The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 Review
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Can you hear that? That faint, high-pitched squeal? That’s the sound of loyal young Twi-hards and their overzealous moms rushing out to see the fifth and (hopefully) final film in The Twilight Saga. What they’ll find when they flock to theaters to see The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is a film that’s surprisingly entertaining—but for all the wrong reasons.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opens with Bella (Kristen Stewart) waking to find that she’s finally a vampire. As Edward (Robert Pattinson) helps Bella adjust to her newly undead status, the rest of the Cullen family searches for information that will help them raise their half-human, half-vampire newborn daughter, Renesmee.

Meanwhile, word of the child gets to the Volturi, who assume that she’s an Immortal Child—a newly-turned vampire who won’t have control over her thirst and, as such, must be destroyed. And as the Volturi prepare for battle, the Cullens search for allies who will vouch for the baby’s mortality.

The previous films in The Twilight Saga have been oppressively moody, weighed down by undead angst and teenage longing. But now that Bella has finally gotten both her man and her wish to be a vampire, the tone of this final film is much lighter. While Kristen Stewart still struggles to show any emotion that isn’t either anger or confusion, at least Bella doesn’t spend the entire movie mooning over Edward and moaning about being a human. As it turns out, though, she’s even more ridiculous when she attempts to be happy, which means that while the finale is less sullen than earlier films, it’s also more laughable, filled with awkwardness and unintentional humor. That does make the film more entertaining—but not really in a good way.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 definitely tones down the moodiness. Bella’s happy because she’s dead. Edward’s happy because he’s finally getting laid. And even Taylor Lautner’s Jacob Black is less surly now that he’s imprinted on Bella’s creepy CGI baby girl. (Let’s not even go there.) But the melodrama is still there, thanks to the Volturi, who threaten to destroy the Cullens and their newly-happy existence. There’s plenty of suspense as the Cullens prepare to argue their case, calling in all kinds of hilariously stereotypical characters for help, and it all builds to some pretty grisly action sequences. But, again, it’s all more silly than it is thrilling—thanks, especially, to Michael Sheen, who’s once again delightfully over-the-top as Aro, the hysterically sinister leader of the Volturi.

Like the rest of the series, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is melodramatic and cheesy, but the lighter tone makes it a completely different beast. It’s not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but at least it’s a decent send-off for the series. The saga’s rabid fans will undoubtedly, unquestioningly love it—and their moody-vampire-averse friends will at least have something to laugh at when they’re forced to sit through it. And, really, I’d say that’s about all you can hope for from this silly supernatural love story.

Listen to Kristin's review on Reel Discovery:

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