Like little Renesmee Cullen, I’m mixed. She’s part vampire, part human; I’m part Twihard, part cynic. It’s a strange place to live: I see each film in the franchise since the first Twilight as an exercise in excruciatingly bad acting and dialogue, but I can’t help myself. I love the whole premise, the way that universe that Stephenie Meyer has created has been expressed in film (rather than in the books, which are too juvenile even for me). I would guess Robert Pattinson probably has a lot to do with it.
Breaking Dawn — Part 2, then, was a relief for me, as I understand it was for Kristen Stewart and Pattinson, who are aching to be released to do something less cheesy. With Stewart’s character, Bella, now a vampire, there’s a huge weight lifted off everyone’s shoulders, and the comfort that brings is palpable: Jacob and Edward are openly friendly and there is joking around — lots of it.
Pattinson is given few lines of consequence, but each time the camera turns to him he is smirking, smiling at some inward joke. Stewart is a breath of fresh air — being a vampire truly suits her and she doesn’t bite her lip in that fake-insecure way once. Watching her discover her new powers in the first half was described as boring by some less-Twihard viewers; for me it was fun, like an Idiot’s Guide To Being A Vampire.
Of course, a lot of a dialogue and delivery is soulless or cheesy, making some of the film unintentionally funny. Seeing the family spring into action to recruit their friends from around the world to testify to the Volturi that Renesmee is not a child who has been turned into a vampire (totally against vampire regulations, or didn’t you read the handbook?) has all the fake warmth of a Christmas TV commercial. Their friends are hilariously stereotypical: gingers from Ireland, Bela Lugosi-style Romanian draculas and the vampires from the Amazon are tall... Amazons. I guess they left the French out because of the garlic around their necks?
Much has been hinted about the ending, which deviates from the book; not having read the book I can’t comment, but the final act facing the Volturi, with Michael Sheen’s chilling demeanour and little scream, and the constant ripping-off of heads (almost comical after a while) is very enjoyable. It’s well-paced, unlike many climactic battle scenes, and has a cinematic twist as good as The Sixth Sense. If you’re a vague Twilight fan, this film will give you the closure you need without too much saccharine; if you’re a Twilight fan, you’ve probably booked your tickets already, and are seeking validation; so here you are: your favourite characters are at their best in Breaking Dawn, and the closing credits will give you the dose of nostalgia needed to fill that hole in your heart.