Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 brings the lucrative Twilight saga to a satisfying conclusion as we get to see all sides of this series - the cheesy, the over-the-top, and the vampire beheadings.
Bella has given birth to the world's oddest named half-vampire, Renesmee, and has become a full-fledged vampire herself. She and Edward have planned on living with each other for eternity, but when one of their cousins sees Renesmee and thinks she's a child immortal, she runs to tell the Volturi who have been looking for a reason to decimate the Cullen clan. In order to have a chance at the upcoming fight, the Cullens travel the Earth to find friends who can attest to what Renesmee really is - a half human/half vampire who is no threat to the vampire way of life. But the Volturi are there to fight, and the greatest scene in Twilight history takes place as the Volturi take on the Cullens and Jacob and his werewolves in a fight for the future of vampire-kind.
Make no mistake, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 isn't bringing in any new fans to the series. If you liked it before, you'll like it now. If you hated it before, this won't change your mind. Yes, the acting and directing has gotten leaps and bounds betters since that disastrous first film, but the story is still about sparkly vampires in a love triangle with a emotionless human girl and a hot bodied werewolf. Yes, in this film there's the added layer of Jacob actually now being in love with (or as they all it, imprinting upon) the baby Renesmee, but the battle lines are still there. Kirsten Stewart looks hotter than she ever has before and seems to relish the idea of finally letting loose a powerful vampire side rather than always sitting on the sidelines. She has a slightly larger range of emotions this time around as the protective parent instinct comes out alongside the unstoppable vampire strength. Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner don't have a lot more to do this time around, though as you might imagine, Lautner does take off his shirt fairly early on in the film. The rest of the cast was kind of there, with Michael Sheen really chewing up the scenery as the head of the Volturi. If everyone else had had as much fun with their role as he did, this entire series could have been better. No other cast members stand out, though there were a lot more vampires with interesting powers this time around. One that can control the elements, one that has some kind of electrical power and one that can make you see whatever she wants. And of course Bella has her own power to protect those around her, which comes in handy during the battle scene.
**SPOILER ALERT** From this point out I'm going to ruin a few plot points so stop reading and skip to the end.
The battle sequence at the end was pretty remarkable (it takes place about 90 minutes into the film) but be prepared because it never happens. As it turns out, the whole thing plays out in the head of Michael Sheen's character as Alice, the Cullen who can see the future, takes him on a journey and shows him what will happen if he doesn't back off. From what I remember, this didn't happen in the book so this is a major change. The entire audience let out an audible groan when this was revealed, but I kind of liked it. A few major characters got killed off during the battle and this allows the audience to go through the emotion but still knowing their favorites are all OK at the end of the film. It also allows for a sequel if Twilight overlord Stephenie Meyer decides she wants to make a few more bucks. I thought for the most part the special effects were good, but they were really bad/annoying when it came to the baby. I don't know why they felt they needed to CGI a baby for close-ups but it looks really, really creepy to the point where people were laughing. It's not as if the baby were being passed around like a football - they could have used a real child. My favorite part of the movie is another part that people will be 50/50 on, and that was the end. When the movie is essentially over, we see Edward and Bella sitting in a field that reminds the viewers of the first film. Bella does this thing where she takes Edward on a journey through the past and we get to see clips from the first 4 films leading up to where they are now. It's not explained how Bella has this power but I kind of liked it. But my favorite part was after that when the director decided to take us through EVERY actor that has ever been in a Twilight film with a curtain call. Each actor gets a shot on screen with their name and character name. Even if they weren't in more than one film, or hadn't shown up in this last one, they got on screen credit. I thought it was a nice way to pay tribute to all the characters people came to love.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall I liked The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. These movies will never go down in history as great pieces of art, but for fans of the books or fans of pop culture, they're good enough.