Now Playing: Breaking Yawn

Disclaimer: I’ve never picked up a single ‘Twilight’ book and I’ve given two of the three previous movies terrible reviews. (The exception was ‘Eclipse’, which actually had a straightforward plot and some action.) While I always go into them with open minds, hoping that the next film will be better than the last, the first part of ‘Breaking Dawn’ is downright atrocious. This review contains a lot of spoilers.

The decision by Warner Bros. to split the final ‘Harry Potter’ book into two films was a good choice due to the amount of information that needed to be told before the climactic battle could happen. I don’t know how much lies ahead of us with ‘Breaking Dawn, Part 2’, but the little amount of content in ‘Part 1’ easily could have – and truthfully should have – been condensed to 45 well-paced minutes. Even if ‘Part 2’ requires two full hours, that would make a single ‘Breaking Dawn’ movie only 2 hours and 45 minutes long, which would be completely acceptable for the final film of a major series. Splitting ‘Breaking Dawn’ into two parts is a shameless move by the studio to milk this dried-up teat for all it’s worth.

When I say that nothing happens in ‘Part 1’, I mean it. The movie is so empty that the trailers are actually filled with footage from ‘Part 2’. The little story conveyed in the trailers reveal the entire movie. Bella and Edward are married. They have a sex twice on their two-week honeymoon at a hidden beach in Brazil. She gets knocked up (how can an undead vampire have swimming sperm?), and upon returning home, the neighboring werewolf pack wants to kill Bella and her unborn demon child. ‘Part 1’ drags on for 117 minutes to cover just that.

Considering how much Summit Entertainment comforted fans by claiming that the crazy shit that goes down in ‘Breaking Dawn’ would be delicately handled, you might have expected some of the zany stuff to be altered or omitted in the adaptation process. It hasn’t. The silly crap is still here. Bella sips human blood through a straw in a Styrofoam sippy cup. A shirtless teenage boy “imprints” and falls in love with a newborn baby. A pack of telepathic CG dogs have a long and silly verbal conversation. And (my favorite of them all) Edward surgically removes his child from Bella’s womb via C-Section – only in this case the “C” stands for “chew.” That’s right, he chews his way through Bella’s stomach to get the baby out.

Admittedly, I must give ‘Breaking Dawn’ credit where deserved. There are two scenes in the movie that absolutely work. The first is the actual marriage scene. Without feeling like a CW drama, the way the couple’s vows are put on screen is quite strong, much stronger than anything else in the movie. The second comes in the middle of the closing credits. There’s no cliffhanger to ‘Part 1’, so a clip has been inserted about a minute into the credits that teases what ‘Part 2’ will be about. The Italian vampire gang wants Bella’s half-human/half-vampire baby. (No, the baby is not Blade. Had it been, I would have given ‘Part 1’ more stars.)

Again, Michael Sheen seems to be the only guy in the franchise to know how crappy it is. Sheen campily hams up his performance and gives the movie its very best scene. Each of these two mentioned scenes earns the film half a star. I would have awarded it another star had the eye-candy actors not been made-up so poorly that they’re not even close to being as attractive as they are in real life (i.e., Ashley Greene).

Since the ‘Twilight Saga’ is critic proof, no matter how bad we critics pan the films, mothers and daughters of all ages will still race out to see this turd. Even with its terrible CG, its R-rated thrust-filled sex scenes, its trashy romance novel story, its bad acting and purely fluffy waste-of-time plot, the movie is going to make gazillions of dollars at the box office. Out of respect for good film, please skip this teen soap opera.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

8 comments

  1. JM

    The weirdest of all the ‘Twilight’ phenomenons is that the stories work unexpectedly well as audio books. Assuming you’re a romance slut.

    In response to a previous comment by EM, re: ‘Twilight’ for boys…

    I have a friend who works at the LGBT center at our university, and in an informal polling of seventeen gay men, 18-49, not one of them had read the novels or watched the movies. Their level of disinterest was identical to that of all the husbands of the women in my knitting circle.

    Also odd, is that most women I know who like ‘Twilight’ are professors or graduate students. One third of them are from different countries.

    At Rotten Tomatoes, half the positive reviews came from female critics.

    Maybe they were lucky enough to have experienced the audio books first. They could enjoy the film, with a wealth of subtext in their heads.

  2. I was dragged to see the first two. The second one was okay. Doesn’t mean it was good, it was just okay. Luckily by the time the third movie came out, all my female friends decided to get together and leave the guys at home, to much relief on our parts.

    This review doesn’t really surprise me. Luke isn’t exactly in the target audience of the movie, and neither am I. There are movies I like that none of the girls in my life can stand. Let the preteens and their moms have this movie.

    BTW, the people I know who have seen this movie said its the best one of the series, which means I will probably hate it more than any of the others.

    • Drew

      It is most certainly not “the best one of the series.”

      The “Twi-Hards” don’t even believe this to be true. It’s an absolutely awful movie. It’s historically awful.

      My wife is a die-hard twi-hard. She could barely tolerate getting through it. Keep in mind that she is someone who usually sees each new ‘Twilight’ film at least four times during their opening weekends. She couldn’t even bring herself to go see this one twice. She said that it was so disappointing, and so terrible, it will take her a while to accept it, and allow herself to see it again.

      This film is so terrible, they should market it in an effort to build up the other ‘Twilight’ films. It is literally the ‘Twilight’ movie that makes the bad ‘Twilight’ films look good.

      Luke didn’t do the following scene justice when talking about how bad it is:

      “A pack of telepathic CG dogs have a long and silly verbal conversation.”

      This scene deserved at least a paragraph of it’s own, possibly more. It is a scene so despicably awful, it instantly becomes legendary. You can recognize something amazing happening during this scene. It’s one of the only moments in history where the viewer can instantly tell that the scene they are watching is historically awful, and is made up of the stuff that legends are made of. There’s truly no way to describe just how atrocious this scene is.

      But wait, it gets better, there are at least two other scenes, possibly three or four, that almost quality as instantly legendary for being downright putrid.

      In hindsight, we decided that the film we had seen was actually a rehearsal being filmed. It wasn’t actually the finished product. It was just the actors getting in their places and practicing what they were going to say. They didn’t even have the proper wigs or make-up on yet.

      The sound editing was easily the worst of any major studio production in cinematic history. Some of the mixing is so awful, it is honestly shocking. A ‘Guiding Light-esque’ soap opera music plays so loud during every single scene of dialogue. Even if the acting was decent, and the dialogue wasn’t utterly wooden, you would never know it, because the musical score, and the sound editing is so abysmal.

      The direction is so amateur, and so bad, every frame makes it clear that Bill Condon had no interest whatsoever in even delivering a whole film, let alone a film that resembled anything of quality. It’s as if Condon said, “You know how there are cliffs notes versions of novels? Let’s try to make a cliffs notes version of a film.”

      If I were teaching a film class to beginner students, and I wanted to use one film as an example of everything you could possibly do wrong in filmmaking, I’m tempted to say that “Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part One” would be the film that I would use. Every single aspect of it is a lesson on what not to do when making a film.

      It is easily one of the worst motion pictures ever made.

  3. Tim

    I only watch movies in the Twilight series with Rifftrax. It’s the only way to make them enjoyable.

    JM: Love the new avatar. I’m playing on the PC and had to d/l the mod that shows the system time on the loading screens, just so I don’t play until midnight on weeknights…which I’ve already done several times.

    • JM

      I’m at 49 hours. 100% in smithing. Married to Sylgja. Trying to rank up in The Dark Brotherhood, to save 25K for the house in Solitude.

      With so little sleep, my sourdough making hasn’t suffered, but my puff pastries are baking up 20% less puffy.

      • Tim

        Nice! Complete all the DB quests and you’ll get $20k.

        I’m playing dual-dagger wielding assassin this time around, even though I’ve traditionally started with warriors in TES games. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy getting 15x dmg bonus for backstabs with daggers (30x with Dark Brotherhood gloves).

        I have yet to figure out how to marry someone, but I’m guessing it’s only certain people and not just any companion?

        Anyway, Skyrim is by far Bethesda’s crowning achievement. I look forward to the coming years and additional mods that will constantly infuse it with life.

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