Twi-hards everywhere are shedding a collective tear with the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, the fifth and final film in the Twilight series, adapted from the massively best-selling young adult book series by Stephenie Meyer. The series, which began with a mousey teenager falling in love at first sight with a dreamy vampire, concludes with a full dive into the supernatural. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are married parents to a very unique daughter, Renesmee, (Mackenzie Foy) and both living the good life as glamorous, sparkly vampires in small town Washington. Ah, but it looks like eternity won’t be smooth sailing after all. The vampire authority, the Volturi, have a beef with the happy couple and decide to mess things up in a major way. Tensions rise and it looks like our heroes will be headed for an all-out war. What a lot of trouble for a high school crush!
The film opens where Breaking Dawn Part 1 ended. Bella has just given birth and “died” in the process, only to be saved at the last minute by her (inexplicably) devoted immortal husband and made into a vampire herself. At least Stewart gets to look pretty in this film instead of gawky like the human version of Bella. She needs to learn how to control her unquenchable thirst before she can meet her daughter, a slightly-creepy CGI baby who can communicate telepathically with anyone she touches.
Bella is none too pleased when she finds out her werewolf buddy, Jacob (Tayler Lautner), has “imprinted” on the baby, meaning he is destined to fall in love with her—you know, once she turns 18 and all, because that somehow makes it less creepy. That freak out soon dissipates and Bella and Edward get into the swing of being a happily married (and apparently extravagantly wealthy) couple. Living off the in-laws’ moolah never felt so good.
But all is not well in the world of sparkly, teenage vampires. One day, their daughter is playing in a field and showing off some of her supernatural abilities—being half vampire, half human means she can do some pretty crazy stuff—and our lovebirds are ratted out to the creepy Volturi for creating an “Immortal Child”, a big no-no in the community. Immortal children, little kids who have been turned into vampires, are against the rules and must be destroyed.
And that’s when shit starts going down. The family recruits an entire gang of vampire buddies, most possessing some kind extra supernatural talent, to help them fight off the gang of spooky Italians who are coming to kill little Nessie, Jacob’s Loch Ness inspired nickname for his future love interest. For some reason, everybody and their brother is prepared to die for this little girl and the rival factions converge on a frozen lake to do battle in a gigantic, epic sequence that’s like the teenage supernatural romance version of Helms Deep in Lord of the Rings. Heads are torn off, red-eyed scowls are exchanged and there’s even a lava pit at one point but, SPOILER ALERT, it’s actually all just a projection created by Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene), Edward’s “sister” who possesses the power of foresight. After the “battle”, the bad guys decide to pack up and leave in a rather anticlimactic fashion, leaving everyone to live happily ever after.
The Twilight films always come with a heavy dose of morality, but thankfully this one isn’t as downright bizarre as Breaking Dawn Part 1. In that chapter, we had Bella waiting to have sex with Edward, having sex with Edward and emerging all bruised up, then begging Edward for more sex only to be brutally rebuffed, getting knocked up, having a traumatic pregnancy, going into labor in bone-crackingly violent fashion, then getting a vampire venom injection right to the heart as she lay dying on the table. That, my friends, was some weird shit. This film, on the other hand, sees the two as a relatively normal, loving, married couple who bang whenever they feel like it, since it’s totally fine for people to have sex, as long as they’re married, immortal, indestructible, eternally beautiful creatures.
That’s not so say that there isn’t a bit of weirdness in this one too. No matter how much you buy into Meyer’s supernatural rules, it’s pretty freakin’ creepy for a teenage boy to be irrevocably in love with a two-day-old infant. Werewolf “imprinting” is a romantic notion, but it’s kind of icky when it happens between a man and a toddler. Aside from Bella’s initial anger, she and Edward become surprisingly comfortable with the idea of their daughter being babysat by a guy she will eventually grow to hook up with. Maybe I just haven’t given in to the story enough, but I find that more than a little awkward.
For those who have fully committed to the supernatural realm presented in the books and films, this will surely be a fitting conclusion. The leading men drew collective swoons from the crowd when they first appeared on screen at the show I attended. We now have tons and tons of gorgeous vampires to stare at and Stewart has finally lost that dead-eyed look, even though Bella is actually dead this time. In the end, hardcore fans will look past the films flaws (and there are more than a few) to soak up every minute of the action, intrigue, PG-13 sexy times and never-ending close ups of all the pretty supernaturals. Go forth, Twi-hards, and celebrate the final installment of your beloved series! I’m sure there are many of us who will also be celebrating the fact that this whole shebang is finally over.