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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 | Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning, Michael Sheen | Review

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

The conclusion to Stephanie Mayers'  phenomenally popular interspecies romantic Twilight saga is actually the best of the series, delivering a satisfying ending for both die hard fans of the novels as well as movie goers who never read the books.

This last installment of the film franchise, directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters), continues where it left off in Breaking Dawn, Part 1.   Newly transformed from human to vampire, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is happily married to the love of her life, vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), accepted into his clan, and given birth (the baby is CGI)  to the rapidly growing, half breed Renesmee (portrayed as a child by Mackenzie Foy). Gone is the love triangle. Werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has accepted the fact that Bella has chosen Edward, admitting to the lovebirds at one point that the once human female and her undead hubby make a great couple.  Instead Jacob, having imprinted on the child, has formed a bond with her for life and feels the need to protect her.

While Jacob is no longer a romantic threat, danger is brewing in the form of the Italy based, evil Volturi vampire clan led by the flamboyant Aro (a scene stealing, over the top, Michael Sheen) who believe Edward and Bella's daughter is a dangerous, uncontrollable immortal, poses a danger to their existence, and therefore needs to be destroyed.  Dakota Fanning returns as one of the viscous Volturi. Unfortunately, she is wasted, getting to speak only one word of dialogue,”Pain” and given little to do other than keeping a mean look on her otherwise lovely face.

But let me not get ahead of myself. The first half of the movie is rather slow moving before it eventually picks up speed and becomes more engaging.  When the lovestruck couple are not staring into each other's eyes, smooching, or appear stuck in a never ending honeymoon stage, Bella is shown testing out her new powers as a “newborn” vampire, which include enhanced eyesight, super strength and speed and learning to control the need to hunt for fresh blood to quench her thirst. Edward, on the other hand, doesn't do much except brood and keep his wife in check.

While most of the dialogue in every installment including this finale is spoken in a whisper (and very annoying) I find it ironic that Kristen Stewart finally breathes more life into her role, after she is  “reborn” as a female vampire. Stewart still has a habit of pouting with a slightly opened mouth, but on occasion we get to see her convey more facial expressions and actually show some acting range.  When she says, she “feels more more alive as a vampire than ever before as a human and was born to be a vampire”,  you believe her.  The truth is in the pudding.

The second half of the film makes it all worthwhile. After Lisa (Ashley Green) the psychic member of the Cullen clan has a vision that the Volturi's are on their way, the Seattle based Vampires set out across the world to enlist other vampires with extraordinary powers of their own to testify that the child is mortal, or if it comes to it, join them in an all out battle against the Volturi. Needless to say, Jacob, in keeping his promise to protect Es, is a supportive ally, bringing along his werewolf clan who are ready and eager to go to war and kill their mutual enemy.

There is not much blood shown, but there are plenty of heads ripped off and flying in all directions during the climatic action packed battle scenes. There is a twist that came as a welcome surprise to yours truly, although some avid fans were not pleased saying it was a departure from the book.

Having stated the concluding episode is the best of the series, I only wish it didn't take so long for the redeeming elements to kick in. I still don't know where Breaking Dawn fits into the title, or what it means.  What I do know is that after being bored for an hour or so, the story gets interesting, grabbing my attention.  I was expecting to refer to this film as Breaking a Yawn. When all is said and done,  I must admit breaking a smile more aptly describes my reaction.

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