By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2 (Out of 4 Stars)

At the end of this near two hour final installment of the Twilight Series, a second part in a two film adaptation of the final novel by Stephanie Meyer, I seriously pondered the necessity of making the two films out of one novel and couldn’t come up with a logical reason, other than to make more money.  Even my friend, an expert of the Twilight books, agreed that there really was no reason to split the Breaking Dawn novel into two movies.  Seriously though, these last two films of the vampire/werewolf movie franchise accomplish so very little story wise in their near four hour run time.  So much time is wasted with the characters standing around staring at each other, making small talk and not particularly well written dialogue at that.  With the best part of the film saved for the last thirty to forty minutes of the film, I can’t say that this film is a complete waste of time, but it definitely comes close.

When audiences last visited the Twilight characters in Forks, Bella (Kristen Stewart) gives birth to baby Renesmee and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) transforms Bella into a vampire to save her life.  Now a vampire with all the strengths and superpowers, Bella has to adjust to her immortality and thirst for blood.  The Cullen family also has to contend with the Volturi’s reaction to the birth of a vampire child,  summon other vampire families and form an alliance with the werewolves to protect themselves and the people of Forks.

I really despised the script by Melissa Rosenberg which, as I noted above, stretches out the film way too long and does so little to advance the story.  I can easily see this film accomplish so much more in one two hour film than it does in two.  I will admit that the climax delivers some thrilling, exciting and entertaining moments as did Eclipse in its climactic battle, but much like the other Twilight films that preceded it, the whole affair plays out so overly melodramatic and often ridiculously.  Given the increasing budget of this cash cow of a franchise, it still really irks me that Bill Condon and his crew (as well as previous directors) cannot offer their audiences descent special effects and CGI.  Throughout this entire series, I never saw any improvement whatsoever when it comes to the effects, especially with the werewolves which have always appeared ridiculously large and cartoonish.

The acting really has not improved much either. Granted, I will acknowledge that in this installment Kristen Stewart is much more tolerable as a badass vampire than as the mopey emo teenager pining over pretty boy Edward.  Also, now that Jacob doesn’t piss and moan over his unrequited love for Bella, Taylor Lautner has a more likable role as the werewolf buddy.  In the past few installments, I actually enjoyed Michael Sheen as the scenery chewing head Volturi, Aro.  However in this movie, his silly antics began to grate on me.  His overacting here grows tiresome and annoying.

I have no doubt that most fans of the movie series will delight in all of the melodrama that this film has to offer. I’m sure that the die hard fans of the books will probably have mixed to negative feelings. For those who don’t like Twilight, there really is no point in spending your money.  I will say that I look forward to watching this movie again.  That is when the Alamo Drafthouse comedy troupe, Master Pancake, lampoons and skewers it for laughs.


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