Larger than life, little at stakeMovies
Reviewer's rating: 4/10
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
- Release date
- 15 November 2012
- Fantasy, Drama, Romance, Action/Adventure
- Running time
- 115 min
- Bill Condon
- Screen writer
- Melissa Rosenberg
- Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Maggie Grace, Dakota Fanning, Peter Facinelli, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene
- OFLC rating
"I'm never going to get enough of this. I mean, we never have to catch our breath or sleep or eat. How are we gonna stop?'' That's the newly turned Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) - or, to use her married name, Bella Cullen - and she's talking, in case you hadn't guessed, about vampire sex.
Little in Breaking Dawn Part 2 lives up to this memorable speech. Bella already looked set to live happily ever after at the end of the previous instalment of the interminable Twilight saga, in which she was happily married to her vampire boyfriend, Edward (Robert Pattinson), the proud mother of a half-undead baby girl, and a full member of the creepy-but-nice-when-you-get-to-know-them Cullen clan.
This final instalment is something of an anticlimax, so to speak. But we do get to see Bella testing the full range of her new powers, which include enhanced eyesight, super strength and the ability to zip from one place to another like Speedy Gonzales. The cartoonish portrayal of these abilities only adds to the film's warped, disjointed sense of space.
Director Bill Condon piles on the close-ups while ensuring his leads spend as little time as possible in the same frame. As a result, these supposedly passionate lovers show less chemistry than ever.
Stewart, a talented but tense actor, still has problems expressing happiness or fulfilment; the reliably disengaged Pattinson sticks to downcast looks and smirks.
The third side of the romantic triangle used to be Taylor Lautner as Jacob the muscly werewolf, who has ceased to be any kind of rival for Bella's affections. Still, he hangs around like a loyal retainer, allowing Lautner to show off his ability to simulate various human emotions (how long before someone asks him to play a serial killer?).
After nearly two hours of padding, there's a laughable climactic battle sequence with heads shattering bloodlessly, Michael Sheen carrying on like Dr Evil and giant wolves emerging from the shadows as if hoping to be immortalised on a T-shirt.
Of course, the Twilight films have always been bigger than life - the entire series is nakedly one big, operatic metaphor for the journey from adolescence to sexual maturity.
But at this point the journey is well and truly at an end. Melissa Rosenberg's script regularly falls back on campy, nudging in-jokes, placating the fans while acknowledging the series has little left to offer.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Rated M, 115 minutes, now showing
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner