Saturday, November 19, 2011

Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1: Movie Review

You can't say I didn't give it a try.  Before any of you even start, I've seen all of the previous Twilight films.  Some of them even more than once.  Unfortunately, my repeat viewings were on dates that ended with about as much sex as the previous Twilight films contained.
Yeah, none.

Oh, and don't any of you point out the book explained more.  I'm reviewing a movie.  A movie should stand on it's own.  There's plenty of movies based off books that were able to tell a story that didn't make you constantly go, 'what?'

This review is likely to be spoiler heavy.  It's also going to be a little more of a rant than normal, so be warned...

Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is a total cash grab.  They ripped off what Harry Potter did and said let's make more money and stretch out the finale into two movies.  There's a huge difference though:  Harry Potter was a much longer series of books and movies where more needed to be wrapped up and resolved in the finale.  If they had tried to pull it all int a single movie, it would have been 4+ hours long. With Twilight: Breaking Dawn- Part 1, you have a two hour movie that could have easily, and I mean easily, been edited down to 45 minutes.

Here's a simple example:

  • Number of seconds into the movie until Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off for no reason: 30
  • Number of minutes into the movie where anything related to the plot happens: 70

The movie starts with a good hour of wedding preparation and then the actual wedding.  It felt like actually being at a wedding you wanted to leave hours ago.  It looked nice and all, but it felt like a boring wedding where there was no open bar.  I will say there are a few funny parts here.  Billy Burke gives a somewhat funny speech reminding everyone that he's Bella's father and a cop.  I was somehow reminded of the fact that he played the pervy guy that told Kim Bauer on 24 that she had a nice body (she does).  I think Jack Bauer would approve of his shift in roles.  Anna Kendrick shows up to remind everyone that she's better than Bella (and better than Kristen Stewart at the same time).  You have to wonder if they really wish they could go back and swap those roles in the first movie, but oh well.  You even get a little bit of Kellan Lutz being a dumbass and I'm not sure if he was even acting.  I couldn't figure out if he's supposed to be the jock/enforcer vampire, or he's just stupid and therefore his physicality is all he's good for.  Anyway...

Breaking Dawn is needlessly stretched out.  Throughout the movie you are treated to music video montages where nothing happens.  After the excruciatingly long wedding sequence, you're shown a music montage of Bella nervously getting ready for sexy time.  You get to see her brush her teeth, wash her hands and shave her legs.  All the things you don't need to see before sex!  Could you imagine being on a date, getting back to her place and then her disappearing for ten minutes, "Oh ,I'm just going to freshen up."  I don't need to know the details and I sure as shit don't need to see them!

The first hour and a half of this movie felt like it was in real time.  They continually show you stuff that doesn't need to be seen at all.  There's a saying that every scene in a movie, regardless of the dialog, should advance the plot somehow.  I fail to see how endless montagues of people doing mundane things tell a story.  It's just filler.  You should be insulted by this.  Scenes like this don't need to be in movies, and they certainly aren't in good ones.  You don't need to show things that are implicit.  Could you imagine a movie where they showed you scene after scene of people eating meals, but with no conversation?  That's what this movie is!

So after one night of sexy time, Bella is pregnant.  Everyone is shocked by this because I guess it's impossible for a vampire to get a human pregnant or something.  Also, earlier in the movie, Bella joking asks Edward (Robert Pattinson) if he's virgin, but he doesn't actually answer the question!  I'm left to wonder if he understands how sex works.  If only he had a doctor in the family that could have explained this to him and he could have used protection.  Oh wait, isn't Daddy Cullen (Peter Facinelli) a doctor?  Maybe Alice (Ashley Greene, who is freaking HOT), who's sole power seems to be to see into Bella's future, might have been able to give them some kind of warning.

Other than the lame explanation of that she doesn't want to be in pain on her wedding night, I don't understand why they didn't turn Bella into a vampire.  You know, like maybe a few days before the wedding or something?  Call it a vampire bridal shower and have some fun with it!

After Bella realizes she's pregnant, you get a scene of her and Edward just sitting in the back seat of a car saying nothing to each other.  What's the point?.  Then, they get to the airport and you see Edward shake hands with a pilot.  Why?  We know you're going home.  We don't actually need to see ten minutes of you doing it.  Why not show us you getting patted down by security while you're at it?  Just edit the movie to the point where you're back at home.  I think everyone will figure out what happened in between.  It's not that difficult.  Shit!

This movie is full of unintentional humor.  The main causes are the bad dialog and cheesy special effects.  I even heard Twi-hards laughing at some of these sequences.  When they make Bella drink blood out of a soda cup and straw, the entire audience laughed and squirmed.  When you're treated to a scene of fake-ass looking werewolves speaking telepathically more laughter followed.  This appeared to be a important scene, but how can you take it seriously when it's a bunch of dogs looking at each other with echo-y dialog you can barely understand?  When you're shown the scene of how they arrived at the baby's name, more laughter followed.  This scene is the one time where I've seen Taylor Lautner act realistically.  That is to say that even he had a look on his face that said, 'Seriously?  That's the name you're going with?'

Later, when you actually see werewolves and vampires fighting, it's all in the dark and you can hardly tell what's going on.  Didn't this movie have a decent budget?  They know it's going to make money, so why not put a little money into it.  Again, I think this is just contempt for the audience.

I will say the effects they used to make Bella look anorexic were pretty good.  She's skinny enough as it is, but they made her look awful (I mean that in a good way).  It's like they dumped the effects budget into that and everything else took a back seat.

It's just a train wreck of a story.  The dialog and story are just awful.  There's nothing logical about anything that happens.  I hate to be insulting to the audience, but I can see why this appeals to 13-year-olds.  They are too young to know any better.

We are also treated to one of the worst soundtracks I've heard in ages.  Even the soundtrack is melodramatic. It sounds like something from a bad show on the Lifetime network.

How'd they get Bill Condon to direct this?  He's won an Oscar for frak's sake!  He proves that you can't polish a turd.  He can't over come the bad dialog, story and weakness of the characters.  He also shows that if you drive a truckload of cash to an 'artists' house, they'll do anything. At the same time, I can't believe that a director of his quality didn't try to trim this movie down at any point.  Unless Condon is more of a hack than we realized, I have to assume there was studio interference here.

The Twilight series isn't for people that like good acting or dialog.  In fact, I would have to wonder if the lack of dialog was intentional to cover for the lack of good actors.  It's like using shitty players in a limited capacity to minimize their weaknesses.

If you're a guy that thinks taking a girl to a Twilight film might get you laid, consider the message given in this film:  Sex, just a single time, will result in a painful pregnancy that will make you totally unattractive to your boyfriend/husband.

Like I said at the beginning, I tried.  I watched this with about as open of a mind as I possibly could.  This is yet another terrible movie in a series of terrible movies.  Fans of the series will see this regardless of anything I, or any other critic, has to say about it.  This will make hundreds of millions of dollars and there's nothing anyone can do about it.  I think you already know what my recommendation is.  If you're not a fan, there's no reason to see this.  Objectively, this is one of the worst films of the year.  However, I imagine the Rifftrax for this will be pretty great!

You know what, let me treat you to some Rifftrax now:

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