I do enjoy Twilight series. Unlike The Hunger Games which apparently aspires to be a serious movie while being completely ridiculous and boring, Twilight is silly, entertaining and occasionally it has some pretty good scenes. That is the beauty of the low expectations - I saw The Hunger Games after reading all of those fantastic reviews and it will probably end in my 10 worst movies of the year list. I saw Twilight after seeing previous movies and expecting cheesy lines and bad CGI and well, what do you know, when you expect shit and you get something that isn't completely shitty you end up pleasantly surprised.
The film begins right after the last one ended - Bella wakes up as a vampire and she is immediately changed - she is no longer mopey, whiny teen - now she is a newborn, kick ass vampire. Bella is eager to meet her daughter Renesmee but first she goes haunting. There we get the worst CGI in the movie as the camera zooms in on her face while she is running, hopefully it only gets better from now on. After Bella feeds on mountain lion she gets to meet her daughter and Jacob tells her he imprinted on her. I could explain to you what it means, but I really don't want to type this crap. Anyways, we get a very funny scene with Bella yelling at Jacob and kicking his ass, to Edward's delight.
Bella and Edward's happiness with their daughter, who is growing rapidly by the way, is short lived. Irina, fellow vampire, who is pissed off after her boyfriend was killed because of Bella in New Moon, goes to Volturi and tells them that the Cullens created immortal child - child, that was bitten by a vampire, much like Claudia in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. The Cullens do not want to fight with Volturi so they come up with a plan - they visit their vampire friends and introduce them to Renesmee, so that they could be witnesses to the fact she was born and not bitten.
This is were the movie sorta crosses with X Men as every vampire has a different gift. None of those are particularly impressive, until the final fight scene. Anyways, we meet whole bunch of new vampires and we get to see few familiar faces here - Joe Anderson, from Across the Universe, shows up in a pretty pointless role as he is there one moment and then he kinda goes away and you forget his character existed in the first place. Even detective Bunk himself - Wendell Pierce from The Wire makes a quick appearance. We also have Lee Pace (from the delightful series Pushing Daisies, Lincoln and the Hobbit) who is awesome in his role as a vampire who still feeds on humans, bad boy he is, and he falls for Irina's sister Kate - to be quite honest I'd prefer to see their love story than the one between Edward and Bella. Plus I'd much rather see Pace shirtless than Pattinson and Lautner...but that's neither here nor there.
While all of that sounds silly and we still get some awful lines like Edward saying to Bella "We are the same temperature now", the film is very enjoyable. It is fast paced, sometimes maybe even too fast paced - the fact Charlie doesn't insist on asking why Bella looks bizarre and his granddaughter is growing in superhuman speed was very strange. Also I found it weird that there was no closure with Bella's mother - does she visit her? Does she know? What is up with that? But I'm over thinking it. These films have one purpose - to entertain and I was entertained. The romance between Bella and Edward is still at the core of the story and thankfully now they can finally do it without Edward acting suicidal because Bella has few bruises on her back after having sex. That is not sex injury, dude. Believe me.
One thing I was very much looking forward to was the mother-daughter relationship between Bella and Renesmee. While neither Stewart nor young Mackenzie Foy is doing particularly well with portraying this bond, we do get few very lovely scenes with them. Renesmee is pretty much a plot device here, as she is usually somewhere in the background. However, the presence of a small child who is a target of ruthless vampires adds a lot of suspense, especially in the third act of the movie and I found myself rooting for the little girl to survive this whole mess with Volturi.
While the acting is still not something to praise, Kristen Stewart does very well playing a fierce vampire. In fact, she may be the strongest and the most bad ass out of Cullen clan. Pattinson and Lautner's awfulness was kinda dialed down here, but that's mostly because this time Bella is the clear protagonist. Michael Sheen delivers another creepy and fun performance as Aro, the head of the Volturi. All in all, apart from Kellan Lutz and Jamie Campbell Bower nobody is horrible here. The score for the movie is a huge step up from the other films - previously Carter Burwell, Howard Shore and Alexandre Desplat created decent scores with only a handful of outstanding tracks but this time Burwell's music really added to the film, especially in the epic battle sequence.
What I also liked about the movie was that for the first time in the series we got opening titles, which were lovely and had another variation of Bella's Lullaby playing in the background. The CGI is a huge improvement too, as apart from the beginning with Bella running everything looked pretty neat and we didn't get too much of vampires break-like-ice-sculptures nonsense that happened in previous movies. The final battle is pretty damn brutal for PG 13 movie as several key characters get their heads ripped clean off and couple of wolves die - that was just awful. Had they died as people I wouldn't care as I didn't really care for Jacob and his buddies in any of the movies, but seeing those wolves, even computed generated, die and whimper was very unpleasant.
There is a big twist here, which apparently also happens in the book. It did feel a bit of a cop out since there were few very satisfying things that happened in a fantasy scene (mainly involving Alice and Jane) but overall it allowed for the series to have the ending that I'm sure will please all the fans of the saga as the famous meadow appears in the final sequence. I really adored the ending of Breaking Dawn, part 1 with Bella's transformation into the vampire and the montage of her memories with beautiful Bella Reborn playing in the background. It was so lovely that I found myself wondering if had the series ended right there it wouldn't be better.
We also get a montage here and while it's very pretty I was disappointed that they played cheesy pop song over it instead of Burwell's score, it felt like a missed opportunity for really moving ending. Overall, though, even if I prefer the previous film to the final installment it was enjoyable and it didn't have some of the most annoying elements from the previous films, which I assume will make the movie a bit more watchable for the saga haters who happen to see it.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - part 2 (115 min, 2012)
Plot: After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.
Director: Bill Condon
Writers: Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay), Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Dakota Fanning, Nikki Reed, Lee Pace, Maggie Grace, Billy Burke, Michael Sheen and Ashley Greene