Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg
(Based on a novel by Stephanie Meyer)
After five movies I guess I just have to accept that this franchise just totally baffles me in terms of its mass appeal. This isn’t a kind of hit that made enough money to keep going, these things made something like $700-800 million worldwide each (except the first one which made a paltry $400 million boo-hoo). There is something to what is happening here that people just plugged into and it is something that is beyond me.
You know the story and you know the characters even if you haven’t seen any of them, that is how pervasive this franchise has become in the modern culture, it has become a Star Wars like phenomenon in that sense. My girlfriend hasn’t seen them but if I saw the force, or Yoda, or Jedi there isn’t a need for clarification, people just know. When you say Jacob, Bella, or Edward people know. When you say there are vampires people know they sparkle. Think what you want about the movies but that is a level of saturation and awareness that is truly rare.
But when it comes down to it the movie it self I found kind of a bore. I saw Breaking Dawn part 1 and found it to be a ludicrous hoot and actually gave it some credit. The series takes itself so seriously that with every insane plot twist I couldn’t help but remember that they aren’t doing this with a wink, Stephanie Meyers is probably just a really big weirdo.
This one picks up right after 1. Bella and Edward are married, she got pregnant, had a half human/half vampire baby killing her from the inside so Edward performed an emergency C-section and then turned Bella into a vampire to save her life. Oh and Jacob falls in love with the goo covered new born baby THE END. Really. How can something like that be ignored? The first three movies I also saw but I found to be dull. Yeah they were dumb to me but they weren’t made for me. At least Breaking Dawn part 1 was mostly insane. Appreciating it on that level, that something that is massively popular and aimed at teenage girls had some of the craziest things I had seen in a movie had to be admired a little.
Part 2 has some crazy things too but the magic of part 1 wasn’t there for me. First off the whole thing barely has a story since they took 1 book and cut it into 2 movies. Bella is a vampire and then they spend most of the movie meeting up with vampires of other races to team up with them and fight the vampire government because they are angry that they had a baby all building to a fight scene.
Do yourself a favor and just skip to the third act as there is a pretty crazy fight scene that features about 15 different people getting their heads ripped off. Yeah. In a PG-13 romance film series there are 15 head rips. The special effects are totally subpar, despite the movie probably costing $100 million, and silly, the cast devoid of any emotion. How people actually care about anything that is going on here I just don’t get. But those head rips! I admit I was pretty surprised.
Anyway the movie also looks great. Condon is a good director of legit movies (Gods & Monsters, Kinsey, etc.) who enlists cinematographer Guillermo Navarro to create a pretty lush and excellent looking film, easily the best part of it.
Really the only way I could see someone enjoying this is as a good bad movie. Clearly they upped the budget for the final one but holy crap is this thing missing any kind of recognizable human emotions. These things are just so joyless, everyone mopes around the whole series. I don’t get it. To top it all off there is also about 15 minutes of credits which goes back over every person who had any kind of role in any of these movies. I have seen all of them and I seriously didn’t even recognize half of the people they showed.
Jacob falls in love with a baby.