The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)

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At this moment in time, I have to say that I’m pretty much in league with all of the other males being dragged along to the cinema to see these movies. I sit there thinking “why, why, why?” and then I plot ways for my good lady to make it up to me. In my case, my wife usually has to watch a crazy horror movie so that I feel we have both cleansed our palates.

Since the first film moped into cinemas, the Twilight franchise has come to stand for the very worst in teen-centric cinema. It is aimed, of course, at the female demographic but that’s still no excuse for creating something so horribly inept and vomit-inducing. Take, for example, the moment in this film in which someone says “I mean, being any kind of happy is better than being miserable about someone you can’t have.”

This instalment, as you may have guessed, is happy to continue in the same vein (well, I guess it has to, what with being based on the lacklustre source material). Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are planning on getting married and doing all that they can to show their love to everyone and keep Jacob (Taylor Lautner) in mega-pouty mode. Most things go to plan but some complications arise in the shape of . . . . . . . . . . . . well, I won’t say any more. Despite my dislike of these movies I still won’t spoil anything for anyone trying to give them a viewing with as little knowledge of events as possible. Though why anyone would want to torture themselves in such a way is beyond me.

Bill Condon directs this tawdry entry, with the screenplay written by Melissa Rosenberg once again, and I’ll be completely fair and say that this is actually a watchable film. Oh, most of it is distressingly horrid but the second half throws in a few good moments, and some blood, that almost make up for the rubbish first half. It’s not as enjoyable as the third movie in the series but remains a notch above the first two films.

If anyone is hoping for an improvement in the quality of the acting, however, then prepare for disappointment. I am starting to think that Kristen Stewart once made a sullen face and the wind changed, causing her to stay that way. The, mercifully few, moments when she’s trying to act sexy almost made me vomit through my nose – it was like watching some toddler play dress up with mummy’s clothes but much worse. Robert Pattinson isn’t even given a layer of glitter nowadays, he’s just a pale teen who is out to potentiall ruin the life of one young girl. And Taylor Lautner does his best onscreen because it gives him less time to make crap like Abduction. Anna Kendrick isn’t onscreen for long but is still a highlight, alongside Billy Burke and the lovely Ashley Greene.

You can’t say that you weren’t warned. None of these movies have really gone out of their way to rise above the target audience expectations. So if you expect to hate this one then you probably will and, therefore, if you expect to love it then you probably will. It’s an easy sell to those who have already bought in.

DIRECTOR: BILL CONDON
WRITER: MELISSA ROSENBERG (BASED ON THE NOVEL BY STEPHANIE MEYER)
CAST: KRISTEN STEWART, ROBERT PATTINSON, TAYLOR LAUTNER, ASHLEY GREENE, BILLY BURKE, PETER FACINELLI, ELIZABETH REASER, ANNA KENDRICK
RUNTIME: 117 MINS APPROX
COUNTRY: USA

Film Rating: ★★½☆☆

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