'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2': Are we done now?
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2," directed by Bill Condon and starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, is improbable and silly but at least it's the end of this popular vampire saga, writes Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald. Or one can hope so. Oddly, says Macdonald, the most entertaining thing about the film is its matter-of-fact tone about lives that are so clearly a matter of fiction.
Seattle Times movie critic
'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,' with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Mackenzie Foy. Directed by Bill Condon, from a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer. 116 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity. Several theaters.
So, here's the deal about being reborn as a vampire: You re-emerge into the world in a snappy blue cocktail dress, with your hair fuller and shinier and your eye makeup much more flattering; you have immense strength and can leap waterfalls in a single bound; you no longer have to worry about human things like sleeping and cooking; you have a fabulous new cottage with a closetful of vampire-acquired couture (where do they shop?); and let's not even talk about the sex. For the newly married and newly transformed Bella Swan Cullen (Kristen Stewart), life is awesome ... except that her werewolf buddy Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has imprinted on her daughter (Mackenzie Foy), and a group of overly enunciating vampires in Italy wish her and her family ill. You know, the usual stuff.
We're in the fifth and final movie of the seemingly endless "Twilight" saga — namely, "Breaking Dawn — Part 2" — and what's most entertaining about the franchise at this point is how matter-of-fact everyone (including the audience) has become. Jacob's perpetually hanging around like a pet dog (which, I suppose, he is), because the baby is his soul mate and he can't let her out of his sight; no big deal. Bella's father Charlie (Billy Burke) finally gets told a version of the truth about his daughter's life, and he's sort of OK with it, in a need-to-know way. The Cullen clan continues their habit of doing nothing whatsoever except standing attractively around the house in color-coordinated outfits, and nobody ever suggests going out to the swap meet or something; it's just what vampires do. Renesmee, half-vampire spawn of Bella and Edward (Robert Pattinson), has inherited her mother's perpetual deadpan, and looks like a 10-year-old almost immediately; well, that's just how it goes.
That's not to say there aren't surprises in "Breaking Dawn — Part 2," not the least of which is a welcome bit of bloody innovation toward the end, along the lines of having-one's-vampire-cake-and-eating-it-too. (In other words, something actually happens that isn't in the book. Sort of.) Otherwise, it's the usual "Twilight" fare: Michael Sheen, as evil Volturi honcho Aro, delivers all his lines as if they're in verse (except they aren't); Dakota Fanning, as Volturi hellchild Jane, spends the movie having staring contests with whoever looks at her. Lautner, who's improbably become the voice of reason in this franchise (remember, he's a werewolf), saunters casually through the film as if at the mall; Stewart and Pattison gaze at each other lustfully for centuries, or so it seems.
"Breaking Dawn — Part 2," full of pauses and intense looks and vague standing around, is padded out further by an impressively long credit sequence that pays tribute to everyone in the movie and some other people, too (Anna Kendrick, we miss you!). Though there's a hint of a sequel possibility in the last moments, it seems an indication that, at least for now, we're done with the Cullens. Eternity can be a very long time.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org