First off I have to say that I’ve never been a huge fan of the Twilight series. The writing is mediocre at best and the idea of a 100+ year old vampire watching a teenage girl sleep has always sort of creeped me out, but I digress. The films are somewhat interesting and its been rather fun watching them grow from basically an indie film (Twilight) into a big budget franchise with some pretty decent special effects (wolves!).
Breaking Dawn Part 2 does an excellent job of wrapping up the series as the narrative is much more tightly focused than the meandering (half) novel its based on. After the events of the previous movie, the majority of the conflict between the main cast members has been resolved and the characters get to experience a brief period of relative normality before turning their focus to main conflict of the film, the dangerous Volturi; who act as not only the leaders of the vampire world but also the judges, jury and executioners as well.
The Twilight series has always suffered narratively due to the extreme lack of motivation on the behalf of the villains. In the first film, James and his clan arrive during the Cullen’s vampire baseball game. The film/book doesn’t really comment on the subject but I’m pretty sure that James and his friends can tell the Cullens do not feed on humans as they do not have blood red eyes and one person on their baseball team happens to be one. James likes Bella’s scent and decides he wants to eat her despite the fact not only is this human protected by 7 vampires, said vampires outnumber him and his friends. On what planet is that a good idea?
For once the conflict actually has some sort of relevance as Edward and Bella’s daughter Renesmee is mistaken for an “Immortal Child”, a child vampire which is illegal in the vampire world due to such a child’s unpredictable and violent nature, and the Volturi decide to kill all of the Cullens for breaking said law. The Cullens assemble a diverse variety of vampires from around the globe to witness for their defense to attempt to prevent the pending battle and likely loss of life.
When Edward’s psychic sister Alice (she can see the future) attempts to show the Volutri leader Aro (who can read thoughts) that Renesmee is not a threat the movie takes its most daring risk. Aro refuses to see reason and a battle commences between the Cullen’s allies and the Volturi’s with massive losses of life (including important secondary characters) on both sides. Just when the lengthy battle reaches its conclusion the film snaps back to Alice showing Aro what the future held if he chose to fight. While this may seem like a really cheap cop out I feel that it was completely necessary for the film to go this route as in the book the final battle is ridiculously cheesy as nothing happens during it. In the book Alice shows Aro the possible future and he realizes it would lead to his death and he decides to turn and run. That’s it. Just two groups of people staring at each other for a while making threats. That would have made an awful ending the film series (just like it did to the books). Showing the battle and deaths that could have taken place added a lot of emotion and a sense of urgency to the film while also giving it a great excuse to go all out with special effects. Showing these events also made Aro’s decision to turn and not fight more realistic as knowing that he and his clan WOULD die gave him more than enough motivation to get the hell out of there. For once I can honestly say that a movie would suffer without the inclusion of a “dream” sequence (I really don’t like them).
Was this the best movie of the year? No. Will Kristen Stewart be nominated for an Academy Award? Hell no. This movie is just a fun and worthwhile ending a film series that is simultaneously cringe-worthy and exciting.
7.5 out of 10.