- Rated PG-13
- Buy the BD
All photos © Summit Entertainment
Reviewed by David Medsker
hey can hire the hottest, most skilled directors on the planet – and God knows Bill Condon did everything he could – but there is no disguising that at its core, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I” is ridiculous. Worse, it’s about 50 minutes of plot stretched out to 105 minutes, which makes it the most ponderous of the “Twilight” movies to date. Author Stephenie Meyer had noble intentions when she sat down to write a chaste love story about a girl, a vampire and a werewolf, but at this point in the story, the characters can’t simply be innocent in order for the plot to work – they have to be naïve. Edward Cullen is 120 years old. He has no excuse for being naïve.
Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) are getting married, much to the dismay of pretty much everyone outside of the Cullen family. The couple travel to a private island off the coast of Rio for their honeymoon, where the marriage is consummated repeatedly despite Edward’s (meek) objections considering that she is still human. After a couple of weeks, Bella discovers that she is pregnant, and the baby is growing unnaturally fast. When word of the pregnancy reaches the wolf tribe Quileute, they consider the act a breach of the truce between them and the Cullens, and plan to destroy both Bella and the baby. Bella’s werewolf friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) refuses to let his brothers harm Bella, though they may not get the chance: the baby is destroying Bella from the inside, and at this point, not even changing her into a vampire is likely to save her.
If you had a suspicion that sleeping with someone might kill them, wouldn’t you either a) not do it, or b) talk about it with them so they know what they’re getting into? Even the werewolf knows it’s a risk; why does the vampire act as if he knows more than he’s letting on at first, only to claim ignorance later? Roger Ebert dubbed this the Idiot Plot, since this entire story would have been easily resolved (or in this case, it never would have happened) if the characters were not all idiots. Later, a group of very hungry Cullens go feeding, a group which includes patriarch Carlisle. Carisle… the doctor. Yep, the doctor leaves the very pregnant and physically ravaged Bella alone in the house with people who don’t know how to hold a scalpel, even though she could go into labor at any minute. Idiot plot.
The most egregious flaw with “Breaking Dawn,” though, is the cast. Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner are still showing little to no dramatic range, and now is the time that they really need to step up. Bill Condon directed first-time actress Jennifer Hudson to an Oscar in “Dreamgirls,” but not even he can get Stewart to show anything resembling genuine emotion, which will have non-Twihards asking, again: why are these two men trying so hard to win her (muted) affections? You would think that once they heard her suggestions for what to name the baby, they’d both be out the door. “Yes, sorry, love, but you’re not naming my son after the guy with an unrequited crush on you. And that girl’s name is just dreadful.”
The “Twilight” series was a lightweight love story to begin with, but with “Breaking Dawn,” it’s become a full-blown fairy tale, and with the story heading into the homestretch, Meyer is working overtime – and against all laws of nature – to give everyone their happy ending. At this point, it would not be at all surprising if “Breaking Dawn: Part II” ends with Edward and Bella riding into a rainbow-kissed sunset on a unicorn.