How Bad Is It? – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2

Head of the UTG film department and mastermind behind Reasonable Remakes, Justin Proper has brought us another new column. Ladies and gentleman, allow us to introduce you to: How Bad Is It?

Movies are the number one source of entertainment according to a statistic I just made up. Everyone loves going to the movies. It’s a standard date night, and has helped millions of teens awkwardly hold hands in the dark. Movies are a great escape from reality, and help people relieve the stress of their lives. Unfortunately every once in a while a movie gets released that ruins the experience.

This How Bad Is It? was written by What The Film!? writer Dane Sager

Lets get this out-of-the-way: Justin’s review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 received a lot of negative comments about how he didn’t read the book, so he was unfit to read or understand the movie. This is wrong. The movie series is an adaptation of the books, any flaws within the movies can’t be undone because they explained it in the book. I saw Jurassic Park before reading the book and it’s a great movie. You don’t need to read the book to enjoy Casino Royale or Lord of the Rings because they’re so well executed. On the other side of the coin, I have read Timeline more than any other book I own and the movie adaptation is still awful. If the books fix errors in the movie, then the movie would be a companion piece, secondary to the book, which it isn’t (the movies massively outsell the books). Furthermore, if you’re such a huge fan of the book, your perception of the movie may be skewed because of it. I’m going into this movie knowing only what I learned in the prior installments, unlike Justin I did not walk out of the last movie, I watched it in its entirety and found it very enjoyable.

It was the best comedy of 2011!

Now I won’t attack the crazy sexist values/undertones, the plastic acting, the strange mythology that seems to change when it’s convenient for the story, or the fact that Bella is Gordon Freeman from Half-Life or Link from the long running Legend of Zelda franchise; a vacant shell of a person that any person can project themselves into, or really most of the common complaints about the franchise. There have been four movies prior to this one already. For comparison, there’s a bar just down the street from where I live that’s called “Beer & Burritos”. Like walking into that bar, when you sit down to see the fifth movie in the Twilight franchise, the fact is that you know exactly what you’re getting into and you’ve heard all these complaints before.

I’m going to do this without spoilers (and ho-boy, are there things to spoil).

Let’s start into the good here: this is best Twilight movie made, although it has some serious flaws. Since the Bella/Edward relationship has reached its peak of its development, all the sexist complaints are basically gone. The scenery around the action is absolutely beautiful when not being horribly green screened in, which brings back my only complaint with Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia where the backgrounds can become distracting. The first scene in this movie ends with Bella tackling a mountain lion and yelling at it before she kills it, which was hilarious.

They are running from contracts asking for a Twilight 6: Celestial Related Subtitle

Now to the bad: the movie is inconsistent in tone. Each scene has a completely different feel and a lot of the time has a song from the soundtrack that’s completely inappropriate for the situation on screen. It feels like a lot of the songs put into the movie are just put in there so they could put it on the soundtrack. This lack of consistency makes it very hard to watch and it’s inability to capture the correct tone for the scenes at hand create some incredible juxtaposition. An example of this being a sequence that ultimately ends in a mother being beheaded and her toddler being thrown into a fire to die. This scene missed it’s dramatic cues by such a large margin that the scene became a joke and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in a theater in a long time and I went to this movie completely sober. I guess that should have been listed in the Good paragraph. Shoot.

In other problem areas, Bella’s father Charlie has gone from the best character in the prior movies to a crazy person in this movie. His daughter has been taken away from him and when she finally returns, she has a child that is growing at an extraordinary rate (maturity in seven years, they say), and he accepts all of this because Bella tells him that he will only be told what he needs to know (which is absolutely nothing). He takes all this insanity, including seeing Jacob transform into a wolf, and just goes with it into his crazy messed up world of denial where his daughter isn’t a vampire, his grand daughter isn’t an abomination that vampire sects will fight over, and that there’s no way we just elected an openly gay Senator in Wisconsin

My girlfriend insisted I don’t make a “Charlie is homophobic” joke, so I kind of had to. Apologies to Tammy Baldwin as well, that woman just made history and we love her for it.

The vampires pull together as many different groups of vampires to fight with them against the bad-guy-vampires, the Volturi. In the building of this vampire army, they recruit from all around the world and every single one of them is an incredibly racist caricature of the country/area they came from. It was almost as if you gave character design of all the vampires to a man living in the 1920s. This movie treats minorities and people from around the world with the same amount of respect as the old Adventures of Tin-Tin books.

2012 and this is what someone thinks someone from South America looks like.

The rubber band this movie has been failing to pull finally snaps with our climax: a battle between the assembled vampire covens, the werewolves, and the Volturi in what turns out to be a pretty decent action sequence. There’s so much going on in this scene that you’re surprised that a director who has managed to make the wrong decisions with so much of this movie was able to direct an action sequence with hundreds of characters fighting at once and you can understand what’s going on. It’s actually an impressive feat and the scene pulls off some intense violence for a PG13 movie. There are more decapitations in this movie than all of Sylvester Stallone’s movies combined and Stallone has a major boner for cutting off heads.

This entire action sequence (and really the entire movie) is done to protect Bella and Edward’s daughter Renesmee. The scene opens with a major character’s death, which is a smart move because it informs the audience that literally anything is on the table at this point and anyone can go. You see the end of quite a lot of characters that while it didn’t effect me, the audience screamed at each one. This all builds to an elaborate twist ending that seems to have been built to leave a door open for another sequel, which of course is going to happen. MGM ran out of James Bond books to make movies out of twenty years ago. This twist also basically gives the audience the middle finger and calls them all stupid at the same time.

The entire franchise has built to this movie and Renesmee’s introduction, and let me tell you right now, she does not resonate. Over half of the scenes she’s in, she’s either completely CGI or just a CGI mask over a real child. From the second she enters, she’s in the uncanny valley and is the scariest part of this movie. I’m not exaggerating, Renesmee is literally frightening. This makes the action sequence at the end make sense, but only because you’re wanting the Voltari to end that horrifying abomination.

Hey, if you want to see Taylor Lautner look lustfully at a incredibly scary baby, this one is for you.

Now I did open this review up by saying it is the best Twilight movie. This is a problem, this ironically makes it the worst Twilight movie. You see, there’s a spectrum of movie quality where the further you go down the bad side of the scale, you start seeing these alternating rings of “So Bad It’s Good”. Twilight walked a fine line in those areas, but this is the best movie they’ve done. It’s no longer so bad it’s good, it’s just not good. Michael Sheen is too talented to be in two different bad Vampire/Werewolf franchises.

No, my logic makes sense. You’re the crazy one.

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