As the fifth and final film in the "Twilight" series, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" is a film that owns its campy charm. While all due respects are paid to the ardent fans who consumed the books with the seriousness of any respectable fanatic, there's also a nod of admission to the ridiculousness of its premise. Whether it's Jacob (Taylor Lautner) attempting to explain that he is now soul mates with a baby or Aro (Michael Sheen) and his impression of Dr. Evil coming just short of thoughtfully pressing a pinky finger to his pursed lips, director Bill Condon and his actors are clearly in on the joke. And the fans seem to gleefully anticipate the film's most corniest moments. We've grown so used to it that we've come to want it to be delightfully bad.
Now, to explain a bit about the plot: We find our heroine Bella to be a newly christened vampire, having been turned by husband Edward when their human-vampire baby broke her back while in labor. Soon, the Volturi (evil overlords of all vampires globally) are incorrectly informed that the Cullens have illegally created an immortal child. And so the Cullens assemble an international team of vamp friends to help them when the Volturi come calling.
As with the book, this random cast of new characters feels like a desperate attempt at filler, with author Stephanie Meyer likely aware of the fact that readers might be a bit tired of the plaintive gazes between her two lead characters. The special effects are as uniformly bad as they always were, which only heightens the giggle factor. The most refreshing aspect of the film may be that with her character's transition into a vampire, Kristen Stewart is no longer playing the kind of clumsy, stuttering wuss she is always mocked for passing off as "serious acting." Here, she is a poised adult in control of her faculties. And while we won't give anything away, we can say that the film does deviate from the novel in a way that is entirely satisfying for even the most stringent purists.
While so many negative things have been said about all of these movies, the argument that these actors and actresses weren't right for their parts has long been abandoned. For better or worse, the series has become a cultural icon, with all its flaws celebrated.
'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2'
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner