The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Genre: Action, Horror, Teen Paranormal Romance
- Wonderful twist to the original story
- Beautiful cinematography
- Crisp, high definition viewing
- Perfectly timed humor
- Same Director for consistency
Not so much?
- Lazy & almost blatantly poor CG
- Glossed-over Storyline
- Digital re-enhancement of actors that didn't quite work
There are things in this world that we’re not mean to understand the why of it’s existence or why we like them. They just are. For me, it’s the Twilight Sagas. These novels aren’t earth shattering, they aren’t the great American novel by any means, but they do provide exactly what stories are meant to: they entertain & provide a temporary escape.
I fell in love with the books as the author wrote them so I found zero need to adapt or gloss over things yet Breaking Dawn Part 2 is no exception to that rule. From someone who loves the books, the movie absolutely didn’t do the emotions, the experiences justice understanding, though, that few theatrical adaptation follow the book religiously.
Despite poor computer generated graphics at times, the fifth and final movie is a great watch and a just conclusion to The Twilight Sagas.
If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?
There are things in this world that we’re not mean to understand the why of it’s existence or why we like them. They just are. For me, it’s the Twilight Sagas. I am a higher-educated woman, been in the workforce and now a Haus Frau. I am absolutely not the demographic for these novels yet they absolutely appeal to me. Technically my major is English Literature with a concentration in Folklore & Mythology; while I’m not a professor it means that a) I’m not earning squat with that degree and b) I’ve studied enough books since the dawn of time to realize that these novels aren’t earth shattering, they aren’t the great American novel by any means, but they do provide exactly what stories are meant to: they entertain & provide a temporary escape. With three boys at home I need that escape.
I’ve read the books and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve read them three times. The first time I was pregnant with my third child so I chalked my obsession with the series up to pregnancy hormones. I read them again just before the debut of The Twilight Sage: New Moon. The obsession was still there. I watched The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 without reading the books beforehand, at least not completely. The releases were timed with the holidays. For me, this was my Harry Potter. It was only natural that, with the release of the final episode to the books, that I re-read them. I also started my own movie marathon – sadly, my schedule didn’t allow for a Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 refresher.
The Twihard phenomena took the world by surprise; many unexpected fans announced their obsession with the stories. Attending an opening of these movies is an event. We all know it’s the last of the series – there is a very definite conclusion. So this release was an highly anticipated event – at least a year in the making but definitely since the novel’s release in 2008. It was with this reasoning that we (yes, there were a group of us) chose a theater that was going to be more likely to be crowded. You wanted to be surrounded by others like you.
This was the best decision in recent memory.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 immediately starts off where Breaking Dawn Part 1 abruptly ended. Bella Cullen, after suffering a controversial pregnancy and had been literally destroyed from the inside out by delivering her fought-over half-breed daughter Renesmee, awakens to her new forever, her newborn vampire existence. Everything is perfect for the newest member of the Cullen vampire coven until their daughter’s existence is wrongly reported to the Volturi, who are the highest level of vampire law. Using any excuse to exert their authority, the Volturi travel to Forks, WA with the intent of eliminating the Cullen clan under the false assumption that Renesmee is the outlawed and illegal immortal child who is bitten rather than born. Breaking from tradition of sending their minions to do their dirty work, the Volturi instead decide to travel themselves. A pattern of deceitful behavior from the Volturi is discovered and suddenly the Cullens realize they are facing extinction from the final hand of the law rather than an open forum for discussion, for which they hoped. With vampiric friends that have come to stand with the Cullens against the Volturi and attest to Renesmee’s half-human existence, everyone realizes not only are they fighting for their friends and family but rising up against a totalitarian power as well.
When all is said and done I’ve realized I’m a purist. The movies, aside from the first, take away from the experience of my imagination. I fell in love with the books as the author wrote them so I found zero need to
adapt or gloss over things yet Breaking Dawn Part 2 is no exception to that rule. From someone who loves the books, the movie absolutely didn’t do the emotions, the experiences justice. Understanding, though, that few theatrical adaptation follow the book religiously, I accept the movies for what is presented to me. There are two consistencies for me with these movies: one, the cast is the same and two, the make-up is just absolutely abysmal.
But really, when it comes down to it, I’m team Carlisle. I mean’s he’s compassionate, he’s a doctor and he’s a looker.
All the vampires are supposed to be Photoshopped model-perfect. Instead over the series he’s increasingly worse, finding himself on the precipice of world’s worst plastic surgery disasters. By the final saga the first-year graphic artist student just…
…yeah. In the movie he had gained weight. I get that real life actors gain weight. I get that maybe they wanted to not upset the masses and show that he gained weight. But that? Straight up F on that assignment.
The movie is directed by Bill Condon who is the only director of the series to have directed more than one movie. Visually, the movie is beautiful. The details, the colors and contrasts (albeit inconsistently used) builds anticipation and adds another level of appreciation. In order to keep up with the supernatural story line, visual features rely heavily on computer graphics and animation. We already know they can transform humans into wolves and that the wolves look great and realistic. The previous saga brought the viewers to an amazing visual understanding by showing a physically deteriorating Bella; the viewers then understood the nature of vampire venom when we saw a gradual physical change of Bella as the venom rebuilt her emaciated body, broken spinal cord and mangled abdomen. With such beautiful images and possibilities I have zero understanding as to why they couldn’t get Renesmee’s features more realistic. She’s born with a full set of white milk teeth but even with all their talent she ends up looking like the baby from the Etrade commercials.
In fact, the eTrade baby has better CG than Renesmee. Apparently they couldn’t find an infant that looks enough like Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson so they completely fabricated a face on a baby. We all KNOW she’s supposed to have features of both parents – anyone seeing this movie isn’t likely to just choose this movie at random – but seriously? Did you literally have to superimpose Kristen’s eyes onto a baby? And then they CG’d a baby’s hand to touch her mother’s face for the first time. Did you really have to CG that? I had a really difficult time getting over these disturbing images – everything else was so beautiful and sharp and clear. I wasn’t into the movie so much until they introduced other vampires from the book. All the Photoshopped promotional images are just that – Photoshopped. The Kate in the image here…
…is not the collagen Kate that was in the movie. They did a great job of casting the actors for their parts but then they took it another step and enhanced them – in such an odd way.
Another example – The Volturi.
You never quite get the feeling why The Volturi as are ominous as everyone makes them out to be – partly because of the story gloss-over and partly because they are just…not fully developed. In the book you get it. In the book you see their inhuman, haven’t-had-a-conscience-in-1,800-years side.
You just never get that feeling in the movies. You can’t get over how horrid they look – I think a digital CG brush found it’s way to them, too. Their evilness was reduced even more when Aro does this high-pitched laugh-twittering thing at a really, really just awkward time.
But in the end the poor CG and story gloss-over were really my only issues. I never made it through the third reading of the book so the initial story wasn’t fresh in my mind. You loved the characters you’re meant to love, you enjoyed the humor that was always an undertone of the books and it was the story that you know.
Having not finished reading the book again was a good thing because I never would have enjoyed the massive twist that they threw into the story. There had been a few liberties taken with the story but you accepted them. And then the biggest liberty of all was made: a death in the movie that wasn’t in the book. The final fight scene was more than you could ever have wanted it to be and then some. The tale itself at this point is a bit darker, more sinister and final fight scene reflected that. Their story-glossing didn’t cover much of the specific supernatural talents of the vampires but only as they related to their relevance to the final scene. Even then, they were minimally used as compared to the novel. The audience gasped and even screamed pangs of horror at times. I’ll admit my adrenaline was pumping and I was left catching flies because my mouth just hung open. And then fans were not disappointed. The deviation from the book was the perfect reminder that these are films and these stories are meant to entertain. And they absolutely entertained that entire audience.
There were way too many movie trailers that were somewhat unrelated to the movie that we had to sit through, including Warm Bodies. But of course we got to see the trailer for the author’s newest movie, The Host. We were also given a 30 second introduction to let us know that second installment of The Hunger Games is in the works. For people who want to know what this Twilight hoopla is all about, this is not a good introduction to the series as it is the fifth and final movie. If you’re a fan of The Twilight Sagas, this movie will not disappoint. There are no moments where the movie drags, I never checked the time and if you’re lucky enough to see it with other fans, you will all experience the emotions of the final movie together. There were liberties but mostly it paid homage to the series, both the novels and the movies, and it was well worth the ride.