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

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 18th, 2014 at 4:01 am,

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

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.

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. Best twilight move ever. I’m still flipping out about it. To anyone who is thinking about going go see it!!! Beware there is a major mind f*** in it

    • My mind was all over the place. My jaw dropped and stayed that way for about 15 minutes. Not at all what I was expecting.

    • You sad little person.

  2. Best twilight move ever. I’m still flipping out about it. To anyone who is thinking about going go see it!! Twilight forever <3

  3. best twiligt movie. I dont think i took a breath for “that part” of the movie. I almost cried even after bc of the shock. I went into this movie thinking it was going to be horrible and now i want to go see it again. worst part, cgi renesme.

  4. Being a huge Harry Poter fan and an okay Twilight fan, I have to say Breaking Dawn 2 was so much better ths Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows 2! BD2 was fabulous and the audience was so into the climax….HP72 was so anti climatic!

  5. This m

  6. There should be a warning please dont leave the theater till the end of the movie. I walked out because of the “special twist” during the first 25 seconds

  7. I have to say i myself must agree with parts of the review although i gave it 5 stars just due to the fact i found it the most entertaining of the series which my wife has dragged me to see every single time and forced me to watch over and over again on dvd. The “scene” at the end really made it worth it although i do agree for a major blockbuster movie series they could have done alot better i have to give it 5 stars because watching the carnage made the pain of the previous movies worth it.

  8. Didnt expect that ending ,I was about to cry until the realization lol.

  9. Didnt expect that ending ,I was about to walk out until the realization lol.

  10. I gave a 4 out of 5 …mostly because of the cgi baby. The production crew worked so hard at the whole sickly and dying skeleton Bella in part one…should have put more effort on the baby in part two or even tried to figure out how to make a live baby work IMO. other than that i loved it! it was awesome…that twist at the end had my heart pumping so hard lol! its an end to an era…kinda sad to see it over! But thats all she wrote… so to speak :)

    • i concur with everything you said… it’s mostly the CGI baby that made me reconsider five stars…

  11. The only reason I gave this movie a 4 star was due to the scare it gave me during the fight scene. I almost walked out cause I was so mad that it had changed so drastically from the book. When Carlisle died, I was mad as ever, but I held on and then jasper and Seth and Leah? I was furious! But as I was just about to grab my purse and walk out they really started picking off the volturi. Which made me give it a minute cause I wanted to see who else died.

    I was just so mad that it had been changed so much! But after the big reveal, I slightly calmed down. But, had it ended that way, and not been revealed that it was not real? I wouldn’t have bought the DVD, and I probably would have boycotted the movies altogether. So, it was a good save!

  12. No one died that wasn’t suppose to because it was just her vision! However the vision itself was what had me so angry. It does NOT say the details, therefore does not say in the book that Carlisle or anyone else dies. I was upset because my favorite characters were dying and as I said, I calmed down after it was revealed to be JUST the vision. So, plz don’t act like I know nothing regarding the books as I have read them multiple times and had the movie ended with that fight not being just a vision, I would have boycotted the movie. However, it wasnt how it ended, therefore I’m happy with the movie!
    I am fully aware that they don’t give details in the book, and that’s why I was not expected what happened because I was only expected a slightly changed version of the book, not the massive change it would have been, had the movie ended without it revealing that it was just a vision.

    Now, just to apologize, I did not realize we couldn’t put details on these posts as I have never came to this site. So I’m fine with u deleting my posts. I meant no disrespect of the site, by the spoilers.

    • Its an adaptation of the book, not every detail of the book. Not only that Stephanie Meyer produced it so I’m pretty sure she knew what she wanted.

      • Yeah, I take it that member hasn’t read a Harry Potter book and then walked out of a movie saying “why did they completely change that?” or “that never happened in the book”.

        No clue why I’m on this review because I hate the Twilight movies, they look so pathetic (plus vampires glowing? puh-lease…) but I caught the comment and had to respond.

    • If they didn’t put the scene where she shows ARo the future, there would be no point in watching the movie at all, when carlisle died, I was like, wait that happened in the book? Over all it was a lot better than HP7

  13. I’ve always been more of a reader than a watcher and I have questioned the abilities of the casting crew frequently throughout the corse of the Twilight movies, but BDP2 is the best by far! Stupendous ending. Must see for theaters!

  14. OMG! adlakfasfh Twilight breaking dawn part 2 is awesome! I didn’t even blink! Every thing is amazing, from kristen to jacob, to edward, alice, UGh. everything is so amazing, i wouldn’t even tired watching it all over again! I just wanted to watch it again, right now!. This was the best movie i even been watch!.

  15. Not at all what I was expecting, total jaw dropping moment – absolutely loved the finale………sad it’s finished buy BOY what an ending!!!!!

  16. Not at all what I was expecting, total jaw dropping moment – absolutely loved the finale………sad it’s finished but BOY what an ending!!!!!

  17. a very boring slow hard to grasp story , totally a wate. how this movies got to this level of popularity , has to be related to it’s majority viewers. likewise bored mindless school kids and non more

  18. HOLY CRAP! im a 15 yearold boy, and holy SIZZ did i ever “love” this movie amazing ending, prepare to **** your pants.

  19. If I could give a movie negative stars, it would be this one. The CGI was terrible, particularly on the bobble-headed baby. Character development was nonexistent but Dracula 1 and 2 were kind of amusing. The dialog was really, really, really lame with laughable lines even the teenage girls in the audience thought were groan-worthy. The Bella voice-over narration was distracting and really, does anyone believe that Charlie would be so cool about the whole thing? It was a waste of $21.00 for our 2 tickets and if I could get a refund, I would.

  20. Best movie ever!!! I wasnt gonna see it cuz im a Team Jacob fan and h8 da fact he imprints on Renesmee but my friend dragged me nd im really glad she did cuz it was the best movie ever!!! I did not expect the ending at all

  21. Breaking Dawn pt.2 was beyond amazing!!!! I absolutely enjoyed every second of it ! If you haven’t seen it what are you waiting for GO SEE IT NOW you won’t regret it(:

  22. Breaking Dawn pt.2 was beyond amazing!!!! I absolutely enjoyed every second of it ! If you haven’t seen it what are you waiting for GO SEE IT NOW you won’t regret it

  23. Breaking Dawn part two was beyond amazing!!!! I absolutely enjoyed every second of it ! If you haven’t seen it what are you waiting for GO SEE IT NOW you won’t regret it

  24. Breaking Dawn part two was beyond amazing!!!! I absolutely enjoyed every second of it! If you haven’t seen it what are you waiting for go see it now you won’t regret it

  25. breaking dawn part 2 was so amazing it is beyond explanible!!!! i loved it and would definetly go see more than once! it definetly surprised me and i didnt expect alot of things to happen when they did :) absaloutly amazing :)

  26. it was the best movie ever!!!! i cry a lot and it was sooo amazing everything!!!!

  27. the besttt!!! loved it i expected less than that !! wowwww IT WAS THE BEST!!!!

  28. Best movie evr i am so surprised how much Mackenzie foy looks like bella and Edward

  29. Best movie ever i am so surprised at how. Much Mackenzie Foy looks like Edward and Bella