‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′ Review

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 21st, 2012 at 9:01 am,

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Taylor Lautner Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review

The final Twilight saga chapter, Breaking Dawn – Part 2, was always expected to face an uphill battle with anyone but diehard fans of Stephenie Meyer’s supernatural romance series. Despite blockbuster box office returns, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 was met with largely negative reviews and the sense that splitting the final Twilight book into two parts arguably proved to be a disservice to the quality of the film adaptation – even if it doubled-up profits for Summit Entertainment.

It goes without saying that moviegoers who are simply uninterested or cynical about the Twilight franchise will not enjoy Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – as the film still contains the usual series staples (shirtless Taylor Lautner, glittering vampires, melodramatic romance, etc). However, does the final entry, once again directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), ultimately deliver a filmgoing experience worthy of recommendation to cautiously curious fans of entertaining cinema – in addition to the already strong Twilight series faithful?

Surprisingly, yes. As mentioned, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 isn’t going to win-over the franchise’s longtime critics and, given the amount of ties to past events and characters that dominate the proceedings, it’s still hard to recommend as a standalone experience for the uninitiated. That said, out of the (now) five film series, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 easily includes the most straightforward plot and, instead of dwelling on the core Bella, Edward, Jacob love triangle, manages to deliver a competent (albeit still campy) “war” story – complete with a fun cast of supporting heroes/villains and a finale that ends the current saga with a fiery bang. Condon shot Part 1 and Part 2 at the same time but the difference is staggering, as the latter installment is stronger in nearly every single way imaginable, with a focused story, higher production values, and a number of appealing setups. It’s still an overly-dramatic and downright cheesy escapade but, unlike most of the prior entries, Breaking Dawn – Part 2  offers enough fun for appeal to a slightly broader audience.

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Christopher Heyerdahl Michael Sheen Jamie Campbell Bower The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review

The Volturi (Christopher Heyerdahl, Michael Sheen, and Jamie Campbell Bower) in ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2′

The Breaking Dawn – Part 2 story picks up directly after the events of Part 1: wherein Bella (Kristen Stewart) nearly lost her life during the birthing of her half-human, half-vampire daughter, Renesmee - only to be turned into a vampire at the very last minute by husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson).

In Part 2, newborn vampire Bella awakens from a post-transformation slumber and wastes no time in testing out her new supernatural powers. Unfortunately, after being reunited with Renesmee (now played by Mackenzie Foy), Bella and her daughter – along with werewolf/one-time love interest Jacob (Taylor Lautner) – are spotted by Cullen family “cousin” Irina (Maggie Grace) who mistakes Renesmee for an “immortal child” (read: a child who has been turned into a vampire and, as a result of their juvenile lack of self-control, risk exposing the existence of vampires to humans). Irina reports the Cullens to the Volturi, the vampire ruling class and police force, known for their ruthless handling of similar situations. In an effort to clear their names, and reveal the truth of Renesmee’s parentage, the Cullens recruit a roster of international vampire “witnesses” to help set the record straight or, should the Volturi choose to be unreasonable, fight to the death.

While Breaking Dawn – Part 2 still relishes in sappy cliches about “true love” and hyper-romanticized encounters between Bella and Edward, the larger plot is actually very straightforward and finds a successful balance between the sentimental franchise camp and some genuinely entertaining changes to the established format. The majority of scenes still present eye-rolling moments but, freed from all the overly-complicated teen romance, Part 2 allows a number of characters to step outside of the drama for unique moments to shine – revealing that the core Twlight universe has more going for it than the love triangle focus of earlier movies. Abstract core elements (such as the Volturi, “imprinting,” and the dangers of “immortal children”) are all explained with mostly natural exposition or engaging flashbacks – educating uninitiated audience members on the primary character beats in play.

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Kellan Lutz Kristen Stewart The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review

Emmett (Kellan Lutz) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) arm wrestle in ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2′

Watching Bella experiment with her newfound powers is amusing to watch, and a welcome change of pace from her cringe-worthy descent into sickness and death in Part 1, but the real stars this round (for anyone who isn’t already grounded in Team Edward, Team Jacob, or Team Bella) is the international cast of vampires who come to aid (or in some cases mock) the Cullens for their plan to face the Volturi. Not only do some of the characters offer enjoyable riffs on traditional vampires, the film focuses heavily on each Twilight vampire’s “gift” (aka: super powers) – leading to a number of slick comic book-like “heroes” such as Benjamin (Rami Malek) with Airbender-ish control of elements in nature and chilling “villains” such as Alec (Cameron Bright) who can rob opponents of their physical senses.

On the battlefield, the combination of super-powered hero vampires, rough and tumble shape-shifting wolves, as well as blood-thirsty Volturi combatants, makes for a rousing last confrontation that is as outrageous as it is amusing (it would also make for a crazy drinking game: one drink for every decapitation). The final Twilight set-piece doesn’t come close to matching the scale of the assault on Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 but, compared to the flat visuals and underwhelming action beats in prior Twilight entries, the closing moments of the film definitely raise the series bar and should provide a satisfying conclusion for Twihards – along with fun surprises for less-knowledgeable viewers.

Still there’s no doubt that the film is held-back by mushy character moments and a “budget” look (despite the franchise raking in over $2.5 billion at the global box office) – both holdovers issues from earlier franchise entries. Even though there is no “talking wolves” colloquium this round, there are still a number of unintentionally humorous exchanges and awkward visuals (especially CGI baby Renesmee) that undercut the quality of the filmmaking – even if the final film itself delivers a worthwhile experience for its intended audience.

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Judith Shekoni Tracey Heggins Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson Christian Camargo The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Review

Judith Shekoni, Tracey Heggins, and Christian Camargo ready to fight in ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′

It’s unlikely that Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is the end of the Twilight movie franchise (given all the talk of spin-offs or further sequels) but Stephenie Meyer remains clear that it is the end of Bella and Edward’s tale. As a result, it’s fitting that the final chapter in their storyline also offers the most fun and excitement thus far – not to mention serves as the entry that could change a few minds about the available potential in the larger series. Naysayers aren’t going to be won-over (and have plenty of fair criticisms) but it’s easy to imagine that some initially reluctant viewers might be less adverse to further Twilight installments after their time with Breaking Dawn – Part 2. In our review of Part 1 I contended that, considering the passion and support of the Twihard community (not to mention resulting blockbuster profits), Summit Entertainment owed faithful fans better quality Twilight films – and Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is definitely a step in the right direction.

If you’re still on the fence about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, check out the trailer below:

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Let us know what you thought of the film in the comment section below. If you’ve seen the movie and want to discuss details about the film without worrying about spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it, please head over to our Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Spoilers Discussion.

For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out our Breaking Dawn – Part 2 episode of the SR Underground podcast.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity. Now playing in theaters.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5
(Good)

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TAGS: breaking dawn, twilight

121 Comments

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  1. The movie was ok, watchable, I’m just glad the saga is finished to be honest and this foray in to teenage emo sap is over

    Well until the next cash cow

  2. Out of the series this one was definitely best and the battle scene practically saves the whole movie. I always think the movies of this series are filled with too much ‘dead time’ and blank stares. This one started out pretty much the same but quickly picked up.
    I also agree this one was def the nost straight forward. I didn’t read the books until I watched New Moon and before then I felt kind of lost on some scenes.
    The lochness monster line isn’t terrible to me. I felt ‘Bella’s’ delivery of it was.
    I am a fan of Twilight and I also see the many short comings of the films but I love them anyways and this was definitely best. It felt complete.

  3. bella was at her best in this one & definitely the battle seen is just unforgettable.gud they ended twilight saga this way without any disappointment.

  4. Anytime I see the phrase “story-beats” or “character-beats,” I know Ben wrote the article. These should be your catch phrases.

  5. ABSOLUTELY LOCE PART 2! Especially the ending which had you at the edge if your seat! My 12 year old daughter Also thought it was great!

  6. never liked twilight and i gave it to many chances in the beginning. stoped the twilight after the movie of new moon. what a horrible a movie. so after that wasteful time, i just ignored it and i did not want to be bother of it again. The trailers are just so good of wanting people who hate twilight to come see it, realizing how the trailers are very persuasive and that we waste our money to realize it was horrible. With breaking dawn part 2 trailer, did look good (see what i mean? that’s how they make a lot of money, on based of the trailer. some people like me learned that trick)and looked promising. i had the courage to watch it on online, cheap way for me to not spend my money in case it does stink. So watched it and at the very end, i honestly got to tell you guys, it’s not terrible nor is it great. It’s somewhat good. can’t believe i just say that a twilight movie is good. acting, much better but still lacking of emotions, overacting, and dull acting for some of them. bella for once is a character that i started to like! yes, talk about a step up! she’s sort of badass also when she’s in it. directing, better, but still horrible at some scenes. writing, surprisingly not bad, and some of the dialogues were engaging, i actually laugh at little parts (such as when bella says ,”you nick name my daughter after the loch ness monster?!”, and i could tell that the writer finally seems to know of how to write good dialogue and she seems to take her time on it. now the bad. aro’s laugh, OH MY GOD! was i suppose to laugh at that? what was the actor and the director thinking of keeping that in? the editing is till terrible and so choppy that i got bit of a headache, because of that. the music (except for the entire battle scene of when they stand on different ends. had this rather cool chanting music and during the battle fit nicely with the music) or should i say songs that are singing over the dialogues and you can’t hear what the actors are saying. that should be a big no no for making any movies. be truthful guys, did you guys understand what they were saying when the songs came over them? The end of the movie. it had a good set up for the fricken battle! once i think they were about to kill alice, carilse (yeah sorry about me not spelling their names wrong)comes running, wanting to protect her, and aro cut his HEAD OFF, AND DIED! i was “jesus! i did not expect that. they finally killed a main character.” and then they all charge and the battle starts. then all the sudden, jaspers died and i was like, “they killed another main character?! what is going on?” then seth died and “Oh jesus!” then leah, and the rest of the bad guys. my mind was going a bit of a shock because i thought twilight were a bunch of wussies that they did not want to kill off. especially the author of twilight. then i spoke to soon, all the battle and the characters who died, were’nt really dead. IT WAS ALL A FRICKEN VISION!!!! Du’oh (slapped my hand to my head when i realized that)! Why? honestly why do that? it just seems so unfair to do that to an audience (i’m pretty sure this battle scene was not in the book and pretty sure that you twilight fans had an heart attack. which i understand for the characters that you loved for a long time) that you guys could have done something cool and that that battle scene would have changed a whole lot of people who hated twilight. sadly, it was all a vision and nothing more now. what a crappy ending. but all in all, i did enjoy in some parts in the movie. i actually had some emotions from the characters (when carilse died in the vision, i actually gasped) and the fights were a lot better. so for this movie, i’m giving it a 2 and half stars. the highest ratting that any twilight will ever get from me. disagree all you want, but that is my opinion. and everyone has their own opinion, no wrong or right answers.

    • Well, Alexia, thanks for spoiling the ending for some people that still are to watch the movie. Next time when you give reviews try not to give out the ending or at least write ‘spoil alert’. Just sayin’

    • i love edward

  7. IT WAS THE BEST MOVIE EVER A LOVED IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WHY DOES THE SAGA NEED TO END

  8. Well, it was a beautiful movie with a phenomenal and superb anti-climax.The baby Renesmee was lovingly beautiful but she and her gestures appeared to be animated. The protagonists of the epic romance; Kristen & Robert have played their parts well. Bella being welcomed as the new member in the family and being taught the vampire ways and arm-wrestling with others was a bit hilarious. The older Renesmee was supercalilifragilidocious. Jacob (Taylor) was brilliant with both his acting skills and one-liners. The other vampires were welcoming each with different abilities. The first half, however, was comparatively a bit slower. But it picked up pace post interval. Michael Sheen (Aro) was convincing in his role both pre and post Alice’s vision. The fighting scenes were awesome with the entire theatre cheering, whistling, clapping & jeering when every central character killed a villain.The most heart-warming sequence was when Bella finally makes Edward see what she actually thinks about him and how much she loves him (with her newly acquired vampire-powers), as she was the only person whose mind Edward could not read. And then the song ‘Forever’ truly containing the soul of the story and the movie and telling that “WE WILL STAY FOREVER THIS WAY” was emotionally heart endearing; also introducing us with the characters at the same time. Though it was my first ‘Twilight movie’ on 70mm screen but I really felt connected and moved with the romance between Bella and Edward. This was a true feast for the Twi-hard fans and the perfect ending (by Bill Condon). The movie has a potential to instil curiosity with the new viewers

  9. Watched the twilight finale last night. Have to say I’ve looked forward to this for some time but felt bitterly let down. From the opening credits I felt like I was watching a Volvo advert , Bella had turnt into the bionic woman crossed with the hulk and from opening her eyes adapted to life as a vampire straightaway and perfected the vampire art the others have struggled with since the first film. The fight scene was amazing but the twist spoilt it and it looks as if before long we could end up with another instalment. Jacob was turnt into renesme protector subsequently turning his back on the pack which throughout the films he has spent the duration of learning to be their leader. Years ago Dallas burst onto screens throughout the world making instant stars of the characters but being so big offers was made to the stars which in turn meant a main character would leave. Patrick Duffy (bobby Ewing) scored millions and millions of viewers as his character was killed off but every episode after the viewers slowly decreased putting Dallas on the verge of being cut from the air. In a rush decision bobby was bought back to life and all the previous episodes was put down as a horrible dream with his wife waking to find him in the shower. The viewers continued to fall as fans felt let down and I’m sorry but this latest instalment of twilight was one big let down . The bionic woman, the fight scene was a premonition vampires turnt up we’ve never met. The other vampires was from an xmen film with daft skills. Here’s hoping I wake in the shower and get to watch a different version.

  10. Twilight is the best story line movie ever. I saw Breaking Dawn part 2 last week and loved it. I didn’t feel let down in any way and the producers did a great job of showing the audience that this is the final movie. Very sad. Stewart was awesome and looked great compared to previous movies. Taylor and rob were just as relaxed as before even better this movie. The one amazon vampire with really long dark hair was a bit scary but her powers were great and the egyptian vamp who moved the water was awesome to. I loved the movie. Would definitely go see it again.

  11. ricofau@yahoo.com

  12. It`s my favorite film……….
    I LOVE TWILIGHT <3 :)………………….

  13. I LOVE IT
    BY BRIANNA

  14. I went to see it and for what the film was, I enjoyed it. But it didn’t capture the final book, at all. Bells was supposed to be a stunningly beautiful and unstoppable new born vampire, and it took all of the Cullens to hold her back. In the film Bella comes across as weak.

    Renesme also had a huge part in the book and in the film she seems like an outsider, and you don’t know much about her from the film.

    There was added humour in the film too which was unnecessary. It was supposed to be dangerous, scary and riveting. BIGGER!

    Didn’t do justice for me I’m afraid and I think they messed up with the last one. The first two films were amazing but I felt it started to go down hill after that.

    But yeah. I guess for what the film was and what they did to it, it was good. Just didn’t capture the book very well.

  15. d great compared to previous movies. Taylor and rob were just as relaxed as before even better this movie. The one amazon vampire with really long dark hair was a bit scary but her powers were great and the egyptian vamp who moved the water was awesome to. I loved the movie. Would definitely go see it again.thx all for this film this putefol

  16. I’ve read the books over and over again and I can’t get enough of them. Not because the writing is good but because the story just takes you away from reality for a while. Every single movie dissapointed me though… Kristen Steward is just plain awful. Bella isn’t the most likable protoganist anyways. She is whiny and annoying but Kristen Steward just takes it to a whole other level. I cry my eyes out every time I read Breaking Dawn but the movie adaptation just spoils the reading experience. A downright shame that evidently nobody bothered to adapt the book more elegantly…

  17. i think this movie is amayzing

  18. gmna cara downlowd filmnya Twligth 2

  19. I thought the movie was AMAzing best one by far

  20. twilight movie is a excelent.simple mobile master agent.

  21. i like twilight its the last twon is so sad

  22. Needs to have a part 3 or at least a better ending

  23. It’s a beautiful love story. The passion and full devotion to one anothers other half…sad to say not many gets this in real life. This drama of wanting to be a vampire tho….I differ. -”who wants to live for eternty being souless, or without the human heart?! This is WHY they are called the living dead. Seems like something would be missing….humans becoming machanical beings..sigh, just had to add this thought here.

  24. That fight scene… almost happened. Or did it?

    Here’s our take with (some) humor and pictures if you’re interested:

    http://fortresstakes.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/the-twilight-saga-breaking-dawn-part-2-2012/

  25. I love the Twilight so much that I waited a whole year to watch Breaking Dawn 2, unluckily, it was not showed in China last year. After checking plenty of comments, I am still waiting…Expect it will be on this year…God bless Chinese fans!

  26. If there was a movie of guy on guy full penetration porno Jacob on Edward that movie would not be as gay as twilight. Zero stars.

    • I base my life on this stor

    • It’s so awesome because my real name is Isabella and I have always been team Edward and I have always liked vampires I give it 5 out out of five stars best vampire movie great movie but has some mess ups like in twighlight you can see the cast and boom mikes on the reflection of the car

    • Meen don’t agree

  27. This film is absolutely disgusting for a.12 year old to watch and should be banned for children!!!!!!! Jacob imprinting on a baby and being around her all the time coz hes gonna have a relationship with her when he is older is sick. Its child grooming and paedophilia. What kind of message is that film sending out to young girls. Absolutly shocking!!!! I cant believe a film with that content is rated a 12!!!!!!

  28. I really think that there MUST be an extra part! It’s not fair to keep the audiences imagining what could and what could not have been, like the feeling REALLY sucks. Plus, I would really like to know how the Jacob-Renesmee relationship develops and changes with time, and whether Renesmee dies at some point in time or lives forever – this is confusing since she’s said to be half mortal and half immortal. And if Renesmee does live forever, would she consider changing Jacob into a vampire, so that they could be able to live together forever? Many questions, no answers. I just hope that the saga goes on because it’s a very interesting movie, despite what haters say, haters are gonna be haters and we cannot exclude them from our universe; it’s impossible to please everyone. I just hope that someone reads this comment and really takes it into consideration, this is my first time that I post something as such online as I have little/no faith in online opinion stuff. They are never really heard, therefore, you must conclude that this is something I perceive as important.

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