Another one bites the dust as ‘Breaking Dawn’ becomes the worst of the series, the runt of the pack. Made for fans of the other 'Twilight' flicks and no one else.

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1

After three Twilight films and two reviews that rip the series to shreds, I’m no longer going to give you reviews of these atrocious movies. Instead, you’re going to get a spoiler-filled look at the good, the bad and the ugly of it all. Let’s begin.

The Good

There are literally two scenes worth watching in Breaking Dawn – one exemplifies strong filmmaking, the other so campy that it might as well be part of a spoof movie. Combined, they constitute one full minute of worthy viewing amidst this 117-minute trainwreck.

The first of the two scenes happens right in the beginning of the film as Edward and Bella are married. Everything leading up to the actual ceremony is CW garbage, but the ceremony itself is actually romantic – not glazed cheese like every other ounce of “love” in this series. As they exchange their vows, some smooth and unexpected artistic changes make this an actually solid scene.

The second scene takes place a minute or two into the closing credits. That’s right – don’t get out of your seat when the loud and flashy rave-esque credits begin rolling because there’s a treat still ahead. Because there is literally no cliffhanger at the end of Part 1, this scene teases the plot of Part 2. We’re wisped away to Italy where we see the vampire Pope Michael Sheen opening an important letter. As he has done in the previous movies, he camps up his performance like no other. Every actor in these films seems to either not give a damn about what he/she is doing or acts like he/she is in the coolest series ever made. Sheen seems to know that these movies are steaming piles, so he gives the best intentionally bad performances – and they’re hilarious.

The Bad

Where to begin, where to begin. So far, Breaking Dawn is the worst of the series. It’s so blatantly obvious that the studio split the book into two parts just to capitalize on this once in a lifetime cash cow. Nothing happens in this movie that isn’t revealed in the trailer – which sure isn’t much. Bella and Edward get married, they have sex twice during their two-week honeymoon, she gets knocked up, the half-breed baby eats Bella from the inside and the local wolf pack vow to kill Bella and her demonic seed. It’s a trash novel turned soap opera for a teen audience that doesn’t know any better. If the filler was removed, Part 1 would be a 45-minute buildup to nothing. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 at least built up to a climactic finale – Part 2. But Breaking Dawn – Part 1 builds up to … nothing.

With a cast as good looking as Twilight’s, the last thing any filmmaker will want to do is make them all look ugly by caking on nasty amounts of make-up, but that’s exactly what has happened to all of the pretty faces in Breaking Dawn. All along, this problem has been getting worse and worse. For example, Ashley Greene, who plays Edward’s vampire “sister” Alice, is one of the most gorgeous actresses currently working in Hollywood. Her hair not only gets shorter and shorter with each movie, but her make-up gets thicker and thicker too. By now, four films in, she’s not even attractive anymore. The same goes for the rest of the pretty faces.

If you remember my review of Red, the non-stop unfitting music drove me bonkers. It’s now obvious that this was most likely a decision of Summit Entertainment because it happens all over again with Breaking Dawn. When it’s not playing a down-beat repetitious slit-your-wrist emo track, it’s playing a clunky score that doesn’t match the action on screen.

Shame on the MPAA for awarding Breaking Dawn a PG-13 rating. Do kids under 17 need to be seeing what it’s like to lose your virginity? Nothing is left to the imagination. We see it all, including Bella’s breasts and their poorly digitally removed nipples. How is that not worthy of an R-rating? There’s more thrusting in Breaking Dawn than there was in Brokeback Mountain.

The Ugly

As I’ve been told, the final book of the series takes the story in a batty direction. Odd things start happening all of the time. None of those wacky things were omitted from the film. Fan of the series or not, having these things left in the movie is a good thing. If you hate the movies, the stupider it gets, the more you’ll laugh at things that are unintentionally funny. Or, if you’re a fan of the books, you’ll be happy to see that it held true. It’s a win-win for everyone – but it’s too bad these things don’t enter Part 1 until the second half.

Here is a spoiler-filled list of the zaniness that ensues:

– Bella gets impregnated by a vampire. Mind you, vampires are technically dead, so how is it that he has swimming (living) sperm?

– Bella and Edward skinny dip. It’s the palest nude swimming you’ve ever seen.

– We get to see what running through the forest looks like from the eyes of a werewolf. Wolf-vision is ridiculously stupid and low-budget looking. Having earned a bajillion dollars, can’t the studio afford to put some actual money into these movies yet?

– A pack of wolves get together and have a long conversation somewhat telepathically. The dialog in this laughable scene is reminiscent of Scooby Doo talking. They can’t be serious, can they?

– When asked how Bella could possibly get pregnant from a pale dead guy’s sperm, Bella talks like a white trash teen on Jerry Springer defending the notion by saying, “It’s like a miracle or something.”

– As Bella can’t supply the rapidly-growing baby enough food, she begins to wither away. They try to use the same technology that skimmed away the muscle on Chris Evans for Captain America, only it leaves Kristen Stewart looking like Skeletor. I don’t know any guys – vampires, werewolves or humans – that would stick around this psychotic bag of bones.

– Realizing that both Bella and the baby are going to die of malnutrition, they decide to have Bella drink blood through a straw in a Styrofoam sippie cup. As she pulls the cup away after her first sip, with red on her lips and between her teeth, she seriously says, “Mmmm. Tastes good.”

– Bella decides to name the child E.J. is it’s a boy, short for Edward Jacob. I don’t know any guy that would let his child be named after his wife’s ex-boyfriend.

– Complications arise as Bella gives birth, so Edward has to go in for a C-section – the “c” standing for “chew.” That’s right, he gets down there and chews the baby from Bella’s stomach.

– Once the baby is out, she and Jacob lock eyes and fall in love. The term for this is “imprinting.”

– While the vampires and werewolves duke it out, the fight is immediately stopped when Jacob yells, “He imprinted on her.” Isn’t that illegal in all 50 states?

Photo credit: Summit Entertainment

1 out of 5

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