Penultimate flick in series is a mixed bag

THE Twilight Saga has been one of the most popular literary and movie franchises of the 21st Century.

Wednesday, 30th November 2011, 10:33 am

Like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Stephanie Meyer’s final book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, has been adapted into a two part movie blockbuster.

Breaking Dawn Part 1 opens with the wedding of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).

If you have been living in a cave and are unfamiliar with the Twilight story, the premise is simple.

Bella loves Edward and Edward loves Bella, but Bella’s best friend is Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and Jacob loves Bella.

Oh, and Edward is a vampire and Jacob a werewolf and their vampire and werewolf families, sworn enemies, are locked in an uneasy truce.

Following the wedding, the happy couple head for honeymoon on a secluded tropical Brazilian island.

Edward and Bella have never made love - the vampire worried of the harm this could do to his human bride.

But Bella is insistent and the pair consummate their marriage.

After a blissful two weeks the honeymoon starts to turn into a nightmare, when the realisation dawns on Bella that she is pregnant.

A vampire impregnating a human is something that until this point was always considered absolutely impossible.

No one is sure quite was it is that is inside Bella, it is rapidly growing and ultrasound scans show nothing more than a black void.

On returning to the Cullen home in Forks she is warned that the thing inside her will kill her, but the latest member of the Cullen family refuses to have the foetus aborted.

Meanwhile, Jacob’s wolfpack become aware of what is happening and discuss what should be done.

This particular scene is a low-point in the film. The CGI of the wolves is quite shoddy all the way through, but this scene is particularly poor.

The scene comprises of the wolves stood in a circle, and speaking in their human voices even though their mouths aren’t moving.

You expect a bit more from a film with a £60m budget.

Anyway, the upshot of this meeting is that pack leader Sam plans to kill Bella and her unborn child, resulting in Jacob leaving the pack in protest and heading for the Cullen home to protect Bella.

By now her health is seriously deteriorating and the tension rachets up - will Bella, and her baby, survive?

The serious nature of the subject matter in Breaking Dawn results in some of the best performances so far in any of the Twilight films.

Kristen Stewart is very believable as a brave young woman having her life drained away by her own baby.

Robert Pattinson also delivers, brooding his way through the 117 minutes of action.

However, Taylor Launtner’s performance is as wooden as they come. He is nothing if not consistent.

As I have touched on already the CGI is ropey to say the least, and the dialogue is weak, cheesy, and cliche-ridden.

But at the heart of this film is a very compelling story, and this is what carries it.

Breaking Dawn might not hit the heights of Eclipse, but is in enjoyable viewing and now I am looking forward to Part 2 and the conclusion of this saga.

by Ben Green