*I don't consider anything in my review to be a spoiler, but if you're very picky about spoilers, I'd steer clear.
Check out my review of Breaking Dawn the book too!
Overall, I liked Breaking Dawn Part 2, but it is not my favorite movie in the Twilight saga. I'm not entirely sure why this is. Maybe I'll like it better when I see it again. Each of the Twilight movies have had multiple cringe-worthy moments. BD2 is not unusually high in those moments, but they are bothering me more right now. Probably because they're fresh in my mind.
The New Vampires - The movie got going for me once the Volturi made their evil plans and the Cullens set off in search of friends. The new cast members added rich layers to the vampire mythology, just as they do in the book. It's hard to choose a favorite new vampire. I'd say it's a toss-up between Garrett, Benjamin, and Alistair. Benjamin (Rami Malek) is the cutest - swoon! Alistair has some great lines. Love the dry British pessimistic humor. Garrett steals the day with his rebel personality. Oh, I nearly forgot the Romanians. Stefan and Vladimir, aka Dracula 1 and Dracula 2 are just as creeptacular as they are in the books. Senna and Zafrina were okay but less interesting to me. I loved the demonstration of Kate's power. I wish there'd been more of Peter and Charlotte, but they were afterthoughts in the book too.
The Fight Scene - It's been made clear by the previews and the interview that they changed a large portion of the Volturi / Cullen interaction. Such a great addition. I wish it had been in the film. It was constant action - very violent and gory. A must for anyone who likes hand to hand (or paw) combat. Of course, I'm saying this as someone who had her eyes partially covered for most of the very long scene. I won't say anything more other than that there was one point where I nearly had a heart attack.
The End - They did a great job of wrapping everything up. I consider the end to be the last scene in the film and the ending credits. It felt like a thank you to the fans. It reminded me how much I loved the whole series and just what a sweet love story the Twilight Saga is.
The Powers - One of the difficult parts of this movie was portraying each of the vampires different gifts. Some were pretty easy. Benjamin (swoon again!) with his element manipulating ability was visually stunning. Kate electric volts were cool to see as was Zafrina's visual manipulations. Alec's anesthetizing power and Bella's shielding ability are very hard to show. I thought the filmmakers came up with a fabulous way to demonstrate it. On the negative side, it did irritate me that showed Jane's ability by having her say "Pain" as she grins at someone - probably because they did the same thing in New Moon.
Edward - Robert Pattinson did a fabulous job in this movie. He was funny, he was happy, he was determined, he was fierce. We saw more emotional range than in previous films. His interaction with Nessie felt more genuine than that of any of the other actors.
Jacob - Taylor Lautner is at his best when he's given dry, sarcastic lines. Luckily, that was mostly Jacob's role in this film and Taylor did a great job. I particularly loved how he handled explaining the imprinting to Bella.
Carlisle and Emmett - I'm combining these two, because they're the only Cullens who stood out to me in a good way. Carlisle's hair and clothing were a little better. And he came off better as the leader of the family in this film than in the last few. Emmett's role was pretty brief, but he made me laugh. He's mostly been in the background of the last few films, but he stood out more to me than Rosalie or Jasper in BD2.
The Volturi - Michael Sheen is a fabulous actor. He brings Aro to life with his portrayal of a vampire who is charming on the surface but sinister and manipulative at heart. Jamie Campbell Bower didn't stand out quite as much as the dark Caius, but I think he wasn't given as much to work with. I did enjoy looking at him. Marcus has one of the best lines in the movie that will only make sense if you're familiar with his back-story. I do have a few complaints about Aro. First, Sheen is a very good looking man, but he looks hideous as Aro. I suppose that's what they were going for though. Second, there's this one point in the film where he does this maniacal laugh that I thought was just ridiculous. I wanted to kick him. (Apparently, a lot of other people thought it was really cool though). The other Volturi were largely forgettable, other than Dakota Fanning who did a great job as Jane.
*Once again, I'm doing this without spoilers here, but if you don't want absolutely any knowledge before seeing the movie, look away.
1. Meeting Garrett: Our introduction to Garrett was stellar. He is hilarious. I loved this scene because of the setting, the immediate character development, and the humor.
2. Jacob and Charlie: The idea of Jacob transforming in front of Charlie is one of my favorite parts of the book. Now we get to see it. Billy Burke makes everything better.
3. Carlisle and Edward: There's a very brief moment between Carlisle and Edward before the battle begins. It was not in the book, but it should have been. It was so sweet that it makes me teary even thinking about it.
4. Bella Attacking Jacob: I love the scene in the book when Bella realizes that Jacob has imprinted on Nessie and she flips out. Parts of the movie version made me roll my eyes, but Edward's reaction made the scene one of the best parts about the film.
The Beginning - There was a very long opening credits sequence. I understand why they had opening credits, because of how they did the ending credits. But when I was watching it, all I could think about was why they were wasting precious moments of screen time with nature scenes. The cinematography was pretty at times and oddly disjointed just seconds later. It put me in a bad mood from the very beginning.
Bella - On the whole, I was not happy with Kristen's acting in this film. She didn't play vampire Bella the way I imagined her to be. On the physical front, I thought she looked a little emaciated still. She seemed prettier as a human. Also, her paleness varied significantly. Sometimes she was vampire pasty and at other times, she looked far more human than Edward. Was this a mistake or was there a reason for it?
Early Vampire Days - Bella's initiation into vampire-dom felt awkward. Since this was the first quarter of the movie, the film as a whole suffered in my eyes. I was particularly irritated by this, because this is my favorite part of the book. Several scenes from the novel were skipped which really disappointed me. Plus, there was scene after scene where I was laughing at the movie, not with it.
J. Jenks - I won't say much about this, because I don't want to spoil how the Jenks subplot was handled. I was very unhappy with it. They took away the aspects that made the Jenks story fun rather than just a necessary plotline. I suppose it was a time issue, but it really wouldn't have taken any more time than the actual filmed scene.
Alice - I did not like the portrayal of Alice in this film. I've never been a huge fan of how Ashley played Alice (or perhaps how the script is written), but in BD2 it felt like Alice was not the fun-loving, light-hearted spirit that we saw in the books. Obviously, she's dealing with very serious stuff in BD2, but there was something missing.
Have you seen Breaking Dawn Part 2 yet? What did you think?