The soap opera continues in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1. Up to this point, my reviews have been rather lenient on this series, but with this new entry, it gets taken to an all-time low. It has the same problems as the other films (overly-melodramatic, terrible acting, etc.), but somehow there manages to be even less of a plot than before, which is saying quite a lot as there hasn’t been much happening throughout the previous three films.
Part 1 of the final chapter in this saga begins with the big day that fans of the series have been waiting for: the wedding of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). Everyone is there including Bella’s dad, Charlie (Billy Burke), who still seems quite unsure about his daughter marrying Edward. Even Bella’s good friend/previous potential boyfriend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) makes an appearance after taking the news of her wedding rather hard.
After the ceremony, Edward and Bella go off to a private island for their honeymoon where they play chess, go swimming, and, of course, make out. However, not long after, Bella realizes that she’s pregnant, something that neither of them thought was possible between a human and a vampire. The rapid growth of the baby only complicates matters as it begins to threaten Bella’s life. Once Bella returns to the Cullen household, Jacob’s tribe begins planning an attack on them, despite Jacob’s desire that Bella not be harmed. In order to ensure this, he forms an alliance of sorts with the Cullens as the attack draws nearer.
If the intention of the filmmakers was to bore the audience to death with this entry in the saga, then they have succeeded better than they could have possibly hoped. The film starts off with an uneventful wedding between two characters who haven’t had the opportunity to develop throughout three movies, and yet, we’re expected to actually care about the fact that they’re finally getting married.
From here, they go on their honeymoon where not much else happens. We’re even subjected to watching them playing chess on a few occasions. Then there’s an awkward sex scene that, luckily, we don’t have to see much of, though it must have been quite something as the room ends up being trashed by the next morning. The pregnancy situation only ends up adding more melodrama to the film than there was before, only dragging it further into the land of soap opera.
You get the same level of bad acting as was present in the other films. For this series, the only directions that Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner seem to have been given is simply to mope, brood, and overact by raising their voices every now and again. All three have shown time and time again that they got into the wrong profession as their lack of talent has not improved over the last few years. Pattinson has begun to be a better judge of material, having starred in Water for Elephants earlier this year, but his performances remain very bland and not particularly convincing.
As with the other entries, this film has its share of unintentionally funny moments thanks to some terrible production values that show themselves in particular in a scene where Jacob’s wolf pack meets. The wolves are so badly animated (as they have been throughout the series) and the voice acting so badly done that you can’t help but laugh at this terrible attempt for the filmmakers to make the audience take it seriously.
We also have a badly-written screenplay from series regular Melissa Rosenberg, based on the book by Stephenie Meyer, to thank for the dullness of the film. Like the previous film, they have set it up so that we are teased into thinking that there’s going to be an eventful showdown between two sides. However, while the last film gave us a little something, this film gives us even less, making the audience wonder what they’ve been waiting for throughout the once-again bloated runtime of nearly two hours.
But who are we kidding? This film was made for the fans as they’re going to be the only ones able to appreciate it, despite it not having any redeeming qualities whatsoever. They will see it en masse, making it very successful, while the rest of us merely have to tolerate its existence. It’s sad to see that this entry, as well as the final entry, has been directed by Oscar-winner Bill Condon, who could have been putting his time to much better use. He’s given us the screenplays to such memorable films as Chicago, Gods and Monsters, and Kinsey. Oh, how he has fallen. At the very least, there’s only one film left to go, one film left to see if anything the least bit interesting happens throughout this saga. We still have another year until it arrives, but my early guess would be that the filmmakers aren’t about to start now. 1.5/4 stars.
Now playing in theaters everywhere.
Also Now Playing: Immortals, Melancholia, 11-11-11, Tower Heist, In Time, Puss in Boots, Paranormal Activity 3, Moneyball