Movie: Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1

OK, so it was kind of late and there was nothing on cable pay-per-view except some movies that didn’t sound interesting. And then I saw BREAKING DAWN listed and thought, ‘Oh, I haven’t seen that yet!’ So I rented it, despite my misgivings because, after having read the books, I found the first three movies so minimal and vacuous that they were quite boring. I am really not sure if I saw all three. Maybe I skipped the third one. But I’m pretty sure I saw them all. Anyway…

BREAKING DAWN did not deviate at all from my misgivings. Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight teen-angst vampire romance series, co-produced this fourth installment where Bella and Edward get married and then two weeks later Bella learns on their honeymoon at some secluded tropical isle that she is pregnant with a fast-growing baby something – they’re not sure what it is at that point. But whatever it is, with a human carrying the child of a vampire, you know it ain’t gonna turn out well for the baby’s momma.

Despite the issues at hand, the story presentation totally lacked any emotional tug, and the wedding scene at the beginning was like a little girl’s fairytale dream of what her wedding will be like someday, complete with maudlin music. OK the setting was opulently naturalistic with white flower panicles dripping from the trees – that was kind of pretty. With Alice, Edward’s ‘sister’ planning everything in her usual habit of going overboard, it was exactly as expected. But the background music most of the time did nothing whatsoever to enhance what was going on in the movie, so much so in fact that it was distracting and laughable. And everything was always so dark and dreary all the time, even when Bella stepped into spotty sunlight while her dad walked her down the aisle outside, she seemed overshadowed by gloom that the sun just simply could not break through.

That is not to say that the story itself could not have been engaging. A lot of stuff eventually happened to Bella, and it could have been a lot more engaging and dramatic with some real acting that wasn’t all enshrouded in wooden dread. Because that’s the predominant expression I saw on Kristen Stewart (Bella) and Robert Pattison (Edward) throughout the movie – wooden dread. They both delivered their lines like their jaws were wired shut. And they certainly didn’t act like they were in love. In fact Bella acted like she was being forced by shotgun to walk the plank – I mean aisle. And their intimate interlude on their honeymoon was just the most unromantic and cringingly painful thing I’ve watched in a long time. Yikes.

Of course we’re all supposed to know from reading the books that Bella and Edward are both horrendously conflicted about intimacy because she has been wrestling with the idea that when she’s married, Edward will turn her into a vampire, and he’s been wrestling with the fear that he will go too far and suck her dry, leaving his beloved as an empty husk. Bella’s also wrestling with the fact that she continues to harbor very strong feelings for Jacob, her werewolf childhood friend who is at odds with the whole idea of her becoming a vampire, the thing he literally exists to kill. But very little of that came over convincingly in the movie. The werewolfs didn’t look realistic at all. Nobody sparkled much. The script lacked zest, and the delivery of lines for Bella and Edward and most of the Cullens was not bursting with life but was just … well … undead. As was every one of the Cullens’ hair! It was like they were all wearing animal pelts on their heads. I kept wondering if the costume department had run out of budget by the time it came for wig-buying, and they just went to some Halloween costume store to get what they needed.

Needless to say, hubby got up and left about a third of the way into the movie, and never came back. I was tempted to do the same. But I watched it to the end, hoping it would pick up and get better. It didn’t. It was like watching a Cliff Notes version of the book or YouTube video clip of what the movie should have been. And a YouTube version probably would have been a lot more entertaining at just a minute long and leaving out all the boring parts that dragged on and on in the eternal gloom of the dark and unsparkling world of this movie. The end was OK however, with a surprise to segue into the next installment due in November. And there’s a post-credit scene too, with a handy reminder popping up so viewers will be sure not to miss it.

Would I recommend BREAKING DAWN? Hmm… If you are a diehard Twilight fan, maybe you will be able to convince yourself that you like it. Go ahead and torture yourself trying to do that. The rest of you folks out there can surely find something more interesting to do with a couple of hours of your time, like picking lint off an old sweater.

Pat Morrison, Penumbra Publishing

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5 Comments

  1. LOL I liked it! But I think the reason why I am so into the movies is because I read the books. With the books you get so much more detail and feeling. Tie that with the movie and – well, I cant help it but I’m hooked. 😀

  2. The Twilight books were actually pretty good – deep and engaging, although some people complained that Bella was too darn whiney. I didn’t think she was in the book. But when I think back to other ensemble cast movies I’ve seen based on books, Harry Potter (the earlier films) immediately come to mind. With a lavish backdrop enhanced by all things magic, it’s easy to get blown away by the special effects and effervescence of the kids playing the parts. I sort of wished that the Twilight movies had been made with a little more of this kind of pizzazz. But I will note that the later HP movies took on a dark and sinister mood similar to the Twilight films, and lost their charm. I was just hoping for more from the Twilight films – perhaps more of a feel of romance – than the skimpy drama and wooden dialog. I think the movies could have been made better with the right director and more attention to flattering details like better lighting … and better wigs!

  3. Thanks for the post Pat! 🙂 This movies sounds terrible. As I said on Twitter I made the mistake of seeing the first movie. It was TERRIBLE, I love vampires but I can’t get into Twilight. Vampires shouldn’t sparkle, EVER! I will say that Stephanie Meyer has helped to make vampires popular again but that’s only the only compliment I’ll give her (though I haven’t read the books).

  4. Haha, yes all the movies were so terrible I put them out of my mind and that’s why I couldn’t recall if I’d seen them all. The books are better, but you have to prepare yourself for 500+ pages of ‘I love him, I love him not.’ Or maybe it’s ‘He loves me, he loves me not.’ There’s a lot of all that going around.

  5. Great post. I’ve been putting off actually watching it. But, I know I will. You’ll be proud to know that I’ll be annoyed the entire time! =)


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