14-year-old girls’ favorite group of vampires and werewolves are back for one last hurrah with the conclusion of the Twilight Saga, “Breaking Dawn: Part 2.” It is probably the best of the series, but that distinction means different things to different people.
“Part 2” picks up the story of Bella, Edward, Jacob and friends right where “Breaking Dawn: Part 1” left off. The film begins with Bella’s eyes as a “newborn” vampire. Edward helps her become acclimated to her new condition, and it doesn’t take long for her to fit in with her new family and discover new abilities and strengths.
Bella finally meets her new daughter, Renesmee, and it quickly becomes apparent that something is special about her. Before long, Renesmee is seen by an outsider of the family who believes the child is an immortal child — it is a crime to create such a creature in the vampire community, and the Volturi are notified. These legalistic pharisees of the vampire world plan to kill the child and the rest of her family as the Cullens and their friends try to find a way to convince the Volturi that Renesmee will not bring harm to any vampire.
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner all reprise their leading roles, but their acting is among the worst of the cast. Bland and unemotional deliveries amplify the poor scriptwriting. Scenes that should be gripping and touching fall flat, and the lead actors save their most convincing emotional performances for scenes that haven’t been set up to be very evocative. The best acting in the movie has to go to the leader of the Volturi, Aro (Michael Sheen), but even his powerful delivery slips into overacted melodrama at times.
The pacing is very fast. Viewers are introduced to an overwhelming number of new characters, concepts and events in a very abrupt and curt manner. The story is frequently carried along by Bella’s film noir style narration, which becomes rather distracting, yet necessary due to the film’s relatively dense plot and quick pace.
One redeeming factor comes from the cinematography and visual effects departments. The CGI is harmoniously integrated and usually does not divert attention from the scene. The overall aesthetic of the film is enchanting and beautiful. Rich bright colors pop out in every environment, and the composition is always bold and stunning.
Vampires and the lore behind them have been done better in many other films, and romance has been done better in untold numbers of movies. Without some prior attachment to the series and the characters, the film leaves much to be desired.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars