Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – 2011

Directed by Bill Condon
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellen Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Anna Kendrick, Sarah Clarke
Written by
Melissa Rosenberg based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer

There is a point after Bella (Stewart) has had a rough go of it, and she is laid out on a table in a blue dress.  Emaciated and bitten, scarred and scratched, with a broken back and pelvis, she was beyond dead.  She was Angelina Jolie taking a nap.

The makeup for Breaking Dawn is pretty good, if you can get past all of the hair pieces.  I still am not sure how these vampire folks can walk in the daylight…in the tropics no less.  You still get the glitter, albeit not as prominent, but no one is ever shielding themselves from the sun.  This is the problem for critics of the Twilight series of books and movies: an absolute obliteration of the rules of vampirism.  This has not been a problem for me, but one would think Meyer had claimed Jesus skipped out on the crucifixion or something.  All she did is use her imagination.  For shame.

The other complaint about her work, her general prose and writing style, I cannot speak to.  I never read a word.  What I can say is that the entire series has been on the tip of maudlin since day one.  They have never fallen over the edge, though.  This has to be due to the superb editing of Rosenberg, who has been at the help since the first film.  Her work has enabled the producers to jump from director to director and ostensibly not miss a beat.

The acting by this point is solid, if unspectacular.  Stewart does a little less whining, and the arguments seem mostly to be settled.  No viewer will be surprised by now.  This movie is not about change.  It is, in essence, a placeholder for the conclusion coming out in November of 2012.

The events should be momentous.  A wedding, the honeymoon, the conception and birth are all covered here.  The latter 2 events cause the preponderance of the action in the last 1/3 of the film.  Of course “preponderance” does not accurately portray the actual amount of fireworks we get to see in Part 1.  Any accurate description of the amount would stop somewhere between the lighting punk and the sparklers.  Each of the scenes have the look and feel of “You’re lucky my chick is here.”

On the other hand, the other side of macho is the ability to have a good cry.  The makers of the Twilight series know their audience well.  Most people who will watch and enjoy this are quite in touch with their feelings.  Everyone is on the verge of tears here as they contemplate a life without Bella.  The thing that prevents this from becoming a source of concern for the viewer would be the “Part 1” of the title.

I would like to write more about the film, but there really isn’t that much to tell.  Bella and Edward, very happily married, decide to bring an immortal into the world, and Jacob Black (Lautner), seems to be the least likely adversary to do something about it.  Especially when he imprints with the result.  The movie seems like a very few things happening stretched out to make the length of a movie.  What’s there is good, but its just not much.

(*** out of *****)

For my review of the other films I have reviewed in the series, try New Moon and Eclipse.

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