Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

UK Release: 16th November 2012
Watched in the Cinema: Sunday 18th November 2012
Rating: 12A
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Runtime: 1hr 55mins
Tagline: The epic finale that will live forever
IMDb Plot Synopsis: Bella is enjoying her new life and new powers, after the birth of their daughter, Renesmee. Soon, however, their family bliss is threatened again, by a new menace. Vampire Irina believes a child like Renesmee could challenge the power and existence of the Volturi. As Irina rallies the Volturi to destroy this potential threat, Bella and the Cullens - together with any allies they can assemble - are preparing to fight a crucial, ultimate battle, to protect their family.

My Review: And so here we are at last. The end of the Twilight saga. It’s had an unprecedented effect on cinema and modern culture and a few days ago the final installment was released and it came to end. If you listen carefully you can hear the faint cheers of the scathing (mostly male) critics and the faint cries of all those that really connected with the series. I count myself amongst the latter of the two camps.
I had just turned 15 when the first film came out and it came at a point in my life, and in many teenage girls’ lives similar to mine, when I really responded to it. It had been a while since the last big franchise and even longer since one resonated with girls more than boys (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter). It was Bella who was the lead and while the love triangle between werewolf Jacob, vampire Edward and human Bella wasn’t particuarly original or realistic it still seemed to work. The first film is still to date my favourite as it was made without the gloss or expectations. It was more dark and gritty and awkward which I loved whereas from New Moon onwards it became a Hollywood franchise and so lost that indie feel completely. 
Breaking Dawn Part 2 has been eagerly anticipated and while Twilight is no longer as big a part of my life as it was 4 years ago I was still excited to see whether it would be satisfyingly concluded. 
It started well with a beautiful opening credit sequence with the iconic theme ringing out while black, white and red themes were strong with beautiful close-up images of ice, leaves and blood. I could noticeably tell that the quality of cinematography had been upped a notch and the film felt different cinematically as it felt closer to it’s more creative roots. 
As for the storytelling it felt disjointed in places, often half way through scenes changing pace with no warning or explanation and this lack of flow was rather irritating. It felt closer to the book than last time with Bella coming to grips with being a vampire and the interactions between the characters felt quite natural. Although the funny remarks now and then felt quite knowing at times, almost laughing at itself but then Twilight has never shied away from it’s reputation. There was even the cursory “Jacob put some clothes on” which I rather enjoyed. 
It wasn’t until the ‘battle’ sequence between the Volturi and the Cullens and friends that the film came into it’s own. This is supposedly where it has all led to but it took a very long time until we saw any action. There was a great deal of talking it has to be said. I felt it resolved a bit too easily but then I remember feeling that with the book so there wasn’t much they could do to improve that. Once the volturi had left it felt a little anti-climatic, but then we got to the cringe-worthy sentimentality. The ending was very much tied up nicely, but then we sat through what felt like half an hour of a goodbye sequence featuring every single character that had ever graced the screen. It felt very self-indulgent and unnecessary but then I suppose they’re just trying to give a good ending for the fans. It’s just I felt the line between pleasing the fans and making a good movie was crossed somewhat toward the end. 
But as a fan I’m not complaining too much...

Score: 9/10

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