It’s been a year since Breaking Dawn- Part 1 – and what a year it’s been for Twi-hards.

In just a few months leading up to the premiere of Part 2, leading lady Kristen Stewart’s affair with Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, left her off-screen romance with her on-screen husband Robert Pattinson in brief turmoil, sending waves of uproar among fans.

But now that Breaking Dawn- Part 2 is finally here, fans will probably be mourning hysterically (again), and its naysayers will say prayers of thanks that the Twilight Saga is finally over.

Breaking Dawn- Part 2 starts off immediately from where the first one ended, so if you didn’t catch Part 1, which was also directed by Bill Condon, you’re going to find it tough to catch up. The first of the two-part film left us with the married Bella Cullen (Stewart) as a newly transformed vampire after the painful birth of her half-human, half-vampire daughter, Renesmee.

Part 2 sees the first flourishing of Bella’s new vamp party tricks: red eyes ablaze with an insatiable thirst for blood, super strength, and agility. Long gone is the damsel-in-distress, who’s now sprinting alongside husband Edward Cullen (Pattinson), barefoot and enjoying her new HD eyesight and her nose of a bloodhound on her first hunt.

Bella finally gets to hold her beautiful, albeit creepy, CGI-animated baby, but her joy is short-lived when she finds out that her werewolf best friend and former love interest Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) has imprinted (i.e when wolves involuntarily find their soulmate) on her daughter Renesmee. What ensues is probably Bella’s first real spurt of emotion; Her rage/thinly disguised jealousy at Jacob for his pedophilic love for her child and the morose nickname of “Nessie” he’s given her will have you laughing, for the first of many more times in the film, at Stewart’s droll comic acting.

The lightning speed of Renesmee’s growth calls for almost 10 child actresses before Mackenzie Foy finally takes to the screen. Foy brilliantly brings to the role a childlike innocence and mystical aura, much like what child actor Pierce Gagnon brought to the role of Cid in Looper. The chemistry with her on-screen mother, however, is less natural and realistic. Stewart appears almost uncomfortable and too young to have maternal instincts, and they look far more believable as a pair of well-bonded orphan sisters.

No thanks to tattletale cousin vampire Irina (played by Maggie Grace of Taken), who alerted the Volturi that an immortal vampire child, illegal to the vampire world due to their lack of self-control, was borne from Edward and Bella, the enraged “royalty” clan of the vampires makes their way down from Italy to destroy Renesmee and the Cullens. As a result, the Cullens start to gather as many vampire allies as they can to defend Renesmee from a possible war waged by the Volturi.

Whatever that leads up to the climax of the film so far is tiresome monotony dressed up with special effects and a beautiful extended cast with primed and poreless pale skin. But once the Volturi rise from the horizon to the small army of vampires and werewolves that await them in the final fifth of the film, it’s finally time to sit on the edge of your seat.

The theatrically animated Michael Sheen, who plays Aro, the leader of the Volturi, brings life (pun intended) to the overall lukewarm performances from the rest of the Twilight cast. It’s a pity that even the multi-award-nominated Dakota Fanning hardly speaks more than a sentence in the entire film while playing Jane, a member of the Volturi who maintains order by mentally inflicting severe pain unto her victims.

While you might be hoping for a Gladiator-esque rampage of the vampires severing each other’s heads all at once (did we just hear a “Thank Goodness”?), they instead engage in tame negotiations. When the Cullens finally convince Aro that Renesmee is harmless, the look of enlightenment on his face is almost irksome. Wait, what? Is this really all you’re getting after paying $10 to see this? Thankfully, no. The Volturi’s execution of Irina for her mistake is a visual spectacle of bloodless gore which, in turn, leads to such an unpredictable twist ending that it could almost redeem the first bleak 90 minutes of the film.

However weak Melissa Rosenberg’s screenplay might have been, Twi-hards will grab what they can get, helping Breaking Dawn- Part 2 haul USD$340.9 million worldwide in its first week, instantly putting the highest-grossing Bond movie, Skyfall, into the second spot on the global box office. It’s clear as daylight that the undying love for the characters, the books, and the actors, will keep the Twilight Saga film franchise afloat, no matter what actually appears on screen. And even though the curtain has fallen for the last time, thousands of girls are still likely to be steadfast in waiting with their necks bared for their knight in sparkling armour.


Movie: Breaking Dawn- Part 2
Rating: 2.5/5
Release Date: Nov 22, 2012 (Singapore)
Duration: 116 minutes
Language: English
Age Rating: PG13
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Thriller
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen