No Neck is Safe in "Breaking Dawn–Part 2"

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Everything the typical teenager (well, the kind obsessed with vampires, werewolves, romance, creative ways to tear heads off, and the like) could ever want appears in Part 2 of Breaking Dawn.

The beginning of the end picks up directly after its predecessor.  Bella is living her coveted vampire life with gusto. Besides overpowering Edward, she beats up Jacob for imprinting on her half-CG daughter and chows on cougars.  Obviously, Rupert Sanders (infamous one-time Kristen Stewart paramour) didn’t watch these opening scenes prior to his fling.

The plot revolves around Bella and the Cullen family protecting Renesmee but viewers never get a clear view of what exactly they are protecting. Throughout the film, Renesmee, Bella’s daughter, seems objectified and useless.  She’s just a concept, not a character.  In the little screen time where Renesmee appears, she fits the cookie-cutter mold of an innocent young girl, unable to stand alone without the support of her parents or Jacob. Edward plays a tentative but caring father, and Bella, a protective mother. The family of three, meanwhile, never give off a vibe as a whole unit, despite botched attempts at family scenes. The plot emphasizes the chemistry between Bella and Edward, overriding the relationship Renesmee has with her parents. Arguably, the relationship between Renesmee and Jacob becomes more pronounced as the film progresses.

We also get to see a happy Cullen family, complete with Bella and Edward’s Exclusive Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse, before the film transitions into a cross between Chronicle and 300.

The plot shifts as the Volturi discover the what they mistakenly believe to be the Cullen’s dirty little secret (Renesmee). Frantic for witnesses and forces to help correct the Volturi’s misunderstanding, the Cullen gang comb their worldwide vampiric connections. Suddenly, a parade of vampires with special gifts arrive in Bella’s neck of the woods.

The film then painstakingly outlines the retrieval of each individual vamp, and with a dramatic flourish, displays the special powers of every one (there’s an Electro vampire, an Amazon, some Italian guys and a character whose powers more or less resemble Avatar–the airbender, not the blue guy). At the same time, Jacob, fulfilling his duty as Renesmee’s Imprinter, gathers a lupine force to aid the Cullens. With each new arrival, Renesmee’s lack of depth becomes more apparent; the young girl is treated as a type of panacea: everytime she touches a skeptical vampire, the character of that particular vampire changes for the better.

When we get past the deathly pale vampires and the deathly pale snow and the deathly slow epic music, Alice, the vampire who bailed on the Cullens earlier on, crashes the party with a prediction.  And once this prediction kicks in–I’m serious–don’t get your hopes up.  The movie actually has, give or take, ten minutes of action. But be prepared for that time to blow your mind.

Charles Dickens, after watching those ten minutes, could write a second volume of A Tale of Two Cities, he’d be so inspired by the inventive series of decapitations that ensue.

I almost expected Bella to scream, “THIS. IS. SPARTA!”

The final say:
Decent, but the plot could pick up the pace.  Great compared to the first four films. Watch it.