At last, our long national nightmare is over: the Twilight movie saga has come to an end. I kid, I kid. Sort of.
As you know if you've been following my blogs here on GuySpeak, I've made it my quest to see and review each of the movies both out of good boyfriend obligation (my girlfriend liked the first book) and out of a morbid curiousity that arose as the movies got worse and worse. But by last year's horrendous Breaking Dawn Part One with its heavy-handed abortion metaphors and Edward breaking the bed with the power of his vampire love, I had pretty much hit my breaking point. How much worse could it get? How would the second part top Edward chewing a baby out of Bella's stomach?
Well, then color my red eyes surprised that Breaking Dawn Part Two is by far the best installment in the Twilight movie franchise. (Though that's kind of like saying crabs is the best STD. It's not gonna kill ya, but you certainly don't want it.) In fact, there's a good 20 minutes or so of the movie that is actually worth the price of admission. Too bad it took several hours of awful to get there.
Here are my thoughts on Breaking Dawn Part Two and the end of the sparkly vampire franchise as we know it (until they adapt that Twilight novella Meyer wrote into three movies). As always, SPOILER AHEAD for those who haven't seen the movie. Also, I haven't read the books, so feel free to tell me what's different in the comments.
-- Bella finally grows a pair. Except for the awful scene where she stalks a deer and a mountain climber like a feral wolf child, Bella wasn't too annoying in this one. In fact, she actually did stuff for once like fighting for herself and (understandably) yelling at Jacob about his crush on her baby (more on that bit of horribleness later). She's still an unlikeable, sullen heroine, but at least she does more than stand around and wait for Edward to save her this time out. (Though she barely cares about the prospect of her dad thinking she's dead. In fact, it's Jacob and not Bella who can't bring himself to tell Charlie that Bella's dead and wolfs out and brings him into the fold.)
-- All of the other vampires the Cullens enlist are awesome. There's the one who seems drunk all the time and kills humans even though I thought vampires weren't supposed to do that. (Bonus: he's played by Lee Pace from Pushing Daisies.) There's a pair of Romanian vampires with thick accents out of a 1970s vampire movie who show up halfway through and shoot lightning bolts or something. There's a family of Irish vampires who look somber and I swear at one point mentioned the potato famine. Some Amazon warrior vampires who don't say much. And they all have powers. Basically the series has turned into X-Men at this point. Ordinarily if a movie introduced something like 15 new characters in its final chapter, that would be a serious problem. But I'd much rather watch superpowered vampires fighting than yet another scene set in the Cullen's living room. Where were all these awesome, horribly stereotypical vampires during the loooong scenes of Bella moping in New Moon?
-- The big fight scene was pretty amazing. At one point one of the wolves chomps off Dakota Fanning's head. That alone is worth the price of admission. Plus Aro cuts off Carlisle Cullen's head ninja style. The audience I saw the movie with cheered every time one of the Volturis graphically lost his or her head. Even my girl Rosalie got to do some head-pulling. It was the sort of release the audience needed after four movies of build-up. Of course, none of it actually happened, but we'll get to that in a second.
-- The whole cop out with the fight scene not actually happening was some serious BS. After an awesome fight where characters actually died and there were real stakes, it cuts to Alice who has been showing Aro what MIGHT happen if they get into a massive vampire/werewolf fight. It's basically the equivalent of Stephenie Meyer passing out bowls of ice cream and then taking them back before you've had a taste. God forbid something actually happen in these movies. God forbid the characters experience loss or anger or any emotion other than obsessive love. Did the part with Alice showing Aro a possible future happen in the book?
-- That CGI baby Renesmee was just about the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Fine, they needed the baby to look adoringly at Bella and Edward and use its baby mind powers or whatever. But I've seen eTrade commercials with more convincing baby special effects.
-- Bella's dad kind of buys the whole "werewolves and vampires have been living among us this whole time and also my daughter is one and I can't spend time with her" thing pretty fast. I mean, I'm sure that werewolf woman he ends up with is a good cook and all, but come on. Also, as the town sheriff, wouldn't he put two-and-two together and connect the random murders from the first movie to vampires or possibly werewolves? Sure, the vampires who killed people are all dead, but Sheriff Charlie doesn't know that. You would think he'd haul everyone with red eyes and a hairy coat of fur in for questioning.
-- I'm still not on board with the whole Jacob imprinting on baby Renesmee thing. So he's going to wait around until she gets of age so that he can, what, marry her? Sleep with her? What if she doesn't want him? It's like some weird arranged marriage thing. It also makes Jacob go from being one of the few sensible characters to REALLY stupid and creepy. For people who've read the book, do you like Jacob and Renesmee together? I get the feeling that you're supposed to see them as another Edward and Bella. But Bella met Edward when she was old enough to both a) date and be into boys and b) make her own decisions. There is nothing natural or romantic about the whole werewolf imprinting thing. It's a weird, creepy story point we're just supposed to accept.
-- The whole plot still doesn't work. Aro wants to kill the Cullens because he thinks they turned a human baby. Even when he finds out that Renesmee is a half vampire/half human hybrid, he still wants to kill the Cullens and take Alice to be part of the Volturi (Alice even sees this in one of her visions). So why then is he convinced to walk away at the end when presented with the shirtless half vampire/half human Native American guy? It seems like Aro was always going to try to kill the Cullens. You're telling me that Alice's vision of the future scared him off? Why does he accept that as what will definitely happen? And wouldn't seeing how he dies make him take a different course in the fight? (Note to self: stay away from Bella and I'll be fine.) As with the rest of the series, the plot makes no sense and characters just do things for no reason.
-- Not enough Rosalie stink face. Also, what happened to Bella's high school friends? Yes, she can't fraternize with humans, but certainly they're curious where their friend whose wedding they attended a few weeks prior has been. I'm sure Anna Kendrick has better things to do than show up as her snarky friend character. But what about hipster Asian guy and blonde jock and the other one? You know, with the glasses? Clearly it's time for a Forks High spin-off TV series.
-- In the end, the Twilight movies were strictly for fans of the books. Sure, I enjoyed bits and pieces here and there but mostly for their ridiculousness. I can't say I ever really cared about any of the characters, which is a problem for a movie franchise that ran several hours. The Harry Potter movies (and so far The Hunger Games series) still attempt to get the casual viewer as involved in the story as the obsessive fan is. Ultimately the problem with Twilight is it's a concept (human loves vampire) without a compelling story. It has a romantic triangle...and that's about it. Everything else in the plot is a mess. Characters come and go, get powers for no reason, and reveal random bits of backstory or mythology that amount to nothing. For a world inhabited by vampires and werewolves, there sure are a lot of arbitrary rules. And most of those rules get broken over the course of the series. Oh, also the vampires sparkle and it's all a big metaphor for Mormonism. (Bella can't truly be with Edward, or even be an interesting character, until she becomes a Mormon, er, a vampire.)
Share your thoughts on Breaking Dawn Part Two and the end of Twilight below! Are you sad to see it end? Or relieved?