The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

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The Twilight Saga lumbers to its strange and stupid conclusion with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, a strenuous and tedious picture that caps off Breaking Dawn – Part 1 in anticlimactic fashion. Based on the books by Stephenie Meyer, the Twilight series has inflicted moviegoers with subpar entertainment since 2008.

Now that things have wrapped up with this 2012 entry, the full weight of the series’ awfulness is apparent. There are few redeeming qualities to be found in the series or Breaking Dawn – Part 2, a picture so vacant of cleverness, humour and legitimate action that it’s hard to believe. And yet limitless doe-eyed fans have flocked to theatres to see the series, offering up $2 billion in box office receipts to the five movies.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 begins where Breaking Dawn – Part 1 leaves off. Bella Cullen (Kristen Stewart) is now a vampire and she has a lot of cool abilities, including an RPG-style shield that she can cast around others. She is also aware of a thirst for blood, but is able to fend this off in a matter of seconds thanks to tackling a mountain lion. Edward (Robert Pattinson), her vampire hubby, is impressed and claims that his glorious spouse is the strongest and greatest vampire in all of Cullendom.

Of course, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) is still fumbling around. The trouble is that he’s imprinted on Bella and Edward’s child Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) and can’t get her out of his head. It’s more than he dares to think about. More misfortune brews when it turns out that the menacing Volturi, complete with Beefeater outfits, want to get their mitts on the child because she poses a risk to their survival. Will a bloody battle ensue or will Breaking Dawn – Part 2 end in true cop-out fashion?

It is sad, to a degree, that The Twilight Saga is coming to an end. It seems like it was only yesterday that I was calling the first entry a “boring and dire excuse for a film” and mentioned that New Moon was “incredibly dull, hollow and absurd.” Eclipse, my favourite movie in the series, was still a “giant waste of cinematic time.” And Breaking Dawn – Part 1, the most laughable in the set thus far, was “another meatless, sexless film that is distressingly all about meat and sex.”

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 brings things around full circle and reveals just how madcap Meyer’s cosmos is to begin with. Despite everything that Bella Swan/Cullen has to go through and every possibility she endures, everything ends up pretty well for her. This is no spoiler; she has a flawless child, one that doesn’t suffer any difficulties and will grow to the “perfect age” and simply stay that way. And things with Ed are good, with lots of marital sex with fancy wedding rings to fill time.

After all, Bella and Edward “are the same temperature now.” Because Meyer’s vampires have virtually no ill effects, this is a big bonus. Oh sure, there’s some business about having to explain (read: lie about) things to Charlie (Billy Burke) but nobody really cares about that. After all, Bella doesn’t even have time to wrap her dad’s Christmas present.

And Bella’s mother doesn’t even rate, despite some rather interesting business involving her earlier in the series. Those high school friends are in absentia too because all Bella really cares about is living it up with Edward in a cabin in the woods (too bad there are no vampire-eating snakes in there). Luckily for director Bill Condon and screenwriter Michelle Rosenberg, that’s all the target audience cares about.

This means that there’s no real danger presented from the Volturi and no real other characters to give a damn about, even if they do present themselves as racists (Lee Pace) or weird Amazon vampires (Aldo Quintino). Meyer has essentially removed anything uniquely “vampirish” about them anyway, so they really just wind up being lionized affiliates of the X-Men.

In the end, there’s little I can say that actually matters about Breaking Dawn – Part 2. It is an idiotic movie. It is unremittingly thoughtless, an affront to intelligence and an insult to filmmaking. The battle scenes are muddled (trivial as they are) and the love between Bella and Edward amounts to little more than heavy breathing and lip-biting. The acting is pathetic, the music is domineering and the special effects suck. That’s your ballgame. Show’s over. You’re welcome.

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