Kristen Kelley Rand’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’ve had a bad habit of underestimating you.
I’ve got a confession to make: I had never seen Breaking Dawn – Part 2 until now. When it was released, I was in the middle of the first semester of my second year at NYU, and...actually, I honestly don’t even know what was going on then that stopped me. General school stress? A sweeping lack of expendable funds? Fear that my OG Twihard status would be "too much" for my new New York friends (which would've been very unlike me)? Either way, I let my OG Twihard high school self down, big time. But! Here I am, seven years later, finally rectifying the situation from the comfort of my own, still-Manhattan-bound bedroom.
With all that said, let’s—too—call a spade a spade: it is INCREDIBLE. Absolutely ridiculous, yes; beyond outrageous, double yes; but also infinitely satisfying (I’m now actively furious at myself for missing out on the opening night experience, which must’ve been equally ridiculous/outrageous/satisfying).
From “YOU NICKNAMED MY DAUGHTER AFTER THE LOCH NESS MONSTER?,” to CGI Renesmee stumbling straight off The Polar Express and into The Cullens'/(👀) Jacob's loving arms, to Dakota Fanning blithely tossing an infant into a burning pyre, to the mere presence of one J. Jenks—it’s all deliriously batshit. Practically too much to handle. It so quickly mutates into Stephenie Meyer Presents X-MorMen – Second Dawn, never looks back, and I loved every single maddening second of it. The fake-out battle sequence is an excruciatingly perfect choice, as I 110% forgot about it all being Alice’s vision (though, RIP Irina sksksk) and started crying (and I oop and I oop) when they got Carlisle and Jasper and Seth in such rapid-fire succession, followed immediately by quietly cheering over literally anything Bella did with her newfound shield powers. Stewart once again gets to flex her chops amidst the overall ludicrousness, subtly showcasing Bella’s vampire transformation in all the right outwardly physical and internally emotional ways.
It has just enough genuine delights (said battle sequence is truly amazing) coupled with just enough classically unintentional hilarity (namely Polar Exprenesmee, Michael Sheen taking his usual 11 and turning it up to a full 25, the Volturi and their stans sprinting away for their immortal lives faster than Caius could scream “ARTIFICE!!,” Bella "wanting to show Edward something" and then it ending up being a carbon copy of the full series montage we saw in Part 1) to make this...*almost* my favorite of the lot. Almost. Nothing could ever top Catherine Hardwicke’s blue-soaked entry point into the world, but Bill Condon sure did put up a good fight for that illustrious title.
Oh, also worth noting: both Victorias, Lefevre & Howard, getting their respective dues during the curtain call had me *howling* (for a second, I thought they were snubbing the latter, which would've been iconic #Justice4Rachelle).