Review: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 / Cert: 12A / Director: Bill Condon / Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg / Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner / Release Date: Out Now
Say what you like about Twilight... no, seriously, say what you like about Twilight. It doesn't care what you think, and neither does its fans.
The final chapter in Stephenie Meyer's indomitable franchise steamrolls into cinemas, two fingers raised (and not in a V for Victory or Peace Out kind of way) to those snobs who looked down upon every Twilight film with disgust and disdain. It's here, the fans are going to love it, and it's going to make an incredible amount of money. And all the time, its actors are as horrible as ever, the characters annoying, the script terrible. “We're the same temperature now,” sparkly vampire Edward Cullen says to his new bride, “it's your turn not to break me.”
Now a sparkly vampire herself, we find Bella coming to terms with her newly gained superpowers and the blood lust which comes with them. There's a hilarious moment at the start of the film in which Bella runs at super speed through the forest, scales a mountain to (nearly) kill a rock climber and then slaughters a poor mountain lion instead. Then, back to the old homestead where she coos over baby Renesmee, beats up Jacob and punches a wolf into a tree. Angry vampire Bella is just as annoying as silly submissive Bella, although it does give us the opportunity to see Kristen Stewart shout things like “you nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness monster?” while Robert Pattinson looks on, constipated. It may be rubbish, but at least it's entertaining rubbish.
Things don't fare much better for Team Jacob. Werewolf Jake has gotten over his obsession with Bella and is now in love with her infant daughter instead. You say 'imprint', we say 'grooming'. Team Edward takes the fact that Jacob has moved on from hitting on his wife to instead hitting on his baby daughter incredibly well. But then, this is an emotionally abusive 107 year old who likes watching girls as they sleep – those who live in glass houses really shouldn't throw stones.
Elsewhere, the looming threat of war between the Cullens and the Volturi threatens to upset Bella and Edward's wedded bliss. This at least gives Michael Sheen the chance to steal every scene in which he appears (not difficult given the competition) and for the story to progress (slightly) beyond teenage angst and moody pouting. All the time, the terrifying CGI baby ages closer and closer to legality for Jacob and a hideous soft rock soundtrack accompanies every awkward sex scene. The series may finally have gotten rid of the purity rings, but True Blood this ain't. It might have the emotional abuse and the imbecile heroine, but it's not even 50 Shades of Grey.
Ultimately, and like every other film in the series, Breaking Dawn Part 2 is review proof. It's melodramatic, stupid and uneventful, but it serves its target audience very well (as well as the 'ironic' crowd looking for a laugh). Like Edward and Bella's love for one another, the Twilight series is a celebration of mediocrity. There is literally nothing any of us can do to halt its astonishing popularity. You've almost got to admire its tenacity.
Expected Rating: 4 out of 10