Film: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene
Plot Summary: After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.
Some like it and some don't but all critics agree that Breaking Dawn Part 2 is among the best of the Twilight franchise, that it is rather morbid for a film with a 12A certificate and lastly that all fans will love the film. And by the way, it also has great anti-climax.
Philip French, The Observer, Guardian.co.uk
This fifth and concluding film in the cinematic franchise based on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga begins in medias res and will be wholly unintelligible to newcomers. As advertised in the semi-trailer that ended Breaking Dawn Part 1, it leads up to an epic confrontation on a frozen lake in the American northwest. On one side are vampires from all over the world dedicated to peaceful coexistence, led by Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a newly initiated vampire herself, mother of a precocious child and married to the vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).
Verdict: On past form, devoted Twilight fans will love it.
Robbie Collin, Telegraph.co.uk
Breaking Dawn Part 2 is three fingers of supernatural teen romance served neat in a dirty glass with a sparkler and cocktail umbrella, and not a single concession is made to newcomers, or sanity.
Condon has abandoned the half-hearted body horror tone of the last Twilight film for a glossier, spanglier aesthetic: Breaking Dawn Part 2 might have little in common with his Oscar-winning 2006 musical Dreamgirls, but the through-line is just about visible. He hoiks the camera around with soap opera clumsiness during the film’s exposition-heavy first act, but elsewhere there are flashes of real creativity. The opening title sequence, in which frost blossoms on branches over Carter Burwell’s elegant score, is surprisingly stylish, and there were cheers from the audience during a love scene in which the demonstrably satisfied Bella starts to glitter like a disco ball.
Grant Rollings, Sun
The end to Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen’s (Robert Pattinson) saga is far superior to the penultimate film, which should have been titled Breaking Yawn.
There’s some proper action here for any lads willing to sit through it with their girlfriends – including some touching decapitation scenes.
This is strong stuff for a 12A but Twilight never gets close to Near Dark in terms of danger.
The humour works, new vampires display impressive powers and young Mackenzie Foy catches the attention as Bella’s daughter Renesmee, while Taylor Lautner as werewolf Jacob Black continues to rely on taking off his shirt.
Verdict: Twihard fans won’t mind that and I’m sure they will love this film the moment they hear Bella tell Edward: “I love you.”
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
If the entire five-part, 608-minutes-all-in running time of The Twilight Saga means anything at all, it is that vampires are the ultimate fairy-tale characters, as this is a story that literally ends happily ever after and forever for all concerned. Anyone who has seen even one of the previous cinematic installments of Stephenie Meyer’s endlessly protracted cross-species love story basically knows what to expect here, and the multitudes who have seen them all will jam theaters the world over in the coming weeks to experience the consummation so devoutly to be wished: the ultimate and imperishable union of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. The $1 billion generated by the first four entries in the U.S. and $2.5 billion generated worldwide will be increased considerably by the time Breaking Dawn finally reaches its dusk.
One of the distinguishing factors of the whole Twilight Saga has been its unerring ability to prevent four directors of variable talent from demonstrating any real cinematic flair. The prevailing approach in the many romantic interludes has been one of moony dourness in which the yearning and romantic platitudes that dominate novelist Meyer’s prose have been faithfully rendered, while the action/combat scenes concentrate more on vampire and werewolf speed, as well as abrupt, relatively bloodless deaths, than on creative representations of violence.
Although the new film builds to a massive confrontation on a wintry field between more than two dozen vampires, backed up by their hirsute werewolf allies, and the more numerous and gifted Volturi, this remains the rare popular series without any great set pieces or even memorable scenes; from the beginning, it all has just sort of chugged along in a stylistically mundane way that has not infrequently slipped over into dullness.
The end credits feature the very nice touch of presenting a visual parade of all the actors who have played any kind of significant role in the entire series, building from the smallest bit players to Pattinson and Stewart at the end. They acquit themselves here just as they have throughout the saga, which has captured the peak of their youthful beauty. Now it’s time for them, and the audience, to move on.
Verdict: The final installment of the immortal Bella/Edward romance will give its breathlessly awaiting international audience just what it wants.
Chris Tookey, Dailymail.co.uk
Turning into a vampire has never seemed such fun. Bella (Kristen Stewart) not only has a beautiful baby, she’s stronger, faster and more sound-sensitive than ever.
This highly hypothetical portrayal of empowered womanhood is transparently aimed at impressionable teenagers, especially when Bella’s new in-laws buy her a furnished house in the woods and she loves everything about it.
It’s an action climax far better than anything in the novel — though I can’t remember any film carrying a 12A certificate with this number of killings, burnings and decapitations. This movie is definitely not for children.
Some faults from the novel persist — a surfeit of underwritten characters, an uneasy feeling that the rules are being made up on the spur of the moment, and long stretches when nothing much happens. We even get the final sentence of the book appearing reverentially on screen, as though it’s classic prose as opposed to sentimental tosh.
Fortunately, director Bill Condon has developed a sense of humour since the last film, and the special effects and cinematography are noticeably more lavish.
The fifth and final Twilight won’t convert unbelievers, males or indeed the elderly, by whom I mean anyone over 18. However, it will hit the spot for fans of the series.
It’s the most entertaining of the franchise since the first episode, and a massive step up from the previous three dismal offering.
Verdict: Much better than the last three