It’s over. Finally. The epic vampire meets girl, girl meets vampire, wolf-boy takes his shirt off a lot adventures known as “The Twilight Saga” has reached its end with “Breaking Dawn: Part II.”
For those of you that may have missed the story: Bella (Stewart) is a high school girl living in a remote town in Washington state. One day she catches the attention of Edward Cullen (Pattinson), whose skin is pretty pale, even for someone living in the Pacific Northwest. Bella also has a friend, Jacob, (Lautner) who would like to be more than friends. Seems Edward is a vampire, Jacob a wolf and Bella confused. After four films and a lot of bad special effects, featuring characters running fast and turning into wolves, Bella and Edward are married and Bella has a bun in the oven. Because the baby is half vampire Bella has some complications during birth. In order to save her Edward turns Bella into a vampire. I’ve just save you 490 minutes of your life.
As “BD:II” begins, it’s been a few days since Bella gave birth. Still unsure if she can control her newfound blood lust, her family has kept her from seeing her baby daughter, named Renesmee. To ease her hunger Bella has taken to chasing down deer in the woods as well as well as other forest creatures. But what should be a happy time turns downright tragic when the Volturi, one of the lead groups of vampires, learns of Renesmee’s existence and believes, incorrectly, that the baby has been turned into a vampire the old fashioned way. Joined by vampires sympathetic to their cause, the Cullen clan gathers themselves for what could be one hell of a battle.
There are so many things wrong with this film that I’m not sure where to start. Actually, I do. What may have been an engrossing series of novels is really reduced to scene after scene after scene of bad clichés, including making sure that the vampires from Ireland have red hair and freckles. Too bad they couldn’t make them drunks as well. The special effects (moving along quickly, transforming into wolves) are horribly rendered. You would think for a film series that has grossed over a billion dollars that they could have found a decent special effects house by now. But the biggest problem is Renesmee. No, not her name (when Jacob calls the child “Nessie” Bella is outraged – “You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?”). For reasons I haven’t yet figured out the production appears to have gone to a CGI baby and youngster to stand in for Renesmee. With its creepy facial features and dark eyes the baby looks nothing like her supposed mom and dad. As the child gets older her face begins to take on hard angles that makes her look like older but, again, computerized. I may not be a doctor but believe me there is no way that Stewart and Pattinson would ever produce a baby this ugly.
Finally, a word of warning to parents with younger children. Somehow this film managed to obtain a PG 13 rating despite featuring no less than a dozen incidents of people having their heads violently ripped off. Maybe the ratings board feels that vampires aren’t really people so it doesn’t matter what happens to them. Some of the younger girls in the screening I attended were visibly upset by the on screen images so use your judgement.