The Monocle – “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2”

Directed by: Bill Condon
Written by: Melissa Rosenberg & Stephenie Meyer
Released: November 16th, 2012
Theatre watched at: AMC Century City, Los Angeles

Happy Thanksgiving my Deer lovers! The chill is settling in, the trees are transitioning into their beautifully bare states, Mariah Carey is reminding us what she wants for Christmas on the radio again, and plump turkeys are being stuffed in preparation for the glorious family meal. Speaking of having fists of mush jammed up your exit hole, I finally experienced my first (and definitely last) film of the ever so infamous popular Twilight Saga with its final chapter Breaking Dawn Part 2. That’s right folks, sorry if it comes as such a surprise, but I’ve never seen any of the previous films nor read any of the books by Stephanie Meyer. Thus, I stretch a fair warning for those who have a liking to this series to not even bother reading this review because obviously my opinion holds close to no weight in reference to the series as a whole. For those who want to stick along I did this for you guys as my way of “giving” on this fine Thanksgiving day…and also because I ingeniously decided to have our first Monocle Movie Poll the weekend this film came out and in an attempt to put me through inevitable torture for your enjoyment you guys voted for it for me to review, not that I’m complaining. Anyways, I’ll try to keep this short and “sweet” as possible because you should be enjoying the holiday with the ones you love instead of reading a review of a movie you’ll most likely hate.

It’s really quite simple, Breaking Dawn Part 2, and the rest of the films for that matter, should only be watched by those who have either a harvested, special love and obsession for this teenage romantasy epic or a strange passion for horrendously awful movies. Make sure to buy some nachos from the concession stand because this is one of the cheesiest, horribly acted, shallowly developed, overbearingly CGI-ed, and just plain out crap-infested excuses for a novel adaptation I’ve ever seen. Some of the top critics have dubbed this film the “best” in the franchise, and if that is true, then holy mother of sparkles they should have burned the first one before it laid eggs. The story picks up right after where part 1 ended, with Bella (Kristen Stewart) being turned into a vampire by Edward (Robert Pattinson) in order to save her life from giving birth to her half-human, half-vampire child Renesemee. Not too long after the Cullens and werewolf boy Jacob (Taylor Lautner) begin their new lives with Renesmee, a blonde haired vampire woman spots her and immediately reports the Cullens to the evil Volturi thinking that the Cullens had bit and illegally transformed a human child into a vampire. With the Volturi arriving to seize and possibly kill Renesmee and the rest of the Cullens for their actions, the Cullens must pull together every ally and friend they know to testify against the Volturi and prove to them that Renesmee is a true mixed breed.

The first thing I want to get out of the way is the absolutely disgusting CGI work; I’ve honestly seen better background blending done on television shows. If it is not in the interior of a home, the scenes are shot on a stage with a green/blue screen and the locations, which are pretty much just forests, are digitally added. If you can get away with spending less to make more then why not I guess. I’m sorry but if you’re going to do a movie that is 85% fake you have to at least get the best guys on it because I can’t imagine an audience being engaged in a scene that that looks like a “Paper Mario” game. Oh wait, I forgot, that’s what Taylor Lautner’s shirtless body is there for. One thing that pisses me off the most about the graphic work is that the producers actually okay-ed the creation of a CGI-ed baby-the face of digital baby Renesemee is scarier than any horror movie I’ve seen this year and that is a true statement. Really, guys? You couldn’t get a baby that looked close enough to your adolescent Renesmee actress (which makes no sense because newborns all look relatively the same unless if they differ in skin color) so you decided to CGI the face and then show close-ups of it? What made me go nuts was when some of the audience actually managed to vocalize an “awwww” when seeing the baby Renesmee smile or giggle, and now I don’t know which scares me more.

The editing and cinematography are just a mess and have no coherence or solid style; they really didn’t worry about doing either of them well so we’ll just end it at that. What I want to get into is the plot, and when I say that I mean I wish I could actually have been interested even in the slightest about what is going on between Bella and Edward and their endearing fight for each other to find ways to stay together forever. Let’s face it, that is the entire overhanging plot of all five movies dabbed with certain narrative situations of no real importance or purpose but to add  obstacles for them to overcome. I swear if you take the the action out, all it would be is a collection of moments of a smirking Edward trying to get into the pants of a seemingly unwilling but actually sex crazed Bella, reminding each other every five minutes how much they wouldn’t survive without the other. Unless you are Bella, who has nothing better to do than think of fantasies with unrealistic men that don’t exist (Edward is a bajillion-year-old, inherently rich, unemployed vampire who kills humans to feast on their blood and quench his thirsts and has no other life dreams than to be with a woman), there is no reason we should even care about these two people. Watching a dog hump another dog at the park has more of a relatable social commentary than their relationship.

As hard as I am throwing down the hammer on this film right now, there is some actual fun to be had. There are a few scenes that even poke fun at the series that finally shows that even the producers don’t take the whole thing so seriously. One scene in particular involves Jacob undressing from head-to-toe in front of Bella’s father in order to reveal to him that he is a werewolf, a scene I found genuinely hilarious because of the clear reference. Also, the ending battle is actually pretty entertaining, it has some decent effects that would make The Last Airbender jealous and a vampire head ripping frenzy that would make Van Helsing want to get  his own hickey from a Cullen. As for the fans, I’m sure you’ll find all the other scenes filled with high speed transporting, Edward being awkward, and vampire clans meeting up together more than enough to quell your need for a Twilight fix.

Remember. Twilight fan.Go. Non-Twilight fan. Go somewhere else. In terms of cinema it’s a horrible piece of filmmaking, but the producers made an obvious effort to provide more and better things of what the fans have loved since the beginning. Me? I’m just happy I can finally say I at least saw one of it in its entirety. But thank goodness it’s over…or so we think.

Oh and one last thing! Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen in this one? Wow. If you need a reason, men, she’s the one.

Bow Tie Score - 1.0