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Breaking Dawn Part 2 Justifies its existence much better than its predecessor
And finally the Twilight Saga ends saga-ing. You boyfriends can heave a sigh of relief. That is, after you've been dragged to one more of these movies. But for those of you who have felt that the Twilight movies have lacked a bit of oomph, this one's for you.
But first, the story
Our movie starts just after Bella (Kristen Stewart), having been lovingly torn to shreds and bitten by her totally-not-abusive husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson), wakes up with a horrible craving for Visine. Her daughter, Renesmee, lovingly ripped from her womb only a few days before, is already bringing boyfriends home to meet her parents. Or should I say stray dogs?
Either way, it's Jacob (Shark Boy).
Bella shows some incredible self control as demonstrated by the fact that she only breaks three of her daughter's new stalker's ribs.
As a newborn vampire, it doesn't take long for her and Hubby to leave the kids at grampa's, get a room of their own, and get down to some serious bagpipe playing. (For you parents who may be thinking of letting your young kids see this one, the "bagpipe" scene in this one isn't quite as illustrative or long as in Part 1, but be aware that it's still here in all it's bagpipe glory.)
It turns out that Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) is growing up quite quickly. In a few months she already appears to be several years old. And that's when "friend" of the family Irina (Maggie Grace) sees the child, assumes she's a vampire child (which turns out to be illegal in vampire culture, thank you very much Big Brother) and runs and tattles on them to the Volturi. Of course, the Volturi have just been waiting for any excuse to swoop down and dole out "justice" on clan Cullen.
Any more might verge on TMI. But if you've read the book, you kinda see where I'm going with this.
Check out these other movies in the twilight series
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In general, I think this one does a better job of keeping with the spirit of the book than the previous movies. That being said, be aware that there is a dramatic change in the way the final conflict plays out. Be prepared for some big surprises. I understand author Stephenie Meyer was part of the major change, and in the end, thematically, it fits very well with the book, but it's still quite a change.
But I've said too much already.
I have to say, though, that if all the previous movies had been made like this one, they would have been much more enjoyable. In my review of Breaking Dawn Part 1, I mentioned that the pacing of that movie was absolutely too slow. The story of that movie could have easily taken up less than half of the movie it became.
In Part 2, however, I can't quite make the same claim. Sure there are parts that they could have taken out without really ruining the brunt of the story, but the movie never feels like it's dragging the way some of the previous movies have.
One of the things that really helped the pacing is that this movie, in stark contrast to the four before it, finally lives in a universe where angst has been abolished. Bella is no longer torn between desires. She knows what she wants and has the strength to fight for it. She doesn't exactly know how to get what it is that she wants, but the uber-angst is finally gone. From there, it's just working toward a solution.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 trailer
And the increased production cost definitely shows here as well. And that's one thing that I'm definitely baffled about with this series.
Did you know that the Twilight movies, sequel for sequel, have regularly cost more to make than the Resident Evil movies? At $37 million (from what I can find, both production and promotion together), the very first Twilight movie cost $4 million more than Resident Evil. Seriously? Where did that budget go? They couldn't even afford to use the full color spectrum. All we got were shades of blues, grays and greens.
Did they actually pay to bedazzle Robert Pattinson with real diamonds?
Resident Evil 5 cost a reported $65 million, and at $131.5 million, Breaking Dawn Part 2 more than doubles that. On the other hand, with this outing I finally start to see where the money's going. It's still a bit of a ridiculous price tag considering that it's still more than the cost of the first three Resident Evil movies combined, but still, the production value has definitely gone up.
But that's a bit of a digression.
Anyway, I'm trying to avoid a "fanboy moment" where I overly praise a movie just because it's fresh in my memory, but right now, I'd have to say that The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 actually is my favorite of the series. And let's hear it for going out on a high note.
There were a couple things from the book that I'm a little disappointed were left out (no, I'm not telling which things. That would be telling.) but nothing crucial to the story. Just some character or plot nuances. Nothing major.
But seriously, the ending of the movie totally kicks the book's butt. But that's all I'm going to say about it.
Oh, and I really enjoyed the scene where Jacob strips for Charlie. Gotta give props there, man.
But what do you think?
For me, this one gets a solid 8 / 10. (But again, if you didn't particularly care for or like the previous ones, this one may only be marginally better for you.)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is rated PG-13 for just a little bit of mild language, some sensuality and partial nudity as well as violence and disturbing images. (Be aware that this is easily the most violent of the Twilight films, though it's mostly bloodless and decidedly non-realistic vampire/wolf related.)