Film Review: ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’

After five years and countless excited screams from teenage girls and gays, the Twilight Saga comes to an end with Breaking Dawn – Part 2. While no one (outside of possibly the aforementioned legion of Twilight fans) will accuse the Twilight series of joining the ranks of more acclaimed film series in the eyes of critics, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 does stand out as the best of the series. Yeah, that’s not exactly a high bar to cross. Some differences between this film and the previous four let Part 2 stand out.

For one [SPOILER ALERT], Part 2 features Bella (Kristen Stewart) in vampire mode, after four films spent moping around as the world’s unlikeliest object of desire. The change suits her rather well. She’s more energetic, more ferocious. It’s a little surprising how well Stewart adjusts to this change in character, and how it affects her interactions with her co-stars.

Stewart’s relatively unbridled performance is matched by director Bill Condon’s approach to the film. After turning up the humor and absurdity in Part 1, Condon goes balls-to-the-wall insane with some of the scenes. Most notable is a sequence later in the film that marks the only significant deviation from the book series that the film series has taken. If audiences have no other reason to go, watch the film in theaters with a crowd of fans who haven’t seen this film before. The shocked reactions to the newly added material are worth the price of admission.

Let’s be clear: this film is not for everyone. Audiences who haven’t bothered to watch Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, or Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (especially the last one, for reasons that should be obvious) will have no reason to watch this one. For audiences who’ve made it through the previous four entries, willingly or not, go ahead and take a turn with the final entry.

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