No, I’m lying — I haven’t been looking forward to this movie, that’s for sure. I actually dreaded this day. I didn’t feel like seeing this movie — but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. I watch and review every new movie that opens theatrically here in Malmö, Sweden, and I have of course reviewed all of the previous entries in the TWILIGHT series.
I remember when I was hanging out in the lobby before the press screening of the first TWILIGHT movie back in 2008. To be perfectly honest, I had never ever heard about the phenomenon at the time. I didn’t know the movie was based on a bestselling book. And while standing there in the lobby, I noticed lots of teen girls popping in and buying passes to the premiere — and they were really excited, almost drooling. They behaved like fan boys lining up for STAR WARS or LORD OF THE RINGS, but they were more hysterical — and they smelled better.
TWILIGHT was a pretty damn bad movie. I still remember the critics in the audience laughing out loud when pale vampire hunk Edward (Robert Pattinson) made his entrance. Was this for real? The first TWILIGHT movie is however pretty good compared to the sequels. They just kept on getting worse and worse, and even more ridiculous. Yes, I know: I’m an adult man. These movies aren’t aimed at me.
But that really doesn’t matter. They’re still really crappy movies no matter what the little kids who watch them say. The audience loves the characters and the actors, they don’t care if the movies themselves are utter shite. Which they are. Also, I’m a life-long horror fan, and I do of course not appreciate author Stephenie Meyer’s silly take on vampires.
So — what happened the last time around? You know, everytime I’ve been about to see a new TWILIGHT movie, I’ve tried to remember what happened in the previous entry — and I’ve never remembered. I don’t care enough to bother remembering the story — not more than the basics. Werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) loves human Bella (Kristen Stewart), who loves vampire Edward. Or the other way around. Or whatever. And we get barechested guys living together in a cabin in the woods, Tom of Finland style.
…But this time I actually remember what happened in the last movie. BREAKING DAWN — PART ONE, that was the one in which Bella and Edward got married and then had some “shocking” and “explicit” sex, which naturally turned out to be extremely lame and unsexy. This is after all not only a PG-13 movie, but also based on a book written by a mormon who tries to sneak in her obsolete messages in the story. Bella got pregnant, the fetus grew unnaturally fast, and Bella dies giving birth to the child.
But … No, wait! Bella didn’t die. Edward saved her by turning her into a vampire! (Oh. yeah — I almost forgot: BREAKING DAWN — PART ONE also had the immortal Muppet Show scene, in which the badly animated werewolves have a meeting and speak with human voices, Saturday morning cartoon style.)
And now it’s time for the grande finale.
So. What what do we get in this final installment in this successful series? Well, we get a bunch of events leading up to The Biggest Damn Cheat in the History of Movies! Well, almost the biggest one.
Bella is back from the dead as a newly hatched vampire. She’s learning how to control her new powers — it turns out she’s the strongest of the vampires. She also has problems controlling her thirst for blood and has to be stopped by her hubby Edward when she runs through the woods, hunting humans.
Another problem is the couple’s daughter; Renesmee (played by three little actresses), who grows rapidly. What will happen to her? Half human, half vampire — will she grow old and die within months? Or turn into Blade? After all, he’s also a half-breed. And how are they going to handle Officer Charlie Swan; Bella’s dad (Billy Burke)? How do they explain Bella is a vampire — and why his granddaughter grows so fast? Jacob reveals to Charlie that he’s a werewolf, which makes Charlie fall over backwards. Really.
Then the Cullens — that’s the vampire family — need to gather a bunch of vampire clans to protect little Renesmee from a false allegation that leads to big trouble: that super-evil vampire goth band known as the Volturi (Well, they look like a goth band) gather and travel to the Cullens’ hometown for a big battle. The good vampires train for the battle. We discover they have new powers, they actually resemble the X-Men. Bella’s dad is sent off on a fishing trip (Really!).
…And then it’s time for the big battle.
…Which turns out to be a big Nothing. I won’t reveal the details and totally spoil the movie, but let me put it like this: they spend the whole damn movie building up to the epic battle — and then suddenly Bobby Ewing steps out of the shower! What the hell? This is it? I’ve watched five movies, I’ve spent about ten hours with these pale and introvert teens — and it ends like this? Jeez!
Okay. I have to be fair. Like the last movie, BREAKING DAWN — PART TWO was directed by Bill Condon, who’s made CANDYMAN: FAREWELL TO THE FLESH, the great GODS AND MONSTERS — and DREAMGIRLS. And this is the best movie in this series since the first one. That’s not saying that this movie is any good, because it’s not, this is still more of BREAKING YAWN than DAWN. But it has more action than the previous episodes. There are loads of decapitations in it. No blood, though — after all, the movie is aimed at young, teen girls. And Bella isn’t as boring as she used to be; she’s almost something of a bad-ass as a vampire. And Billy Burke is good as usual — and his mustache helps a lot.
But still — this is not good. Most of the effects are surprisingly bad, some are downright awful. Just look at the scenes in which Bella is running in the woods and jumping up mountains. They look like they belong in an older video game. And the werewolves still look like crap, they’re not the slightest bit convincing.
The kids who love vampire books and movies really should check out some real vampire stuff instead of this anemic piece of blandness. Why not Kathryn Bigelow’s classic NEAR DARK? That one’s … finger lickin’ good!
Okay, time to drive a stake through THE TWILIGHT SAGA, bury it, forget about it, and head for something new, better, cooler and more interesting. Alright?
Here are my reviews (all published elsewhere on the Internet) of the rest of the movies in THE TWILIGHT SAGA:
Images copyright © Nordisk Film