Monday, January 2, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – 117min – PG13

My skin sparkles in the sun. I have no pulse. I am a member of the undead, a vampire, because this movie sucked the life out of me. I am an empty shell. Please, someone stake me and end it all. I know it would be easy to lay the smack down on this film. It’s an easy target for some verbal abuse, and God knows it needs it.

This is a bad movie on so many levels that I don’t know where to start. The problems don’t lie with the odd vampire mythos or the strange politics between the vamps and the wolves and their West Transylvania Side Story rivalry. It really boils down to this being a very bad story filled with lackluster performances brought to you by attractive but not very engaging performers. A blood red light for this painful spiral into mediocrity.

The movie is the first part of the book of the same name. Making the financial choice to break the story into a two parts might work for Harry Potter, but in this case, it’s just a great way to keep working this drivel. They took this kind of film making right out of the Harry Potter guide for milking a fan base.

It’s the wedding fans have been waiting for. After the other movies that focused on the building tension between Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart), we now see the union between the living and the undead. Jacob (Taylor Lautner), the werewolf with a yen for Bella, has to sneak in to the wedding because of the rift between the wolves and the dead ones. There are threats between Edward and Jacob and the two exchange stern looks. We get on with the happy occasion and try to overlook the poor attempt at tension.

After the nuptials Edward whisks Bella off to a remote island off of the coast of Rio where they spend their honeymoon. This is where things go from romantic to creepy in about 30 seconds. We start with the couple in an embrace under a full moon in the ocean, and end on a complete wreck of a bedroom with a bruised Bella in a daze in the morning.

It almost reminded me of the wake up scene from The Hangover movies. Bella:“What the hell did we do last night” Edward:“Why do you have a Tyson facial tattoo”. That would have been better than what really happened – creepy and uncomfortable post-domestic abuse bliss. Why is this abuse romantic? What message is this sending to the young people watching this? Or is this part for the grownups? Nope we are back to the creepy no matter how you slice it.

That this night results in a supernatural pregnancy sets up a fight between the werewolves and the vamps. The werewolves want to kill this abomination and the vamps want to keep it. It’s odd that both of these super powerhouses do a full on battle royal and no one seems to get hurt. Come to think of it, all of this fighting in the movie and the only one showing any damage is Bella from the honeymoon, and the audience for having to watch it.

What I am stunned at most is how director Bill Condon got this gig. He is known for some really good work like Chicago, Gods and Monsters, and Dreamgirls. I would like to ask him how this movie was brought to him. Is he a fan of the series? Did he lose a bet? is someone holding his family hostage until he completes the work on these films?

Spoiler Warning!!! Bah why bother.

I am not hiding the spoilers on this film, because it’s not worth it. I
figure if you are a fan you would have turn to a different blog by now, and if you are are not a fan and you are not going to see it so it does not matter what I say.

So in the film we get some glimpses of vampire super speed. Where does he use it? How does he apply this to his real life? He packs bags really, really fast. I had to belly laugh at his flash imitation packing to go home. I know they were aiming at a scene where Edward is worried about Bella and wants to get her out of there fast. If you own your own island and it’s such an emergency just go home, now flash out of there. Why wait? You can get more clothes when you get home. Why show us that Edward is going to be handy with the honey “do” list.

The movie ends with the other vampire tribes or councils, covens, whatever you call a gaggle of vampires. They get wind of the birth and they give us a hint of what the next movies going to be about. Do we need to continue the story? I guess people need to finish out their contracts and also Condon’s family won’t get released until they have a part 2. I have a title suggestion for it, Twilight, meh part 2.

The one attempt at symbolism is the birth of Bella’s baby and the birth of her new life. That can mirror the new life of motherhood and the new life of her half human and half undead baby. Ok I am grasping at straws here to try and find something redeemable or thought provoking in this film. The only thoughts that this movie provoked in me were ideas of going to watch a good movie. I wonder if The Way is still showing?

The only question I have is why? Anyone out there? Can you explain it to me? If you are a fan and I pissed you off, please try and enlighten me or tell me off. Why do we need to have to have these films? Is it that I have not watched the other films? Is this not a series that you can jump into at the end??

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