Nonstop Movies: ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’

The “Twilight” saga comes to end with “Breaking Dawn: Part 2,” but was it really necessary for fans to wait a year for the conclusion?

Part 2 begins right after the final scene of Part 1, when Bella (Kristen Stewart) awakens after giving birth to a daughter Renesmee, who is half human and half vampire. Doing so has also converted her into a vampire and she has some fun with her new powers, running and leaping in the mountains and challenging men to arm wrestling matches. Her husband Edward (Robert Pattison) is apparently okay with her transformation, and why wouldn’t he be since they can now have as much sex as they want without getting tired.

Jacob (Taylor Lautner), of course, is still lingering around, but is now attached to Renesmee instead of Bella, having vowed to protect her from his werewolf family in Part 1. The werewolves no longer pose a threat to the Cullens, but it’s now their own kind who want to destroy them. The Volturi, led by Aro (Michael Sheen), believe that Renesmee poses a threat to the vampire race and hunts down the Cullens to destroy her.

I actually enjoyed Part 1 as a setup for Part 2, but after watching the concluding chapter, it’s clear the two films easily could have been condensed into one. There really isn’t anything substantial in Part 2 that warrants its 115-minute run time. The story isn’t complicated and with some creative trimming, this saga could have been tied up nicely a year ago. But of course, the studio needs to milk the franchise for every dollar it can, so audiences are forced to sit through endless and exhausting exposition to justify two films.

But even with all of the talking and explaining of what’s going on and what the characters need to do, their actions make little sense. Motivations for certain decisions are barely addressed, and characters emerge out of nowhere without explanation. Oh yeah, and there’s a lot of touching of hands and cheeks, a quick and convenient way to bring characters up to speed. All of this leads up to admittedly a pretty fierce and entertaining final battle between the Cullens and Volturi, but a cheap screenwriting trick sullies even that part. I literally rolled my eyes.

Director Bill Condon, an Oscar winner for his screenplay for “Gods and Monsters,” tries to class up the film as much as he can, and he may have done the best he could with what he had to work with, but that still doesn’t excuse him from the cheap looking CGI and gimmicky direction.

I admit I’m not the audience this film is trying to reach, so it’s not surprising I wasn’t really into it. Twi-Hards may be longing for the overabundant fairy tale fluff and if so, this film should be more than satisfying.

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” 115 minutes, is Rated PG-13 and opens in theaters today.