The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 ★★★

Over the past couple of weeks I watched the entire Twilight saga for the first time. I'm not overly fond of vampire movies per se, and the ones that I actually like tend to be on the bloodier end of the spectrum, therefore I never felt inclined to watch the series that put Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson on the map.

So why watch it now? Two reasons: Kristen Stewart and curiosity. Stewart has done some really interesting work post Twilight, and I wanted to check out if there is any justification for the loads of venom and hatred she received for it. There isn't. I also wanted to see if the films themselves deserve their reputation. They do. Mostly.

The first one is a passably decent teen romance flick, the sequels are where shit really got out of hand. New Moon is utterly dreadful, Eclipse slightly less, and the two-part finale is just bonkers through and through. There is hardly anything good about these movies, but with the exception of New Moon, they aren't boring and I enjoyed the ridiculous shit that was happening on screen. Removing your cinephile stick from your butt might help with that, though.

I'm not going to open the can of worms that is the series' gender politics and stance on sexuality, but the not in the slightest veiled prudery is so in your fucking face I almost admired them for playing that bullshit totally straight.

What surprised me the most is that the films all look really nice. Catherine Hardwicke established a rather grounded visual approach (very little bright colors, high level of saturation/contrast) in the first one and the sequels just ran with it. Throughout the five movies there probably aren't more than a handful of outdoor scenes that take place somewhere where it's not damp and cold. I like that.

I also like Kristen Stewart's performance. Look, it's a vampire teen romance, not motherfucking Shakespeare. Her acting is perfectly fine for what is required here. I can't say the same about Robert Pattinson. He is stiff in the first one, utterly dreadful in the second, and slightly less bad in the third. It's only in the final two entries that he doesn't feel miscast. To be fair, teen romance or not, he had to deal with a character that was awfully written in the first place. That's still no excuse for embarrassing himself like he did in New Moon.

Everyone else ranges from forgettable to serviceable. Taylor Lautner had the misfortune of having to portray the biggest dumbfuck of the 21st century, and I'm fairly confident that better actors wouldn't have pulled it off either. Michael Sheen on the other hand clearly understood what he signed up for and hammed it up accordingly. I respect that.

It's true that you don't miss out on anything if you're never going to see Twilight. It's also true that I have wasted many hours of my life watching shit that was considerably less entertaining or not entertaining at all. Make of that what you want. Also fuck the haters.

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