MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington Wilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on Movies: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2

 

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 2 (Two Stars)
U.S.: Bill Condon, 2012

Some movies become mass cultural lollapaloozas and pop ultra-phenomena — and they assume an importance they  may not quite deserve. So it is with the cinematic Twilight Saga, a series that zillions adore, but to which some critics (including me) remain unhappily immune.

Why? This moony, dreamy show first began to haunt the dreams and multiplexes of susceptible moviegoers back in 2008, with the relatively modest teen scream romance, Twilight — a show that appealed to fans of novelist Stephenie Meyer and fans-to-be of stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, as well as anyone partial to vampire movie  romantic clichés. In many ways, it was a typical young adult romance with a Dracula twist: Girl Meets Vampire, Girl Meets Werewolf. Sparks Fly (leading to a slam-bang action finale). Now, four movies later, with the appearance of the fifth and final installment, The Twilight Saga; Breaking Dawn, Part 2, the whole twilight shebang has, for the moment, run its course. We’ve gone though all four Meyer books — “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse” and both movie parts of “Breaking Dawn.” The long teen-to-twenty vampire night is over.

More importantly, the sexless romance that made the hearts of a nation of wannabe teen princesses throb , and tingle has been at last consummated. In Breaking Dawn, Part 1, Bella and Edward got it on, and we saw, finally, sex, a pregnancy and a birth, and (now. in this movie) an unusually rapid childhood and growth for Edward and Bella’s little girl Renesmee, or “Nessie” for short. Meanwhile, the wickedly busybody Volturi of Italy (the series’ main bad guys) have assembled under their simpering, preening leader Aro (Michael Sheen, doing a sort of semi-Vincent Price routine, and having a lot of fun), and are hatching up more trouble for our heroes and heroine.

You see, Aro’s cohorts and minions are confused about Renesmee’s (Mackenzie Foy) birth; they think that instead of being born a vampire, she was bitten and turned into one by infection — making Little Nessie prone to all kinds of bloody problems. So they all head for the forest and the Cullens’ place and another climactic showdown — while the Cullen family and friends gather some new buddies, more expensive-looking special effects and a ton of credits.

When those credits finally roll, after some crazy scenes whose secrets we won’t reveal, we finally come to the end of a long and increasingly well-photographed road with Bella and Edward and Jacob, the world’s top human-vampire-werewolf triangle. Of course, since Bella is now a vampire herself, things have changed. In fact, the one time human teen bombshell has become a zestier lass, leaping and bounding up mountains to go after mountain lions (for a bloody meal), indulging in more sexual marathons with Edward, and proclaiming happily, “I was born to be a vampire!”

Breaking Dawn, Part 2 may actually be the best of all the Twilight movies, even if you count the two parts of Breaking Dawn as one movie instead of two, which you probably should. Michael Sheen alone pushes it over the top. But for me, that wasn’t susch a choice accolade. Then again, maybe I was just happy to see it finally end.

The core of the movie and the series remains the passionate trio of Bella, Edward and Jacob — as played by the photogenic threesome of Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner. What The Saga eventually became, was a corny romantic movie not so much about vampires and werewolves and Volturi, but about movie stars and what they mean to the audience who responds to them. That‘s what a lot of the audience goes to the movies for: to find good-looking actors to feed their fantasies, or to be role models, or to ignite dreams of their own.. Critics instead tend to be more responsive to scripts and good writing, though we have our crushes as well, and that’s why there’s sometimes a great divide between the tastes of the mass audience and the tastes of the reviewers.

Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner certainly became movie stars relatively early on, and it’s an irony that two of them were playing the undead (or the potential undead) and the other was a big dog who liked to take off his shirt. Movie stars are, in a way, as ageless and forever young as vampires. Certainly when I look at a movie with one of the old Golden Age stars —  Katharine Hepburn or Jimmy Stewart or Tracy or Bogart or Olivier or Marilyn Monroe or James Dean, they seem always alive again to me. And no matter what their current age, the young Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine and Robert De Niro seem forever young. Movie stars crave immortality just as vampires do; they just don’t have to suck blood to achieve it. (Or do they?)

A problem I’ve had with the Twilight series from the beginning then is that none of the top three stars appeal to me all that much as fantasy friends or girlfriend. My fault, no doubt — though Kristen Stewart is at her most attractive in this movie, because she gets to be feistier. Meanwhile Pattinson gives us his pensive, James Dean-Monty Clift look and Lautner smiles his crooked smile and bares his torso manfully, and no doubt they mean something special to the teams fans pouring into the mutliplexes, but not to me. They’re just likable young actors who struck it rich

Any way, I don’t think the problem is so much with the actors as the scripts. The dialogue, once again, is ordinary and unimaginative, and its funereally paced. Sheen gets more mileage out of his simpers and than everyone else out of author Meyer‘s story and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg‘s lines.

Still, this episode has something that’s been relatively ignored in most of the four: jokes. They’re not very good jokes. (At one point Bella castigates Jacob for nicknaming her daughter Nessie, after, she suggests, the Loch Ness Monster.) But at least there’s an effort, a semi-jocular mood furthered by Sheen’s antics and by director Condon’s somewhat lighter hearted camp-vampy approach. (He also had fun with movie monsters in Gods and Monsters.)

And there’s that big battle in the snow, with heads rolling and veins bursting, and a surprise ending. And I hope I’m not ruining anything by saying that at least somebody lives happily ever after. Or a lot of them do. At least in this movie. Anyway, what can I say. Twilight’s blood isn’t my cup of vino. And they’re just not my kind of movie stars. Maybe they will be, some day.

One Response to “Wilmington on Movies: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2”

  1. Jackie says:

    I think the twilight’s all of them were amazing. And would love to see another one were the child grows up. And what really happens when Jacob imprinted on her. Will she find a mate?????

Leave a Reply

Wilmington

tamzap on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Magnificent Seven, Date Night, Little Women, Chicago and more …

rdecker5 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Ivan's Childhood

Ray Pride on: Wilmington on Movies: The Purge: Election Year

Movieman on: Wilmington on Movies: The Purge: Election Year

Johanna Lynch on: Wilmington on DVDs: The File on Thelma Jordon; Adua and her Friends; Bullet to the Head

【14時までのご注文は即日発送】04-0017 03 48サイズ JILL STUART NEW YORK (ジルスチュアート ニュ on: Wilmington on DVDs: House of Wax (1953); After Earth; The Purge

【最安値に挑戦!】 ダイキン SSRN112BD4馬力相当 天井埋込カセット形 マルチフロ on: Wilmington on DVDs: House of Wax (1953); After Earth; The Purge

alain mikli アランミクリ メガネSTARCK EYES (スタルクアイズ) SH0001D カラー0053(正規品)【楽 on: Wilmington on DVDs: House of Wax (1953); After Earth; The Purge

【最安値に挑戦!】 ダイキンSZRN63BT2.5馬力相当 天井埋込カセット形 マルチフロ on: Wilmington on DVDs: House of Wax (1953); After Earth; The Purge

【着後レビューで送料無料】 エアージェイ 充電スタンド ホワイト SJS-2PWH 【RC on: Wilmington on DVDs: House of Wax (1953); After Earth; The Purge

Quote Unquotesee all »

“People react primarily to direct experience and not to abstractions; it is very rare to find anyone who can become emotionally involved with an abstraction. The longer the bomb is around without anything happening, the better the job that people do in psychologically denying its existence. It has become as abstract as the fact that we are all going to die someday, which we usually do an excellent job of denying. For this reason, most people have very little interest in nuclear war. It has become even less interesting as a problem than, say, city government, and the longer a nuclear event is postponed, the greater becomes the illusion that we are constantly building up security, like interest at the bank. As time goes on, the danger increases, I believe, because the thing becomes more and more remote in people’s minds. No one can predict the panic that suddenly arises when all the lights go out — that indefinable something that can make a leader abandon his carefully laid plans. A lot of effort has gone into trying to imagine possible nuclear accidents and to protect against them. But whether the human imagination is really capable of encompassing all the subtle permutations and psychological variants of these possibilities, I doubt. The nuclear strategists who make up all those war scenarios are never as inventive as reality, and political and military leaders are never as sophisticated as they think they are.”
~ Stanley Kubrick

“You can’t make films about something the audience knows nothing about. The trick is getting the audience to tell their own stories in the story so that they know what will happen. And then, just before they get bored, you must surprise them and move the story in a new direction.”
~ Mogens Rukov

Z Weekend Report