Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson. Written by Melissa Rosenberg from the novel by Stephenie Meyer. Directed by Bill Condon. PG. 115 min.
With this fifth installment in the blockbuster franchise spawned by Stephenie Meyer’s fantasy series about a skittish teenager and the supernatural hunks who love her despite her terrible posture, The Twilight Saga arrives at the kind of suitably grandiose finale that should appease the world’s legions of Twi-hards. When we last left them, Edward (Robert Pattinson) had just turned his new bride Bella (Kristen Stewart) into a bloodsucking immortal after she nearly died giving birth to their not-quite-human-or-vamp daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Vamp). As Bella assumes her new role as the mother of the rapidly growing sprite and tests out her enhanced vamp powers (which apparently includes the ability to have totally righteous orgasms), her clan learns of a new threat by the goth overlords known as the Volturi, who wrongly believe the tyke to be a vampire and therefore forbidden to exist. Meanwhile, Bella’s former werewolf suitor Jacob (Taylor Lautner), having “imprinted” on Renesmee in order to protect her at the end of Part 1, copes with the stigma of being romantically fixated on someone who’s really too young for him. (“She’s a baby!” cries an understandably concerned Bella, to which Jacob unconvincingly responds, “It’s not what you think!”)
Freed from the lugubrious, repetitive teen-soap scenes of mooning and moaning that stymied Breaking Dawn Part 1 and, for that matter, most of the preceding three movies, director Bill Condon and his cast gallop through the final entry with a sense of brio and a more pronounced element of camp. Little of what ensues will convince Twi-haters to finally get on board, but Breaking Dawn Part 2 certainly ranks with Eclipse as the most energetic of the series. And given the franchise’s dire standard of action scenes, it’s welcome to witness so much stylish mayhem in the ultimate showdown between the Volturi and the defenders assembled by Bella and the Cullen clan.
Yet when those Twi-hards are not distracted by the slighty-hotter-than-last-time sex scenes that open the film or the bonanza of bloodless decapitations that closes it, they may get to wondering, “What’s next for me to waste my life obsessing over?” Viewers hungry for the saga’s own rebirth may be tantalized by the all-too-brief scene in which Bella comes to Seattle looking for help from a mysterious human played by The Wire’s Wendell “Bunk” Pierce. Surely, the sharp minds at HBO are already looking for a way to capitalize on a potential crossover by sending Bella and Edward to root out corruption at Baltimore’s City Hall or pitting the Cullens against a resurgent Barksdale operation. They could call it The Twi-re. Admit it—you can already hear the corner kids crying, “Werewolf Omar’s comin’!”