Breaking Dawn Part 2 is by far the most satisfying of the Twilight Saga. Could it be because the Stephenie Meyer-created characters are the most formed and each is more drawn out than ever before? Possibly, or it could just be that there is something satisfying about a film series that has always shown promise, but never quite lived up to its hype, and now in its final chapter… is ready to go out on top.
Part 2 picks up right after Breaking Dawn Part 1 concludes. Bella (Kristen Stewart) has died giving birth to her and new husband Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) baby Renesmee. Of course as fans know, Edward bit her in an effort to save Bella’s life and as she awakes in Breaking Dawn Part 2 with her searing red eyes, audiences know… this is Bella 2.0.
Movie Fanatic believes, in our Breaking Dawn Part 2 review, this is exactly why this film soars above all the others in the Twilight Saga. Stewart is unleashed and it is such a joy to watch her as she goes toe-to-toe with her new in-laws, particularly in a scene where she arm wrestles Emmett -- as this Breaking Dawn Part 2 clip shows. Then, moments later it’s practically a movie highlight when she tosses Jacob (Taylor Lautner) around like a rag doll as she discovers he has imprinted on her new baby -- more on that in a minute.
When a fellow vamp Irina (new to the series Maggie Grace) sees Renesmee, she immediate fears the worst and quickly reports to the Volturi and Aro (Michael Sheen) that the child is dangerous and must be destroyed. Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene), in her infinite wisdom and ability to see the future, sees the ruling vampire body coming for them and the family must prepare for battle.
Going into the film, we knew there would be a slew of new friendly-to-the-Cullen vampires and thought it might be a cohesive challenge for director Bill Condon to effectively and efficiently introduce them all while still serving his epic conclusion. Not so as it is a nice and infectious joy to meet these new vamps, especially Revolutionary War veteran Garrett (Lee Pace).
What was honestly creepy in the book Breaking Dawn was the whole imprinting thing with Jacob and Renesmee. Having a grown man lay “claim” to a newborn baby for a lifelong romantic connection just seemed off. Yet, in the film the relationship is portrayed as him serving purely as protector. It is Jacob’s already committed life path with her that gets his Wolfpack kin firmly into the battle that is looming with the Volturi over the child’s mere existence.
The star of Breaking Dawn Part 2 is Stewart. Through the entire series, the films have felt like an ensemble piece at its broadest and a love triangle with three actors at the helm at its closest. In the final film of the Twilight Saga, Stewart bursts off the screen with life, which is ironic considering she’s literally dead. Watching her embrace her inner vampire is pure joy and lifts this franchise from a satisfactory movie experience to one that is uniquely thrilling.
As for the ending, we refuse to offer any spoilers here, but as an outsider, we found it thrilling. It is satisfying and intensely powerful and almost resulted in a “hell yeah” emitted from this reviewer sitting in the dark witnessing the film. Yet, fans of the book may have a problem with it as it seriously diverts from what Meyer wrote. Twi-hards should know this: Meyer and longtime Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg combined forces to give us this cinematic conclusion to their epic series and if one can get over the differences with the book, it is explosive.
Sure, the film is not nearly as outstanding as most of the movie franchises out there from a pure quality standpoint. And an outsider with no knowledge of the series might not find the experience all that enjoyable. But, Breaking Dawn Part 2 is a good time for all. For film fans of broad scope, it is a solid conclusion to the series. For fans of Meyer’s world… it is a five-star spectacle.