And so the saga of a girl and her vampire comes to an end with this adaptation of the second half of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn novel. No concessions are made to anyone who doesn’t know the story of Bella (Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Pattinson)– the action picks up straight after the climax of BD Part One as Bella learns to live a new life as a vampire, after almost dying (as a human at least) while giving birth to Ed’s half-vampire, half-human child.
While the first movies in the saga concerned themselves with the couple’s unusual romance and the love triangle that was completed by teen werewolf Jacob (Lautner), there’s no need to worry here that Bella will dump her pasty-faced vamp in favour of the big dog, as Jacob has ‘imprinted’ on her daughter, Renesmee – a yucky idea that has a werewolf mentally mating for life with someone, meaning he’ll morph from kindly uncle-figure to besotted lover after she reaches puberty. And that won’t be too far in the future as baby Nessie (Jacob’s sniggersome nickname for his future love) is growing at a rapid rate, resembling a toddler within days of her birth.
Her speedy growth threatens to spoil Edward and Bella’s newfound vampy happiness, however, as the Volturi, the black-cloaked self-appointed rulers of the blood-sucking community, decide Renesmee must be as awful as her name so head towards the Cullen family to deliver their own style of justice. Their involvement means that after a rather slow Breaking Dawn Part One, we finally get some fang action, wolf chases and even a few decapitations for good measure.
Fans of the Twilight books and movies will be rewarded with a movie that remains faithful to the last book while actually slightly improving on it in the climactic scenes. There’s still the clunking dialogue, of course, and a rather awkward love scene that reveals happy vampires come over all twinkly, but Stewart, Lautner and especially Pattinson seem more comfortable in their roles than in the previous films.
If you’re not a Twilight fan, this final instalment won’t explain what all the fuss has been about (and if you’re a vampire lore aficionado you’ll gnash your teeth at creatures of the night who can wander around contentedly during the day, save for glittery skin in sunlight), but if you’ve been yearning for this final instalment of the teenage supernatural saga to find out if Edward and Bella get their happily ever after at last, you won’t be disappointed.
Is Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
As mentioned in the review above, there are some decapitations and fight scenes, but it’s all pretty bloodless for a movie about vampires and there is nothing here that should bother the over-12s.
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