The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (***3/4)
Well done on the twist
CG baby is creepy
End of an era
(I posted this disclaimer on my review of Part 1 and although there was no contention on that post, I'm going to do so again.)
Disclaimer: Yes, I know Twilight is not for everyone. But I have been a fan for quite a while now, and although my initial (ridiculous) obsession has waned, I will continue to be a fan. Is it "quality literature"? No. Are the movies faithful adaptations of the books? No. (But when are they ever, really?) Is it an enjoyable series that has brought me great friends and a whole lot of entertainment? Yes. So if you're only here to hate, please don't.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. I've got bittersweet feelings about writing this review. On the one hand, like I say in the disclaimer above, my Twihardiness has lessened since the book this movie is based on came out, so I'm not totally distraught that the movies have come to an end. On the other, it really is a finale to something that at one point meant a whole lot to me.
And what a fitting finale it was.
I'd been hearing rumors since Part 1 came out that the ending to this movie had been changed. As a reader who felt a little "is that it?" at the end of the book, I was hoping for the change to include more action—and the movie definitely delivered. To avoid total spoilers, I won't go into detail, but there were definitely more than a couple of WTF moments and disbelieving gasps during the "battle" between the Cullens+ and the Volturi. (There were also some cheers and laughs, too—Marcus, you make me grin.)
Surprisingly enough, even Kristen Stewart's Bella and Robert Pattinson's Edward were improved. (I thought they were better in Part 1, but they were even more so in Part 2.) They laughed, they joked, they had facial expressions! There was more life in Bella in this film than nearly all of the others combined. (Ironic, right?) Yay for arm-wrestling and punching boulders.
On a technical level, I'm still super disappointed with Summit's apparent lack of concern about their movies' crappy CG. The way they made Renesmee look for most of the film was super awkward and, in my opinion, could have totally been avoided if they'd just worked with a baby, a toddler, and then Mackenzie Foy (who played the character at her oldest in the film). Perhaps child stars are just more expensive to cast than Ally McBeal's dancing baby. (Even the ETrade babies look better than this one did!)
One of my favorite parts of the book was getting to meet the additional vampires, especially Garrett, and Lee Pace did a wonderful job of bringing him to life on screen. It was fun to see all of the other vampires' various powers, too. Even with all of the additional characters, the movie didn't feel cramped ... maybe less Edward-Bella-Jacob makes for a more entertaining watch?
Overall, I thought this was a great high point on which to end the movies—even the credits were well done!—and the changes that were made a fitting send-off to the series as a whole.