saga. MCT Campus

A lot has happened outside of the “Twilight” universe since the last installment, and I’m guessing much of it has made filmmakers pause about that decision to prolong the series another year. Too late to do anything about it now, of course, but I guess that they’d take that risk. Kristen Stewart may have gone off the reservation, but there’s no stopping the juggernaut that is “Twilight,” least of all this late in the game.

Let’s pause for a second and discuss Ms. Stewart. I land on Team Edward (in the general consensus that she messed up and he rightfully bore the brunt of the sympathy vote). To that I say, is it me or did Mrs. Stewart become about a billion times more interesting practically overnight? And- I’ll say it- even a little sexy? You try playing one of the world’s most notorious virgins for years on end in a movie and see what happens in real life. That dam was bound to burst, my friends.

Indeed, if ever there were a character in cinematic history that had earned the right to do the full-on happy Snoopy dance of celebration after getting some, it’s has to be Bella Swan. If anything, it’s just nice to see Stewart change her expression for once. I halfway expected Hall & Oates’ “You Make my Dreams” to come blaring on and a dance number to break out.

She may be steadily and studiously avoiding talk of the “incident,” thanks to the help of a massive team of publicists, agents, lawyers and God knows who else. She also looks as relaxed, friendly, outgoing and- gasp!- personable as I’ve ever seen her. She’s even dressing up nice. Who thought that would ever happen with Little Miss Above-It-All?

It certainly informs the final film, that’s for sure. Stewart the actress looks nothing short of thrilled to get to run around at lightning speed, chow down on cougars, and even decapitate and set fire to her enemies. Yep, you read that right. This is not your emo niece’s

“Twilight,” unless she’s into “Faces of Death” or something like that.

Oh yes, friends and neighbors, this “Twilight” is loaded. I almost gasped at the first decapitation and burning, so ingrained am I to expect the only violence in these films to be towards shirts as they are being ripped off the rippling biceps of their male stars.

Well, it wasn’t so here. While I’ll allow that there is a twist in the events that renders certain things a bit of a cheat, I’ll be damned if it isn’t a clever one, and perfectly executed. I was not only was suckered in, I was downright impressed. I won’t spoil it here, but I will say, God bless Michael Sheen.

So has anybody else been wondering why won’t these vampires kill the crap out of somebody? Well I’m here to tell you that’s exactly what does happen, at long last, making this one of the rare “Twilight” films I can actually tell guys they won’t hate themselves in the morning for seeing. Minor spoiler alert: If you ever wanted to see Dakota Fanning ripped to pieces, boy are you in for a treat! (And should probably seek therapy…I’m just saying.)

Indeed, there is quite a bit of bloodshed happening here, and if it seemed a bit too good to be true, well, it sort of is, but no matter. The point is, it’s here, and it is mighty enjoyable. As are the extended cast of characters added here, representing the team of vampire clans on Team Cullen, notably Lee Pace (of the late, great “Pushing Daisies”), MyAnna Buring (“The Descent”); and the Beavis and Butthead of the series, Guri Weinberg and Noel Fisher, who just, you know, want to kill stuff. Amen to that. Bonus points for making my favorite character by far, Alice (the indispensable Ashley Greene) the secret hero of the entire series.

Look, don’t get me wrong. As a critic, I’ll never get all that time back spent watching, reading, researching and writing about these films for the last five years, years that have often felt like a lifetime. And “author”- and I use that term loosely- Meyer will never, ever, ever make up for the ridiculousness that is the name Renesmee, no matter what she does from here on out. And if I see even one “Twihard” fan naming its kid that, I think that it would be wholly justifiable to find them and punch them right in the face- Lord knows, said kid better get used to it.

Goodbye, “Twilight” once and for all!! I may never entirely forgive you, but at least we went out on a high note. But you’re still only getting a…B. Okay, what the hell, a B+, if only for the whole Dakota Fanning thing.

Now, off to therapy!

Mark Trammell
Staff Writer
mrgordo@uab.edu

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About Mark Trammell

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. He is a life-long fan of films and has a pretty whacked-out, all-over-the-place movie collection that would give most sane people pause. He loves horror movies and Disney flicks and isn't entirely sure there is a difference. He one day hopes to put his money where his mouth is and inflict his own perverse vision on society, entirely so that he can tell people who ask: "If you think you can do better, why don't you make a movie yourself?" to shut up.
 
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