November 19, 2011
Review - " Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 1 "
(in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 1
Directed by: Bill Condon
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Gil
Birmingham, Billy Burke, Sarah Clarke, Ashley Greene,
Jackson Rathbone, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan
Lutz, Nikki Reed, Anna Kendrick
First off, a confession, I am a Twilight fan - both of the books
and the movies. With that said I found Breaking Dawn part 1 to
be the weakest of the Twilight Saga films. There are a lot of
Twi-haters out there and if you're one of them why are you
even reading this review? The haters seem to be even more
virulent because of the popularity and success of these
supernatural tween romance flix. You don't have to get all
vigilante on us just because they make billions of bux, if you
don't like it - just don't go see it.
Even though it’s the next to last movie in what will be a five part
saga, the story could almost function as a stand alone horror
film. As the movie opens, human teen Bella (Kristen Stewart) is
preparing to marry vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson).
Now they get to do the typical wedding stuff. The Vampire
bachelor party – no strippers, just a little hunting. The nervous
bride to be having strange second thoughts and bloody
nightmares. The best man who is actually the best man… uh…
wolf, Jacob, fearful about Bella wanting to spend her
honeymoon as a human. The danger – Edward could
accidentally kill her in a fit of passion.
Naturally plenty of family is involved. After all, both sides, vampire and human are invited to the ceremony. The usual
embarrassing toasts to the bride and groom are made at the reception including the father of the bride, Charlie Swan (Billy
Burke) warning the groom to take good care of his little girl. Then its off to the honeymoon – a night flight to Rio followed by a
quick boat trip to a private island provided by the grooms father, Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli). Out on the beach in
Then the movie took an “R” rating and
had to be re-edited to bring it down to
a PG-13 for its core audience. (Look
for the typical unrated DVD version
that is sure to show up later to
increase sales.) The last minute cuts
left parts of the honeymoon looking
choppy and pushing the border of “R”.
After their “first time” a slightly freaked
out Edward shies away from an over
eager Bella who doesn’t seem to
notice what really happened that first
night. Imagine playing chess on a
honeymoon just to avoid being
intimate and possible death. Poor
Bella. Poor Edward. But such are the
trials and tribulations of a human –
What next? Well… Bella survives to
see the sun rise only to find out she
is pregnant. The child/creature inside
her is growing at an accelerated pace and soon begins to drain Bella of all nutrition. Maybe it’s thirsty asserts Jacob. Got any
O-negative shakes hanging around? Meanwhile her pregnancy turns the wolves against Bella and Edward because their
spawn could be dangerous.
Bella, her belly growing big, holes up in the Cullen's mansion while the wolves prowl around outside. They're not too thrilled
with this whole vampire-human-baby-hybrid-thing. While the wolves plot Bella's baby's destruction, the vampires freak out
because Bella is sick and dying, sapped of life force by the child inside her. As Bella decays into a skeletal husk, Jacob the
Werewolf (Taylor Lautner) breaks free from his pack - I think he finally grows up. He comes up with the idea to give the little
bloodsucker what it wants, which just so happens to save Bella's life.
My biggest issue with Breaking Dawn is that Director Bill Condon seemed to find it necessary to drag out so much of the film.
There’s barely enough content here for an entire movie. Wedding preparations take forever, the wedding itself drags on
endlessly, and watching the honeymoon sequence, which spans 14 days, feels like real time. The much talked about
controversy stems from the sex scenes, but they rarely include anything more racy than hugging, kissing and extreme close-
ups. It feels like they needed to stretch out the story in order to make it into two parts.
Breaking Dawn Part 1 largely functions as one big exposition before the final, climactic film. Unlike Edward on his honeymoon,
the audience doesn’t get much action until the very end. Hardcore fans who enjoy the fantasy element of the story might get
bored, but if the Twilight saga didn’t
have a story that people liked, the
books never would have gotten as
popular as they have. Most people
are already familiar with the story,
and many are experts on every detail
of the saga, so there’s no need to go
Breaking Dawn is a film for the
“Twilight” Faithful whether they be
wolf pack, vampire clan, or the odd
stray human. Everyone else is likely
to be lost and shouldn’t bother unless
you see at least one of the earlier films.
Although, a lack of prior knowledge
might actually increase the enjoyment.
The entire “Part 1” could have been
cut down by about 30 to 45 minutes.
Let’s get together a year from now on
November 16, 2012 and see if
Condon’s work is better or worse.
Suffice to say that if you’ve enjoyed
the books and the films so far, this is
one you’ll want to see.