Why is the Twilight series exponentially more popular than the more intriguing “Interview with the Vampire?” Anne Rice’s Louis and Lestat witness history, carry around significant emotional baggage, and speak dialogue worthy of a screenwriter. The Twilight Saga vampires are wooden caricatures, repeat the 12th grade over and over again, and carry on some of the most stunted and underwhelming conversations ever filmed. Teenage vampires must be more accessible to today’s occult audience than older vampires stuck in their 20s for the rest of their lives.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 begins immediately where “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” ended. Bella (Kristen Stewart) wakes up from one of the most intense birthing scenes ever recorded a ruby red-lipped, red-eyed, pale vampire. She sees minute details football fields in front of her, sprints faster than a car, jumps to the tree tops, and lusts after warm blooded creatures, both human and animal. For her first kill, instead of taking out a poor, innocent doe she was tracking, Bella sinks her fangs into what is most likely an endangered mountain lion that was about to feast on said deer. Predator becomes prey, who was once prey is now predator.
The spawn of the previously mentioned birth is the unfortunately named Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). CGI effects make her look more like Gollum than the half-human, half-vampire she is. She’s got nothing on Kirsten Dunst’s Claudia in the vampire department. Unlike Claudia, however, Renesmee is saddled with Jacob the werewolf protector (Taylor Lautner) who puts off an extremely disturbing vibe that in the future he is going to become much more than just her bodyguard. In an awkward and forced anger scene, Bella kicks the crap out of Jacob for his “imprinting” on her infant daughter as an amused Edward (Robert Pattinson) looks on. At least Jacob as a werewolf looks somewhat believable.
The special effects showing vampires running through the woods (and much of everything else they do), is not so believable. When Bella and Edward are shown in close-up admiring one another while sprinting, they blatantly do not fit in with the passing background (taking the audience right out of the movie experience). Another incongruent element is the advanced rate of Renesmee’s development. She grows six inches every month or so which confuses Bella’s poor father Charlie (Billy Burke). Charlie is written as the dumbest human being alive. Jacob needlessly disrobes in front of him to show him he is a werewolf (fulfilling his mandatory shirtlessness) and Bella tells him she is fine but cannot tell him anything else about herself, even why she looks different. They tell Charlie Resmenee is his adopted niece even though she looks exactly like her mother. Poor Charlie. These Twilight films never give him a chance to be more than a bumbling fool.
Twilight audiences have also been played a fool going through five films now just waiting for something to happen. Is there a payoff to finally be had in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2? Yes and no. Through a misunderstanding involving Edward’s cousin Irina (Maggie Grace), the ancient vampire leaders known as the Volturi learn of Bella’s child which runs afoul of one of the top three vampire rules. To correct this, Aro (Michael Sheen) and Jane (Dakota Fanning) lead the robed and hooded Italian clan to meet the Cullen clan in the snowy fields of the Pacific Northwest. Michael Sheen purposefully overacts; however, this works since anyone who is as old as he seems to be probably has a few cobwebs in the attic. At least he makes up for monosyllabic Jane who only gets to mumble the word “pain” every now and again.
Nothing makes up for Maggie Grace, who proves she is an actress on equal footing of blandness as Kristen Stewart. At least she is the catalyst for the most interesting part of the film — the gathering and introduction of other vampires of the world. It seems globalization has affected blood-suckers as well. A British guy, an Irish family, Transylvanians with corresponding atrocious accents, an Arab, and even a pair of Amazon warriors make their entrance pledging to help the Cullens argue their case to the Volturi lawmakers.
The pay-off comes in the form of two undead armies on opposing sides of a large and open field in the dead of winter ready for battle (vampires are lucky they do not get cold because those scantily clad Amazon warriors would be in trouble). There is a mountain of internet chatter about a twist ending and I will not reveal what happens on this field, other than it is violent, bloody and it works. There are those who are angry and call it a cheap trick, but instead, it is a cleverly written piece which tries, but not does make up for the lazy misunderstanding which brought them all together in the first place.
The Twilight series is now over and while The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is not a good movie, it is far better than its three predecessors and matches the first installment which is not that good of a movie either. If you are a teenager, you already saw this movie. Three times. If, however, you have aged past prepubescence, save yourself the two hours and go back and watch the infinitely better “Interview with the Vampire” again.