Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (12A)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/11/2012

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 117 mins

The final instalment of the Twilight Saga shares many of the problems of the previous movies, but it's also a lot more fun than the last few films and it does at least deliver a genuinely thrilling finale. Sort of.

What's it all about?
Directed by Bill Condon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 picks up where Part 1 left off, with Bella (Kristen Stewart) enjoying her new life as the sexy vampire bride of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), snacking on mountain lions and indulging in no-holds-barred marathon shagging sessions in between looking after their rapidly growing hybrid daughter Renesmee (a CGI baby, quickly replaced by Mackenzie Foy). Meanwhile, werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), having ‘imprinted’ his soul onto Renesmee (don't ask), tries to prevent the Cullens from leaving town by revealing himself (literally) to Bella's father (Billy Burke) and bringing him back into her life.

However, when future-seeing vampire Alice (Ashley Greene) has one of her visions, the Cullens realise that the sinister Volturi, led by Michael Sheen's deliciously camp Aro, are coming for Renesmee, so they assemble an army of assorted allies and prepare for the mother of all battles.

The Good
Sexy Vampire Bella turns out to be a great deal more fun than Mopey Human Bella ever was and her transformation gives the film a welcome new energy that was previously lacking; consequently, Stewart (who's clearly enjoying herself for once) gives her best performance since the first film, while Pattinson also seems a lot more relaxed this time round and Lautner does a great job of not making the whole imprinting business seem quite as creepy and weird as it might have done.

Basically, with the love triangle angst safely out of the way, the film is finally able to let its hair down a bit and as such, there are several enjoyable sequences; gloriously, the film even finds time to add vampire arm-wrestling to the franchise's list of enjoyable vampire activities (piggy-backing, baseball, etc). On top of that, an inspired rewrite of the book's anti-climactic ending means that the film gets to deliver a terrific action-packed finale, though die-hard Twi-hards are likely to find it as frustrating as it is thrilling.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is its bewildering surfeit of characters; as if there weren't enough to keep track of already, Breaking Dawn Part 2 introduces a whole set of new ones (notably Lee Pace as Garrett and Joe Anderson as Alistair) but gives them precious little of any interest to do. Similarly, the effects and dialogue are as laughably dodgy as ever, while the script is content to leave entire seemingly important sub-plots (Bella's father completely disappears from the story, for example) dangling in the wind.

Worth seeing?
This is undeniably cheesy and frequently ridiculous, but at least there's a sense of fun that was missing from the previous films. The fan-pleasing final credits are a nice touch too.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 22/10/2017 21:47

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