Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1
Twi-hards scare me. Gleeks and Beliebers scare me too, but it is the fervent fanaticism of the Twilight enthusiasts that’s frightening. (At a screening, a complete stranger asked me if I was a reviewer and whether I liked the other films. For my safety, I answered yes to both). Negative reviews bring swarms of angry Twi-moms to leave scathing comments that disparage the reviewer and claim the writer simply doesn’t get it. The fans see beyond the flaws of the books and the movies and only focus on the love story—which, between a century old, sparkly vampire and a teenage girl, is a little creepy.
Well fans, prepare for another negative review.
In the series’ penultimate movie (awkwardly titled) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn–Part 1, the marriage between the vampire, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) finally takes place. They go on a honeymoon. They have sex. She gets knocked up. Vampires and werewolves fight over whether she should keep the baby (in scenes with some possible anti-abortion undertones). She still wants to become a vampire. And … well, that’s pretty much it.
The previous films were able to hide their shortcomings with action sequences. But with limited action or plot, the problems in Part 1 are blatant. Lautner, unable to remain constantly shirtless in this more somber film, struggles with the acting. Stewart and Pattinson do what they can with pithily developed characters—lots of sitting, staring, and sighing. The dialogue is clunky (Bella: “Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.”) and clichéd (Edward: “This is kind of you.” Jacob: “Kind is my middle name.”) And the vamps dress like Nordstrom mannequins. (You know things are getting serious when everyone’s dressed in earth tones.) Not to mention a cloying score—filled with flute and solo piano, that is sometimes reminiscent of Medieval Times but at other moments feels cut from The Princess Bride—and a truly painful, CGI scene (“I. Will. Not!!”) where Jacob, as a werewolf, confronts his pack.
With such an inconsistent story, I don’t understand why grown women—and, let’s be honest, some men—would camp out for days (it was weird when people did it for Star Wars; it’s weird now), in wedding dresses, to see this movie. I don’t understand why my mom interrupted my glowing endorsements of The Artist and The Descendants to ask when I was seeing “the new Twilight movie.”
But really, it isn’t for me to understand. No matter what, Twilight is almost sacred to many people. The Twi-hards see past the bad acting, the bad writing, the bad music. They ignore the fact that the main character’s name Bella Swan is really just Pretty Bird. They simply see a story that’s personal to them, a cinematic embodiment of a story they love. They will gather in groups to see Part 1 several times. They’ll applaud when the lights go down and giggle when Lautner goes shirtless within the first 30 second. And that’s okay. Just like it is okay that I dread having to see Part 2.
Now if you’ll excuse me: I have to go get my Gonzo outfit ready for The Muppets and start planning my campout for The Hunger Games’ release.
My Grade: D+