Fri 18 Nov 2011
So, we meet again. It’s that time of the year, folks; time for me to write a useless review that won’t change anyone’s mind about the Twilight franchise. Yay.
Let’s do this thing.
This installment of the ongoing saga of Edward (Robert Pattinson), Jacob (Taylor Lautner), and Bella (Kristen Stewart) brings us to The Big Day. Bella and Edward tie the knot in grand fashion, and then head out for their honeymoon. All goes well (angsty, but well) for the happy couple, until Bella brings back an awesome souvenir from their trip. Drama ensues all around, as everyone once again must try to protect Bella; but how do you protect her from something happening in her own body?
Soooo… yeah. Not much new to say this time around. The acting is still not great, the script is still meh. The effects are getting better (Bella is pretty impressively emaciated-looking), and the direction and editing are better. One or two scenes even evoke some sort of response from you, even if it is due to the visuals more than anything else.
A longtime issue with this series has been the difficulty they have faced in trying to turn a 1st person perspective book into a 3rd person perspective film. Without the crutch of letting the main characters tell you everything they are thinking, the actors really need to own their characters and help us find the motivation for their actions. The way they truncate the story to make it fit the runtime puts even more pressure on them; they need to pull off the plot lines quickly and believably.
Unfortunately, the main actors in the film simply aren’t that good. On the basis of the film alone, many questions were left unanswered; Why does Bella want to keep the baby? How does Jacob really feel about all of this? For that matter, is Edward thinking of anything at all? Having read the books, I can follow along fairly easily, but if I wanted to experience the film as a Twilight “virgin”, I would be left shaking my head.
An issue unique to this film is the consequences of splitting a book into two separate movies. Often, the first film spends most of its runtime on exposition; it is a lead-in for the climax at the end of the book (which is found in the second film). It is no different in this franchise; the movie just feels long and slow. At the end they toss in an improvised fight to add some action, but it falls flat and doesn’t make the film any more interesting.
At the end of the day, “Breaking Dawn Part 1″ is a little prettier, and cut together a bit better, than the previous films. The acting is better as well (sort of). Unfortunately, it suffers from a lack of action, and feels far too long. Since it delivers what the average Twilight fan has grown to expect, it gets a 2.5 out of 5; a middling grade for a middling film.