Four books that took approximately a week to read (total, not apiece) somehow turned into five movies spread over five years. Kind of ironic. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” (now playing at Glacier Cinemas) puts an appropriately cheesy bow on the unintentionally comedic franchise. Looking back over these five years of cinematic anti-achievement is revealing, although more so about us in the audience than anything on screen.
Now, because, as mentioned above, the four books were read in about a week’s time several years ago, I had to refresh my memory a bit before taking in movie number five. This was accomplished by re-reading what I wrote in this very newspaper about each movie and also by re-watching most of the first four films. I was relieved to discover I still agreed with, uh, myself. I was amused to realize the reviews, about a year apart from one another, could all be summed up together in a few sentences:
“If you didn’t read the books, you’ll walk out on this movie. Taylor Lautner has officially replaced Hayden Christensen atop the ‘I get paid well to act despite being unable to act’ list. This movie is terrible. I love it.”
Good news! “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” doesn’t need a new umbrella. What applied in 2008 (and 2009, and 2010 and 2011) applies in 2012.
What Part 2 has going for it that none of the other films did is that Part 1 ended on a brilliant teaser note. Well, as much of a teaser note as is possible when everyone that is going to see the next movie already knows what’s coming. Part 2 picks up immediately where Part 1 left us: Bella (Kristen Stewart) opening her brand new, blood red vampire eyes.
The first chunk of Part 2 is dedicated to K-Stew getting used to being a vamp. You know, running super fast, jumping super high, being thirsty for blood. Oh, and dealing with the news that her werewolf pal Jacob (Lautner) has “imprinted” on her newborn child, Renesmee. “It’s a wolf thing,” says Jacob. And by that he means he has fallen in love with the baby. K-Stew flies off the handle at first, understandably. She also accepts rather quickly after that that her buddy, again, is in love. With. Her. Baby.
Sorry, let’s get back onto the main road here. Didn’t mean to veer off onto Pedophile Boulevard there.
Word of Renesmee’s illegal existence quickly reaches the Volturi (powerful Italy-based rulers of the vampires), and they naturally decide it’s time to go find Bella and company in Washington state and have an epic battle in a snow-covered meadow. Blah, blah, blah. One last time for the record, if you care you already know. Still, when is a showdown between the outnumbered good guys and the overconfident bad guys in a snowy meadow a bad thing?
To keep in line with the incredibly annoying trend of unnecessarily long titles, complete with at least one colon: “The Ironies of the Twilight Movies Saga: Part 1 – Of 1.”
Juneauites legitimately know what it is to live where it rains a lot. Non-Juneauites that have seen any of the “Twilight” movies (or AMC’s “The Killing,” arguably the biggest pusher of the rainy Pacific northwest stereotype in the history of film or TV) likely assume it rains more in Washington. Like, a lot more.
“Breaking Dawn – Part 2” actually features moments of intentional comedy. My favorite: Jacob decides to reveal to Bella’s dad (Billy Burke) that he is a werewolf. So he begins stripping down in front of him, apparently preferring to be naked before he turns into a wolf. As he’s taking off his pants he says something like, “Trust me, I see weirder stuff than this every day.” Wait, now I’m not so sure this was intentional.
The box office take for “Twilight” has to be over a billion dollars by now. Yet, even for this final film, the special effects border on parody. The CGI wolves, in particular, still look like, well, dated computer graphics. I guess making a billion dollars doesn’t exactly motivate spending more on overhead.
It pains me to say it, but Lautner has modestly improved at his job. For the first four movies, he was up there insisting 2+2=351. In Part 2 he’s claiming 2+2=11. He’s still way off, of course. He’s just not quite as way off. So, kudos?
Against all odds, there is a pretty damned good twist in “Breaking Dawn – Part 2.” I swear that’s true. No exaggeration, there were shocked gasps and confused shrieks in the audience. I provided one of each, I believe.
Two last things as we do the world a favor and put this “saga” to bed: First, author Stephenie Meyer’s other book, her non-Twilight book called “The Host,” is much deeper. The movie comes out in March and it’ll undoubtedly earn way less money than any of the “Twilight” films.
Second, Team Edward (Robert Pattinson) is still the correct team. To anyone still pledging for Team Jacob, convince me that falling in love with an infant isn’t as creeper as it gets, and we can talk.
Here’s a hint: we won’t be talking. Ever. Nor will we ever be seeing another “Twilight” movie. Unless I just jinxed it. Apologies to everyone over the age of 15 in advance if that proves to be the case.