Writer: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"The Twilight Saga"
Picking up where "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" left off, the final instalment of "The Twilight Saga" sees Bella Cullen (Kristen Stewart) awakening to find herself a vampire now. She revels in her newfound powers and life with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), but it is not long before trouble stirs for the new parents. Their hybrid daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), is suspected of being an immortal child by Irina (Maggie Grace), a member of the Denali coven, and the Volturi are out to battle and destroy the Cullens for breaking vampire laws.
Cue 116 cringe-worthy minutes of bad acting, cliched lines with a cop-out ending.
The reason why bad acting is listed first is because it is jarring and disturbing to watch characters deliver emotional lines with stoic faces or threats with over-the-top lunacy (yes you, Michael Sheen). Sheen seems to have got it into his head that his villain should be a cross between Jack Sparrow and Hannibal, but the result is a cartoon villain like those from the "Austin Powers" series. As for the leads, Stewart is even worse here compared to the previous instalments, not even smiling when she interacts with her daughter, Renesmee, while Pattinson has stopped trying. Meanwhile, Lautner can hardly be faulted when he is relegated to the starry-eyed lover and devout protector once again, this time for Renesmee. There is only so much expression you can make when one-third of the movie you are required to smile reassuringly at the young girl, another one-third of the movie frowning at the vampires' shenanigans and the last as a computer-generated imagery (CGI) wolf.
The plot? What plot? The film plays out akin to a feature film companion to the book. You can almost see the pages turning and a pencil checking off the boxes as the viewers are led into scene after scene. The sex scene, while tastefully done, feels contrived. It is as if the whole scene was a last minute addition to the whole package, like the production team just had a sudden realisation that there was a sex scene in the book, but which they had forgotten to film. As a result, Bella making out with Edward to a pop song in the background feels like watching a dream sequence while being hopped up on mushrooms.
Cinematography-wise? Let us just say that cinematographer Guillermo Navarro and everyone in the technical department should be fired. The editing is uneven, like the red-white opening credits of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2", where the splashes of red seem to be a technical mistake as opposed to an understood form of cinematic art. This is also visible in the ending credits of the film, which, by the way, is a creative way to recap the series and reintroduce the characters, but the colours just do not look properly blended. Then there is the sex scene and the CGI baby, CGI wolves, CGI running. Given the money-making cow that is "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2", you would think that they have money for a real baby, but it seems not.
However, there are still glimmers of hope like Edward Cullen in sunlight. One is Lee Pace's tall and roguish vampire Garrett. Every time the "Pushing Daisies" star steps onscreen is every half hour that you stay seated to watch the film, for not only does his "American patriot" quips and declarations of love for his mate Kate (Casey LaBow) are actually amusing, he does not look half bad in the pasty makeup either. For similar reasons, there is also Rami Malek's spunky vampire Benjamin to help make the film a little easier to swallow.
Or else, there is the, for a lack of a better word, troll, ending. Those who have read the book may have known it all along, but it certainly does not take away the shock factor, considering that the battle scene was truly intense and gory in a PG13 way. The sudden turn alone is enough to make "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" somewhat of a satirical take on the series itself, and ultimately, an excellent summary of the whole series.
Bella says, "My life as a human is over but I've never felt more alive. I was born to be a vampire," and we wholeheartedly agree in that we humans have never felt more dead watching this film. Undoubtedly, without the "Harry Potter" film franchise to compete, "The Twilight Saga" and its trio (Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner) will sweep all the awards, but it is Lee Pace that is the standout in this tonally uneven, derivative, romantic fantasy film.Cinema Online, 20 November 2012