Thursday, 27 December 2012

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II

And so cinema's most bizarre love story finally draws to a close, bringing despair or relief to cinema-goers around the world.

This final instalment ramps up the weirdness to another level. The sparkly, super-powered, supermodel, whooshing vampires are all correct and present but now with a boosted cast list incorporating vampire cousins from across the globe. The Bella-Edward-Jacob love-triangle is finished (one girl's choice between necrophilia or bestiality) but mostly because Jacob has fallen in love with Bella's newborn baby. And for a further dash of strangeness, Bella and Edward's vampire-human-hybrid baby is growing at an accelerated rate. In short, it's business as usual for Stephanie Meyer's creations.

It's fair to say that this Twilight film, like the rest of the franchise, is clumsily-handled. Actors are chosen for their ability to pout over their ability to act, the script is full of laugh-out-loud dialogue delivered with straight faces and an infinite amount of silly decisions are made. Why must the vampires whoosh everywhere? Why is so much focus attributed to an anonymous rock-climber in the opening five minutes? And why does the baby have a CGI face? Considering the legions of female fans, the baby would have been the perfect opportunity to get the audience cooing and aahing. Instead, they turn the baby into a motion-capture monstrosity which is anything but cute. No wonder the Volturi want to burn the damn thing. What was director Bill Condon (an Oscar-winning writer, a Globe-winning director) thinking?

But it is hard to review a Twilight film. No one is expecting a five-star film. The single aim is to keep the Twi-hard fans happy and Condon has certainly achieved this, particularly by ending with a final Edward-Bella montage of highlights from the rest of the franchise.

Even better, the boyfriends are finally rewarded with a big battle, after years of being dragged to the cinema along with their wallets. The Cullens face-off against the Volturi in a limb-pulling, neck-twisting, decapitating, bloody finale, which will cause momentary outrage amongst the female audience ("This doesn't happen in the book!") until a clever resolution is offered. 

And in fairness, there are some notable moments of comedy, particularly offered by Billy Burke's Charlie, who has long been a highlight of this series, when faced with a stripping Jacob.

The important thing to note is that the franchise is complete. Careers have been forged, money has been made and the films now belong to the fans. Twi-hards can watch the DVDs forever more and everyone else can safely return to cinemas free from gushy, adult-friendly, chick-lit franchise adaptations.

Well, at least until Fifty Shades of Grey starts rolling...

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