Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Robot Ninjas vs Dragon Zombies: Season One, Episode 6: "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2"

So, when's the next one come out?


Seriously, When's the Next One?

      Yes, it's finally here. After 4 years and 4 other films, The Twilight Saga supposedly has finally ended with this, the fifth film in the series, the second part of the final book. Whether or not you like Twilight (Let's face it, it's not right?), you can't deny the series resounding impact on popular culture. Also, I wanted to see vampires get their heads ripped off. Directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and written by Melissa Rosenberg (Step Up), taking place after the events of Part 1, Part 2 follows new vampire Bella (Kristen Stewart, Zathura) and her vampire husband Edward (Robert Pattinson, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) as they try to protect their rapidly aging daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy, Hawaii Five-O) from the evil Volturi and it's evil leader, Aro (Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon). They gain help from Edward family, including Carlisle (Peter Facinelli, Nurse Jackie) and future seeing Alice (Ashley Green, The Apparition), as well as werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner, The Adventures  of Sharkboy and Lavagirl). As they gear up for a final battle, the Cullens gain friends at their side, including Garrett (Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies, the most wrongly cancelled show ever) and Benjamin (Remi Malek, Night at the Museum), while the Volturi gather Irina (Maggie Grace, The Following) and Jane (Dakota Fanning, Push). The fight begins. Kinda.

Everybody Hates Vampires

      The film is based on the book series by Stephanie Meyer (The Host), who happens to have done nothing else really since, not that she needs to anyway. The first half of this film was released back in 2011 and now Part 2 was released in November of last year. Many critics were actually slightly more favorable to this film, saying the series finally gave in to it's campy roots. Not that critical acclaim really matters when, as of now, the film has grossed over $829 million dollars worldwide. Add that to Part 1's $712 million and you get a lot of money. Across all five films, worldwide, The Twilight Saga has grossed over $3.3 billion dollars in movie sale alone.

The height of drama.
Giant Monster Battle

      Look, this film is still crap. It's still extremely poorly written, with highly unlikable characters and some incredibly misogynistic tendencies underlying the whole thing. Basically, it's a Twilight movie. But, I'll get to all that later. For now, I want to focus on the last 20 minutes right now. Guys, in all seriousness, the last final battle is seriously one of the best action scenes of last year. Everyone else was right. A full 15 minutes of Vampires, werewolves and more vampires kicking the every-deading crap out of each other. They do mid air fights. The behead each other, but not with swords but with their goddamn hands. One dude gets his head ripped off by his mouth. Plus, basically everyone has superpowers, so lightning, fireballs, force fields and at one point, one vampire punches the ground so hard an earthquake starts. One with lava. It seems as though director Condon is finally the only Twilight director to learn that the best way to deal with this kinda of awfulness you now is going to get pointed at and laughed at is to laugh at it as well. Twilight has grown so bad that even it's own movies are making fun of the fans.

And Then They Woke Up

      Oh way, and the final fight never really happened. See, before the bad guys and good guys go at it, Alice attempts to show Aro a vision of the future, but the bad guys, you know being bad guys don't care that the Cullens are innocent and the fight ensues. Or so we think. See, it turns out the whole thing was just Alice vision and the bad guys go home instead of fighting. Yeah. While this is actually more than the book give, seeing as how Meyer decided to skip the climax all together and go straight to the "bad guys leaving" part. But still, it's a hopeless cop-out, but it's to be expected at this point. But, in all seriousness, how is the ending they actually get the better ending? Sure, in the fight ending, some of their friends and family die. But the Cullens win. The slaughter the Volturi  Aro is killed. Edward and Bella live and can get back their daughter and live happily ever after. In the real ending, the Volturi survive to fight another day and are seriously pissed off. They are going to have to have that fight anyway, but now they've just given the chance for the Volturi to plan between and win. The end!


      Perhaps my biggest problem with this film is how anti-climatic it is. For the final film in this big a series, a sense of scale is never really given. There's not sense of how high the stakes are or why this even matters. It all just kinda happens. I seriously was waiting for a "Next Week On Twilight" pop up at the end and show us the preview for the real ending. There isn't even rising action. It's done before it even begins. Yes, the series trademark plotholes and bad plot points are still abound here. The ending is honestly resolved by bringing a character that we've never met before and have no connection to, who explains everything and saves the day, simultaneously solving Renesmee's aging problem, which is discussed so little after the first 2 minutes that I honestly thought the film had dropped that storyline entirely. There are some good parts to it other than the fight. A scene where Bella is taught how to act human is amusing, though logically dead. There's also a surprisingly smart explanation as to why vampire don't turn children. But still, it's Twilight. By now you should know what to expect.

Yay, racial stereotypes!
The Verdict

      The final Twilight film is the best of the series, but not by much. The final fight scene is worth seeing just for itself and there is enough goofy fun to be had ripping the final film to shreds. Some interesting mythology is explained, but not much. The film is still riddled with plot holes and the characters are still as dimensional as a rock. Also special hatred must be reserved for the awful ending, which is a complete cop-out and a miserable way to end a series. But still, the strangest part is the film's weird lack of finality. It hardly feels like anything the happens in important for a TV show episode, let alone the film film in a 5-film series. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2 is almost to campy perfection, but is not quite there. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 2 gets 4 stars out of 6.

Bonus Trivia

- The end credits actually serve as end credits for the entire series and not just this film, something that confused me a whole lot.

- This film used a CGI baby in some scenes. Because they have to spend money on something.

- A swear jar was set up and the stars had to pay up if they swore around Mackenzie Foy. The money was eventually donated to St. Jude's Children Hospital. So apparently, there was a lot of swearing on the set.

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