Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Breaking Dawn Part 2 (The Twilight Saga)

Reviews
by Leonard Maltin
November 16, 2012 1:00 AM
6 Comments
  • |
Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson
Photo by Doane Gregory - © 2011 Summit Ent., LLC.

I thought the first Twilight movie was fresh and entertaining, but I haven’t cared about the series since then. The best I can say about this closing chapter, based on the latter part of Stephenie Meyer’s novel, is that it offers “more of the same.” To the series’ fervent fans, that will come as good news. For me, it was something of a yawn.

Part 2 of Breaking Dawn begins where Part 1 left off. Bella and Edward are now married and the parents of a baby girl who is half-vampire, half-human. The opening section of the movie has the air of a 1980s shampoo commercial as the two newlyweds, discreetly naked, make passionate love to a nonstop music track. At times like this, Breaking Dawn Part 2 is cheesy to the point of self-parody. When the story finally kicks in it gets more interesting. It seems the Volturi, led by the outrageously hammy Michael Sheen, are convinced that the baby is an “immortal child,” which foretells disaster. It’s up to the Cullen clan to convince the Volturi that they’re wrong—or face them in battle. This leads to an exciting action climax with an admirably clever twist.

Jacob, if you’re keeping track, is now an ally of the Cullens, although Edward is uneasy with this truce. But never fear: Taylor Lautner still gets an opportunity to take off his shirt.

Taylor Lautner, Mackenzie Foy
Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent., LLC

As for Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, they murmur so many of their lines that it’s often difficult to understand what they’re saying. There is no problem seeing them, however, as the camera comes in so close during their scenes together that you can count their eyelashes.

As in earlier series entries, the wolves who play a vital role in the story are expertly rendered in CGI form but, curiously, never seem “real” enough to be scary, even when they’re baring their teeth. Similarly, a series of gruesome  shots late in the film are so patently unreal that the MPAA didn’t have a problem granting a PG-13 rating.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 preaches to the choir as much as any movie ever made. I have a feeling that core audience will be pleased. What I, or any critic, may think scarcely matters.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 (The Twilight Saga)

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    1 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    2 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    3 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    4 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    5 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    6 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    7 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    8 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    9 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    10 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    11 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Andrew Cooper - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    12 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

  • Photo by Doane Gregory - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    13 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

    Bella and Edward's cottage
  • Photo by Doane Gregory - © 2011 Summit Ent, LLC.
    14 of 14

    Breaking Dawn Part 2

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

6 Comments

  • mike schlesinger | November 19, 2012 6:39 PMReply

    Yeah, these films are rubbish, but so what? If the kids like 'em, let 'em alone. Me, I'm gonna fire up HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and the Burton version again. To each his own!

  • Visitor | November 19, 2012 3:32 PMReply

    I agree with everything that you said about the movie except for the twist being "clever." The it-was-all-a-dream/vision twist is one of the biggest cliches in movies. They used it the same way in "Next" among other works too.

  • Norm | November 17, 2012 12:46 AMReply

    Let's see, if you don't like the film you are a "hater", obviously these films appeal to a lesser mentality or maturity level than I thought.Nothing like wanting to be a vampire to set your sails on...Next generation might have hope.

  • Cher | November 16, 2012 6:36 PMReply

    When I gave in and watched Twilight last year, I found it to be a guilty pleasure, full of bittersweet longing and cringing inducing moments in fairly equal measure. The subsequent movies (yes, I've seen each in turn) have been both appealing, sucking me in, and appalling in the overacting or lack of acting skill. I snuck away this afternoon to see Breaking Dawn Part II and was pleasantly surprised, especially since Part I was so ridiculous. I honestly think this is the best of all five films. The plot twist is excellent and the wrap up is a perfect ending for fans of the series.

  • lori | November 16, 2012 12:28 PMReply

    You are correct, no one cares about any critics' opinion. Funny how more major critics did like the film and totally shoots down this critics opinion which makes no sense what's o ever. Michael Sheen's 'Aro' was played the same way he's always's played him. Maybe you should have paid attention to New Moon and you would have seen it Mr. Maltin.

    But the misogynistic hatred about Twilight's audience is almost over. The fans get to appreciate the final film which happens to be the best reviewed of them all although Maltin doesn't think so.

    But whatever, there were more guys in the audience whooping and yelling than ever. So, unfortunately, for Maltin and the rest of the Twilight haters, it is going out with the biggest bang ever thanks to Mr. Condon.

  • Drew | November 16, 2012 4:55 PM

    Mr. Maltin is spot on with his review of this movie and it's previous installments. With the amount of profits taken in from the previous films, along with a cast of perfectly capable actors, moviegoers really deserve something better than what they're getting in the final film in the franchise. These films have a wide and strong fan base installed that will not be swayed, and I don't see a problem with that really, but let's not pretend that this is some modern day classic in the annals of film. This is teen pulp, polished to a commercial sheen, and sold as a product to a fan base that would make profits for this film a sure bet. The special effects in the film are laughable (the wolves especially), and the only thing missing from this cheesy soap opera drama is an aged vampiric Fabio with red contacts and dripping fangs.
    I care about your film reviews Mr. Maltin, and I consult them regularly when I want some meaningful food for thought. The Cinema can be a very intellectual medium, a meaningful expression of human thought and a true display of cultural art; your reviews of these films separate the meaningful from the meaningless.

Email Updates

Latest Tweets

Follow us

Most "Liked"

  • Blind Husbands-Erich Von StroheimThrowback Thursday: Von Stroheim!
  • Maltin's TV Movies+Movie Guide 2015Movie Guide Memories


leonardmaltin