Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Movie Review: Breaking Dawn Part 2

I finally got around to seeing Breaking Dawn Part 2. I'd wanted to go on Friday, but I had a busy weekend full of travel, in-laws, and buying a new car! I saw the film this afternoon and am still somewhat in shock.

*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 Good

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.

Favorite Scenes

*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 Bad

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?


  1. If I would review it, I would only give it 4 stars. I also didnt like the beginning. I also feel like the story was cut half. But I like the twist so much I nearly had heart attack!

  2. I actually liked Kristen as Vampire Bella. For once I felt like she was confident in her acting ability, and her awkward gasp breathing was minimal because she enveloped her vampire personality.

    I also wish that the movie would have ended before the flower field scene. I thought the scene before it was a beautiful way to end the series, and then they tacked that last scene on and it made it less impacting.

    But that fight scene...HOLY CRAP! I screamed out loud in anger multiple times...lol

  3. SEE! This is why books are always better than the movies.

    The fight scenes sound awesome.

  4. I haven't seen it yet, because I'm sceptic about it, but I've heard enough positive things that I'll give it a try.

  5. Hi Alison.
    I actually liked the fight scenes a lot. I mean, it was so anticlimactic in the book but the movie was a lot better! But Bella was terrible, and I did not like the Renesmee-baby with digitally enhanced Mackenzie-Foy-face. Talk about creepy. Bella attacking Jacob was awesome though.

  6. Nope haven't seen it yet and books are always better than movies

  7. I plan on seeing the movie this Wednesday with my mom. Thanks for not spoiling it for me! I'm excited to hear the plot twist. Everyone has been talking about this part and I want to know what it is!

  8. Good review! I feel pretty much the same way you do. There were a few other things that bugged me, but they're minor, other than Renesmee's creepiness with the CGI stuff.

    I loved the wrap up at the end too and I loved the fight scene. I know when you had a heart attack because I almost had one too there. It was the point when my shock turned to anger and then to hate. I pretty much went to the dark side during that film, lol. But, I made a quick recovery when I figured out what was going on.

  9. I have to say that this is probably the first time I'd enjoyed a movie more than the book. I really, really didn't like Breaking Dawn as a whole, and I sort've feel like the movie fixes some of the things I'd disliked about the book. Renesmee's CGI was handled extremely poorly. :(

  10. This was a great movie review! I wasn't the biggest fan of this movie, but I thought it was one of the best ones. I thought the new vampires were a great addition too especially with the new powers! I actually really liked like fight scenes! Dakota Fanning was so creepy!!! Also, personally I've never liked Kristen Stewart as an actress. Overall, I really enjoyed the movie, but it doesn't compare to the book.

  11. Great review! I am going this afternoon as well(in about 20 minutes actually!) and I'm glad the wait is finally over. The suspense has been killing me!

  12. I just watched part one the other night. The first half had me cringing but I enjoyed the second half of the film. I'm not sure when I'll get to see part 2.

    I wondered how they would handle Bella's shield because honestly it would be so boring on film. lol Glad they found a way.

  13. Hmm, well I hope you come to like it a bit more and that your quibbles won't bother you as much the next time you see it. I will probably wait to see it for another few weeks. I'm happy that the other vampires and the powers were handled well as that was one of my favourite parts of the book. Less happy that my other favourite part of the book - seeing Bella as a vampire - was not so much handled well... damn. I had been worried that I was going to end up disappointed by that.

  14. i really loved the movie except for kristen's acting ability. -_-

  15. I love that you wrote this breakdown. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I don't mind laughing at the movie. The book was so ridiculous that I'm ok with a little light humor and corniness, even if it makes me groan too :)

  16. I've seen this movie twice. I still don't know how I feel about it. I did love RPatz at the beginning. As I was watching the movie I kept thinking about how much of crush I had on him. It was fantastic. He was less broody and woe is me. I think they did a good job of making you feel sad the movies were ending though.

    Wasn't my favourite of the five though.

  17. I really enjoyed BD2, and agree with most of your points. I did love how the battle scene played out, and since it had been so long since I read the book it really got me. Each time someone died I remember thinking, "Wow I remember the book, not nearly as well as I thought." Ha.

    I also agree with you on the J. Jenks bit. I wasn't a fan of how they did it, but I at least understand why.

    Although the bit I would have most wanted added was when Zeraphina made images for Renesseme. I just thought it was so fun to read about, and wish it would have been in the movie.


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