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|Breaking Dawn: Part 2|
dir Bill Condon
scr Melissa Rosenberg
prd Wyck Godfrey, Stephenie Meyer, Karen Rosenfelt
with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Mackenzie Foy, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Billy Burke
release US/UK 16.Nov.12
12/US Summit 1h55
Protecting the family: Pattinson and Stewart
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Stephenie Meyer's mopey saga hits the final stretch with an evil grin on its face. Yes, Condon continues his full-on approach, investing more feisty attitude in this final chapter than in the entire franchise to date. And the result is rather good fun, even if the movie's never more than a guilty pleasure.
Waking up with enhanced vampiric abilities, Bella (Stewart) is even more in love with new husband Edward Cullen (Pattinson), especially since an inexhaustible libido is one of the benefits of immortality. Meanwhile, their daughter Renesmee (Foy) ages alarmingly from infancy to about age 10 in months, watched over by protector-soulmate Jacob (Lautner) the werewolf. The problem is that ruling Volturi leader Aro (Sheen) thinks Renesmee is a feared immortal child, rather than an apparently harmless human-vampire hybrid. To save themselves from obliteration, the Cullens call vampires from around the world to help.
The movie is essentially a build-up to the epic confrontation on a frozen lake, so there's a certain amount of urgency. Along the way, there are also moments of gentle comedy as well as wild-eyed rage. So when it erupts into an orgy of decapitations, it's riotously entertaining. And the range of side characters introduced is enjoyably bonkers, especially since each vampire has a special ability that essentially makes them a team of undead X-men.
Acting-wise, both Pattinson and Stewart have woken from the gloomy stupor of the first four movies to find some bite (sorry!) in their roles, injecting grumpy tantrums and leery innuendo. And Lautner only takes his shirt off once. Meanwhile, the preening Sheen pronounces his ridiculous dialog as if it's Shakespeare. Everyone seems to realise that this is their final stab at these characters, and their gusto is infectious.
Condon keeps the visuals interesting, even with the now-expected terrible effects. The wolves and vampire-stunts look just as dodgy, and the infant Renesmee is so eerily digital that the cinema audience actually goes "Ewww!" But the fast pace holds our interest, racing through the mumbo-jumbo mythology and glaring plot-holes (couldn't they have just sent Aro an email?) to get to a playful climactic twist, followed by a swoon-inducing recap of the central romance. Actually, if you skip the achingly dull second and third films, this hasn't been a bad franchise.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2012 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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