Breaking Dawn – Parts 1 & 2

PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE A FAN AND DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN BOTH FILMS – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Breaking Dawn – Part 1

It was as if the film makers knew that the opening act of this film was going to be dull, so too make up for that within seconds of the start Jacob has his top off (again).

Part one of the two part final outing of Twilight starts off quite dull, doesn’t get much better and his a gory ending.

Bella & Edward get married with various characters from the other films present, are any of them at all curious why the Cullens haven’t aged at all? During the wedding reception Jacob finds out that Bella & Edward plan to consummate the relationship, with his facial expressions I fully expected Taylor Lautner to come out with “uurrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhh that’s disgusting” he sort of does, but I was hoping for a teenage petulant version. The way Jacob changes how he feels about Bella in this and Part 2, leaves me feeling as though there’s a revolving door in his emotional cortex.

The films leading up to this were all about abstinence, which is thrown of the window, eventually being replaced with an ‘abortion; good or bad?’ sub plot.

Bella & Edward get jiggy with it on a private Island owned by the Cullens. Although I wasn’t looking forward to it, the sex scene has been on the cards for three films and the audience is rewarded for their patience with a scene that lasts less than a minute and involves the bed being broken, and a really cheesy line “I know it’s not the same for you, but for a human I can’t imagine that it gets any better than that.” I literally laughed out loud at that and had to stifle my amusement in the cinema at a follow up line in Part 2.

Edward notices that he has hurt Bella during their evening activities and vows not to do it again, so attempts to distract her with games of chess; which seemed unfair as the man has had 100 years or so to perfect his game. But even Edward can’t resist Mrs Cullen for ever and they get back to doing what newlyweds do. The outcome being a pregnancy, queue shocked faces, R-Patz has to act as if Edward has gone into deep shock at the news but just stands there with his normal scowl while wiggling a bit; awesome.

They return home and there’s the briefest discussion about abortion, strangely Rosalie’s character has done a 180 regarding Bella, she couldn’t stand her in the first couple of films and now is her bestest buddy.

The wolf pack sees the child as a threat and threatens to kill it & Bella, Jacob leaves and forms his own pack in order to protect Bella. As the pregnancy progresses Bella deteriorates which is shown with some decent use of makeup and CGI.

The birth scene was pretty gory but also a bit confusing. A cut is made using a scalpel, fine happy with that but then as Bella starts to go downhill, Edward just starts tearing away at her abdomen slightly out of shot, why didn’t he just get the scalpel again, rather than using his teeth?

Anyway baby is born, Bella’s not looking good and Jacob frantically tells Edward to turn her into a vampire. Hang on for three and a half films he has been dead against her being a vamp, now when she’s in danger of not existing at all he’s more than happy for Ed to do his thing. I get that love conquerors all but it still didn’t sit right. So Edward re-enacts the syringe scene from Pulp Fiction and everyone waits for Bella to reanimate. In the meantime Jacob has imprinted on the weird looking CGI baby.

Finally after what seemed like an age, or an excuse to show off the CGI used to make Bella thin, the vampire venom starts to fix her and she wakes with those deep red eyes.

Four films in and I’m still none the wiser why the two main characters love each other, it’s just not coming off the screen for me. The whole wedding/honeymoon bit wasn’t fun to watch, a necessary part I know but even so I didn’t like it. So much so that my mind wandered and what popped in was ‘Can vampires even have sex? Their hearts don’t pump blood around the body which means he won’t get an erection etc’ I quickly moved my thoughts back to the film at that point.

I also thought the Volturi would be involved in this one, I didn’t expect it to be a wolf pack vs the Cullens movie at all.

I’m still enjoying the films to a point; there are moments of unintended hilarity and that’s what is keeping me going, that and knowing Michael Sheen will definitely be in the final film

3 out of 5

Breaking Dawn – Part 2

Walking into the cinema as a man on my own to see Twilight was a slightly nerve racking experience. Predictably the cinema audience was mostly female, those men in attendance were either fathers placating daughters or husbands/boyfriends getting in their girlfriends good books. I was the only man who hadn’t brought anyone for protection!

Once again I didn’t really know what was about to unfold; there was a battle coming I’d seen that much on the web despite trying to avoid any spoilers.

The film picks up where Part 1 ended, with Bella waking up as a Vampire. Oddly Bella looks more alive as a Vampire than she did as a human. Character development at last?

As Bella gets used to her new found abilities and strength, the family hold off telling her that Jacob has imprinted on her child, Renesmee. When she does find out there’s a terrible line, which may also be in the books, when she finds out that Jacob has nicknamed her Nessie “you namedmydaughterafter the Loch Ness monster!” I managed not to laugh; others in the audience weren’t as tactful.

At this point Bella knocks Jacob about a bit, the imprinting is discussed and the scene ends;  I took it to mean that Jacob wasn’t welcome in the home but in the next scene he’s asleep on the couch.

Irina who was a very minor character in the previous film, pops up to be the catalyst for the battle at the end. From a distance she sees the now grown Nessie and mistakes her for an immortal child, queue flashback scene explaining immortal children and how they are illegal in the vampire world. Irina was unhappy in Part 1 that a wolf was at the wedding, it was a wolf that killed Laurent back in film two and she had a thing for Laurent, at least that’s what I’m guessing as it wasn’t really fleshed out. Anyway she goes to the Volturi and whines to Michael Sheen. He sees an opportunity to wipe out the Cullens and the plot is laid out once again.

The film then takes a turn into X-Men: The Vampire Years. As various vamps from around the world all turn up with their own motives and special vampire powers. All a bit convenient really but it’s what the story requires, so go with it. The Irish vampires were especially funny, as the camera swings around to reveal a man in a hat, he must be Irish then. There are two vamps from Romania who could be Dracula & his brother, very camp including the accent almost along the lines of “I vant to drink your blooooOOOOoood”

Something that bothered me was Charlies reaction to all this. He is shown that Bella is well and there is now a child in the house “an adopted niece” he accepts this as Jacob stripped off in front of him before transforming into a wolf. That was a funny and decent nod to the fans & maybe haters, that this series can also laugh a little at itself. So Charlie accepts the child, but months later, I’m not sure how much time passes, the child looks like an 8 year old and he doesn’t bat an eyelid.

The vampires have all been called to prove to the Volturi that Nessie isn’t an immortal at all, and it all leads to a showdown on a snowy plain. Vamps and wolves on one side the hoodies from Italy on the other.

What follows is some pretty brutal stuff as the author wields her pen and hacks away at the characters much like JK Rowling did in her final book. There are heads coming off from all sides, characters I’ve watched for four films are decimated in seconds. Carlisle is the first to lose his head and I actually sat there open mouthed when Michael Sheen as Aro held it aloft. Amazing stuff that goes on for 5 minutes maybe more and then it all comes to a crashing halt.

Preceding the battle, Alice Cullen who can see into the future, went to Aro in order to show him that Nessie wouldn’t be a threat as she grew up. Turns out that the battle we saw, which ended with Aro being beheaded was just Alice’s vision as viewed by Aro. Everyone was okay /

I’ve not read the books so didn’t see that coming, nor did some others in the cinema, there were many audible sighs of relief and even a couple of angry but perhaps relieved shouts of “OH COME ON!” as if they had been cheated out of a spectacular ending to the series, which in my mind we haven’t.

  • I’ve now read a few reviews that make reference to the climactic battle and that it isn’t actually in the book. From what I understand the ending is told from several viewpoints but doesn’t include a battle. So it must have also been a surprise/shock to fans of the book.

And so it was over, a happy ending for all concerned. Aro and everyone else kept their heads and Alice had a nice vision of the future.

My week with Twilight hasn’t been as bad as I expected. These are not stellar films and I won’t be watching them again. I’m glad to have watched them, on one hand to have seen a popular series of films and on the other, I’m now armed when I meet a Twihard!

This last film was the most entertaining of the bunch, and I’m surprised when I say that, I’m even more surprised when sat in the cinema I knew it was going to get 4 out of 5 on my own personal entertainment scale. A scale that doesn’t always sit with popular opinion! I’m not a reviewer just someone who watches films. My rating is how much I enjoyed the experience, not how well made it is.

Michael Sheen was the star of this film, he knows he’s in a film that will be loved and also laughed at, and he chews the scenery with aplomb. His facial expressions when he is seeing Alice’s visions are fantastic and shows up the acting of all around him.

If you do go and see the film, make sure you sit and wait for the credits as each major player from all five films gets a name check, a nice touch from the producers I thought.

4 out of 5