The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Review

Watching Twilight is a different experience for guys and for girls. While millions of guys around the world celebrate the end to the movie version of the Stephenie Meyer’s saga, their girlfriends reluctantly say goodbye to their beloved vampires and werewolves and move on to collecting the entire series in boxed sets of DVDs. I must say that going into the movie, I felt like guy, wanting the last film to be over with because the first four movies were nothing spectacular. But when I left the theater, I felt like any other Twi-hard who was sad to see the franchise end because by jove! I think the filmakers finally nailed it. Finally, they were able to interpret to the screen the things that made me such a big fan of the books.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 starts with Bella waking up, transformed as a newborn (vampire). From the onset, Edward is amazed at her ability to show constraint while hunting, and her uncanny strength, which she exercises on Jacob upon learning why she always wanted to have him around while she was pregnant. While it would seem that all is well in the Cullen household as their family becomes complete with the arrival of baby Renesmee (I still couldn’t get over how weird this name is), one of heir cousins from the Dinali, sees the child and mistakes her for an Immortal child, or a vampire child, which is against vampire law and informs the Volturi of their ‘infraction’. Now, the Cullens must gather their friends and allies throughout the world to stand up against the powerful Volturi, who approach with every intent of eliminating their coven.

BELLA’S FIRST OUTING. Bella tests her newfound vampire skills as she hunts with her beloved Edward in the forest.

The first thing I noticed that was different about Breaking Dawn was the improvement in the acting, which was my main complaint with the first films –check out my review of Twilight and Breaking Dawn. In this movie, it would seem that the tortured looks was a thing of the past, even during times of great stress for the Cullens.

This is the first time that I have seen Bella or Edward act normally in all five movies, like a weight was lifted off their shoulders. The mood is decidedly lighter overall and I especially liked the parts where Edward grins like an idiot as he watches Bella master the balance between being a human and a vampire. The way he is just so happy, in contrast to his personality in the first movies, is just so heartwarming and reminds me why I liked him so much as Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter franchise. As for Bella, one line in the movie rings particularly true. When she said “I was born to be a vampire.” As an actress, I think Kristen Stewart’s performance in her role as vampire Bella is her best showing, ever. She does it so effortlessly.

The romantic moments between the two, I’m sure would be the highlight of the movie for hard core Twi-hards because they very very sweet and genuine. The happiness perhaps of the two lead stars (at least while they were shooting the movie) added to their romantic chemistry on screen and it was a joy to watch.

DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL. Bella gives Charlie (Billy Burke) warm (?) hug. One of my favorite scenes in the movie.

One thing that audiences of the franchise would also notice from the bat is perhaps the change in the tone of the movie, as the general sense of gloominess and darkness was lifted, mainly because writer Melissa Roseberg was also able to reinforce the lighter atmosphere with witty banter among the characters which made the movie more entertaining and fun (well, except for the part where they were being pursued by the Volturi en masse).

The action scene was cool. Special effects wise, there was also a marked improvement from Eclipse when vampires were being torn off like styrofoam. This time, the team got the consistency with the books right because the decapitations made them seem more like marble. The fake heads could still use some work though, as the detailing is reminiscent of cheesy B movie horror flicks in the 80s. The score and the soundtrack were awesome, as usual.

I loved the casting for the vampire witnesses, especially for Benjamin (Rami Malek, Night at the Museum) and Garett (Lee Pace) who were the standouts for me in the book as well. There really wasn’t much they did in the movie, really but their personalities truly jumped out at the screen. Michael Sheen is the perfect Aro, because he has that diabolical smirk down to a science. I can’t think of any other actor who could pull it off as well as he did.

I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive about how the movie would play out, because the climax for the book pretty much summed up to a starefest between the Volturi and the Cullens (which was okay for the book but not for the movie), but the filmmakers had something special in store for viewers in this part, a little tweak in the story that actually made the movie outstanding.

TEAM CULLEN. Supporters of the Cullen family gather around a bonfire to share war stories before facing off with the Volturi.

Overall, the wait was long but I think the team finally got all the elements right. This was the first time I left the cinema after seeing a Twilight movie with a satisfied grin on my face so suffice to say, kudos to director Bill Condon and to the entire team for finishing strong and for finally getting it right. It’s better late than never, after all.