I’ve been staring at a blinking cursor for a few days now, stupefied. Every time I start to write I just don’t know what to say because as it turns out I actually liked parts of this movie. No foolin’. So before I start ripping it to shreds, because I said I liked parts of the movie and not the movie I am going to say this: If you want to have a decent time at the movies pointing and laughing at something, you could certainly do worse than Breaking Dawn Part 2 and if you can sit through the whole thing you’ll be rewarded with one of the best action set pieces I’ve seen all year.
So with that in mind if you want to go in spoiler free then you should stop reading right now, go watch it and then come back.
I’ll wait here.
Ok good. Let’s get started then.
Apologies if I created the impression that Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 is a good movie, it most certainly is not a good movie but what it is is a movie that, at least in part, is so bad that it’s good. Or at least has some fun bits.
This one starts out where the last one left off. Sad Girl has just woken up from being dead and is now Sad Vampire. Except she’s not sad anymore. And Sparkly Vampire is happy she’s a vampire and conveys this by staring sullenly.
Not Sad Vampire girl is told she needs to go eat, so she runs out into the woods to find something to kill. This part of the movie is, with out a doubt, one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. I hope to god it plays well in the book but in the movie? Not so much. But it does at least establish that she can run fast, hit hard, and smell things from miles off. Such as when she smells a climber from 10 miles away and runs after him by clawing her way up a mountain side. Yeah, literally, it’s fucking ridiculous. Sparkly Vampire shows up to stop her but her Vampire Super Power is self control, so that works out well for the hiker. I would have preferred to see her eat someone, but that’s just me.
She heads back to the deer, then a cougar is there, and she kills the cougar instead of the deer and it’s exactly as terrible as it looks like it is in the trailer.
When she gets home she finds out that Buffy the Werewolf totally isn’t in love with the baby and proceeds to beat him up. Which is kind of hilarious. Not that there are other werewolves in this scene but it’s apparently too much money to pay real people to appear so instead we get CGI werewolves that I can’t tell apart. In fact, I can’t remember any of the other werewolves having any dialogue in the whole film that isn’t barking or growling. I wonder how much money they saved.
Then Maggie Grace reports Not Sad Vampire, Sparkly Vampire and the whole family to the Vampire Police for making a vampire baby because, you know, reasons. We met her for about 30 seconds (not an exaggeration) in the last film and she said something about a bad guy character from the second movie but in this movie we don’t have any real context about why she’d rat them out (and for the wrong thing, too). Wait a minute, this is Twilight, nothing has made sense so far so why the fuck am I surprised?
So now the bad guys are coming again. VPD chief Michael Sheen is bringing the entire department to kill everyone. And there’s fighting in the trailer so this could be good. Except now we come to the requisite hour or more of absolutely nothing fucking happening. They say “ok, we need to get all our friends togehter to testify at the trial that may or may not be happening and also to fight the police because in the words of Ice Cube_fuck tha police_. They all go their separate ways and then nothing. Again.
I could rag on Stephanie Meyer for a lot of reasons but honestly, none of these moveis have a second act. You could literally cut this whole bit out and it would all make the same amount of sense.
Once the team is assembled assembled we get a brief “here’s how to use your powers” sequence because vampires get superpowers in this story (more on that shortly). There’s a girl with electricity powers, there’s a mind reader, there’s a girl who can project thoughts into your head, and a guy who can “manipulate the elements”. Not Sad Vampire Girl, as it turns out, has all of the Invisible Woman’s superpowers except the turning invisible bit. For those of you in the crowd who aren’t comic book that means force fields.
All this time Buffy the Werewolf is hanging around because he totally isn’t in love with the baby. No, really, he’s imprinted and devoted to her and her needs and wants and desires but it’s totally not a romantic thing. Seriously. It’s not.
Here’s where this film gets interesting. The good guys line up on one side of a frozen field and the bad guys on the other. There’s a lot of posturing and talking and Not Sad Girl uses her force fields and then HOLY SHIT THE HEADS ARE FLYING.
Sparkly Dad runs at the bad guys and gets his head ripped off. This starts one of he most entertaining battle sequences I’ve seen on film all year. It’s ten solid minutes of nearly indestructible people with super powers beating up on one another and ripping each others heads off (because that’s the only way to kill a vampire in this world). People are leaping, getting zapped with electricity and suffocated in killer fog, there’s kung fu fighting and all out brawling and then the guy who manipulates the elements PUNCHES THE GROUND SO HARD IT OPENS UP A CHASM FULL OF LAVA. TOTALLY NOT KIDDING. People fall in, get tossed in and die in the lava. One of the wolves I’m totally supposed to be on a first name basis with by now dies in what the 13 year old girls in the crowd later told me was the saddest shot in the movie. Still didn’t know who it was, but sure, it was an effective shot.
Not as effective though as my favourite shot in the movie where, when Future Telling Sister Vampire grabs Dakota Fanning by the back of the neck and FEEDS HER HEAD FIRST TO A WEREWOLF.
You also have to remember during this entire sequence nothing is held back. Good guys and bad guys alike are dying left right and center. I’m completely not kidding when I say it’s an epic fight with lots of consequences. Or at least I wouldn’t be if it were any other movie, because turns out the battle didn’t actually happen. Yeah, that’s right, it’s just a mental projection by Future Telling Sister Vampire to scare off the VPD.
Everyone is still fine standing in the background and the chasm full of lava was just a cruel dream. Then a new character we’ve never met before, ever, or even really heard of shows up and says “the baby is like me, half and half” and the VPD says “oh really? we’re cool then. bye guys, thanks for coming out” and everyone gets a happy ending.
Yeah, Deus Ex Machina and a happy ending for all. No consequences for anyone, just exactly the happiest of endings for everyone without any real work to get there. Fuck you Stephanie Meyer.
The only other thing about this movie I liked was that Sad Girl became Not Sad Vampire and finally became somewhat of a real character. I know this is meant to fulfil the “born to be a vampire” bit of her arc, but it’s nice she’s not so much of a blank slate and finally a character that it makes sense people would want to fight over / have sex with. Speaking of which, they all say how much better she looks dead but I think that’s just because she starts wearing makeup and dressing better.
Other than that this is a lot of the same old shit, right down to having some otherwise great actors (like Lee Pace and Joe Anderson) horribly miscast and a middle act with nothing happening.
The films all seem to have a bad case of Harry Potter Syndrome where the story has been adapted but only the basic parts of it, none of whatever nuance the books may have and as a result I had no idea who any of the supporting characters were in any of them.
This one also has a mild case of Lord of the Rings-itis too in that it has a number of endings including the Deus Ex Machina mentioned above, and also including one where Buffy the Werewolf asks Sparkly Vampire “should I start calling you dad?” and you realize “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY HE REALLY DID FALL IN LOVE WITH A BABY! IT’S NOT PLATONIC LIKE THEY SAID, IT’S ROMANTIC AND SHE’S LITERALLY A BABY. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK STEPHANIE MEYER!”
And when it ends there’s sweeping Lord of the Rings style credits where we get images of everyone who starred in them, including all the minor characters I couldn’t keep track of as well as Deus Ex Machine himself who was on screen for less than 2 minutes total.
I did have a good time watching this movie, but it was mostly due to a combination of how easy it was to literally point and laugh and also Stockholm Syndrome. I’m pretty sure anyway.
Just remember, no matter what anyone else says in any of the movies, THE WEREWOLF FELL IN ROMANTIC LOVE WITH A BABY. SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCK.
Matt Watches Bad Movies is a weekly feature in which Matt watches a bad film so you don’t have to. If you have suggestions of something terrible you’ve seen, or haven’t seen but are morbidly curious about, feel free to make suggestions in the comments or via twitter @posterboy81