I’ll admit it. I’m not the target audience for the Twilight movies or books. I know that going in. I’ve seen every Twilight movie (but have never read the books, so take that for what it’s worth). The first couple movies have been enormously cheesy with wooden acting and tacky longing glances, but they’ve been watchable. Movies, which were just passable enough that fans would love them and casual movie watchers, could tolerate them. Then the powers that be decided to break the last book up into two separate movies, going the Harry Potter route, hoping to cash in twice at the box office. They really should’ve stuck to putting it all in one movie.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is a completely excruciating movie experience. It’s not even good enough that fans of the books and past movies are going to like it. I went with my sister, a die-hard Twilight fan and she walked out disgusted. It was for completely different reasons than I was, but we both arrived at the same conclusion. That movie was terrible.
The movie opens on Bella and Edward’s beautiful wedding in the woods. Every teenage girl’s dream played out in agonizingly long detailed shots that feel more like filler material than anything of substance. The camera swings around the actors as the lovingly gaze into each other’s eyes repeating their vows. When you think the scene is going to end, it keeps going, and going. The cheesy piano and flute music builds and builds to an ear-piercing level. Not because it’s too loud, but because the music is so mundane and simple we wonder if the entire budget was used up on werewolf effects leaving none to buy some quality music.
The trailers spell out the movie in detail. Saying Bella and Edward go on a honeymoon and Bella somehow becomes pregnant with an undead-live baby isn’t spoiling anything. Edward sweeps Bella away to a hidden tropical island, again, living out every young girl’s fantasy. Then we spend a good 30 minutes of the movie watching them play chess (I’m not kidding) and go hiking. Oh yea, Bella and Edward finally get to have sex. This is a huge deal since the first movie was thinly-veiled allegory for abstinence. How the actual science of the whole act between a human and a vampire works, is completely beyond my comprehension, but somehow Edward is able to impregnate Bella.
There are so many problems with ‘Breaking Dawn’ that’s it’s impossible to enumerate all of them. For the first 90 minutes of the movie, nothing happens, literally. The movie is filled with longing glances, sour faces and laughable dialogue, not to mention a telekinetic conversation that takes place between the entire pack of werewolves which had everyone – including the Twilight fans – laughing hysterically. The movie has no idea how overly dramatic it’s being. It doesn’t know when to say, “Hey, enough is enough, let’s let the audience try and figure out how these characters are feeling.” No. Everyone here wears a dour face so we know for sure they’re mad or angst-ridden. They growl and grunt while delivering lines of dialogue with less life in them than the vampires inhabiting the movie.
Breaking Dawn is a woeful attempt at dramatic interplay. These actors, led by extremely poor direction, are barely able to tread water. Almost every word uttered, whether serious or not, is genuinely laughable. The editing choices downright miserable. In every sense of cinema Breaking Dawn is a bad movie, but the most damning aspect of it all is that die-hard fans are likely to feel the same way.