Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance, Drama, Adventure
Opens locally Friday, November 18th, 2011
Run Time: 1 hour, 57 minutes, Rated PG-13
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke
Directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Kinsey, Gods and Monsters)
In this, the 4th installment of the Twilight Saga, vampire Edward marries Bella Swan, and they receive an unexpected surprise...Bella is pregnant, something that is not supposed to be possible between a human and a vampire.
This is of course, a major drag, since Bella had just agreed to be "turned" into a vampire unbeknownst to her loving parents and against the wishes of her best pal, Jacob. Now that she's with child, they can't turn her anymore, or the baby will be lost. Who would of thought that a bunch of dead vampires would be pro-life?
Despite this or any other critical review of Twilight, droves upon droves of people (mostly female) will flock to theatres to see Breaking Dawn Part 1...the 4th of 5 planned Twilight movies based on the immensely popular books by Stephenie Meyer. It's a rare film franchise where women find that it's OK to hoot, whistle, howl, and lust in the theatre over the on-screen men nearly every time they enter the frame...it's like sitting in on a goth bachelorette party of sorts. To critique the film, the acting, or the plot would be true blasphemy to this rabid audience, and would probably fall on deaf ears anyways...these same people have probably already seen the film at one of the many midnight screenings held prior to me writing this.
But for those in denial, or for those casual Twilighters, let the truth be told..."Breaking Dawn Part 1" is by far the worst Twilight movie thus far, and one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
Let me explain before you write your hate mail. Not having read the books, I had not known much of the Twilight Saga prior to the first film. That film was flawed, but way better than I had thought based on the backlash that the Twilight films had received. I had actually commended the better-than-expected acting of both Pattinson and Stewart, and loved the added depth of acting dealing with the relationship between Bella and her father, played by Billy Burke. The second film was a re-hash of the first, a let down for sure, but interesting enough in that it did establish a few more characters that you wanted to know more about. That led us to last year's "Eclipse," and let me say, it turned me from a casual skeptic to a closeted Twi-hard...I had really liked where the story had gone, the larger world-view of the vampire/werewolf relationship, and the growing love triangle between Jacob/Edward/Bella. I had nothing but high hopes coming into Breaking Dawn.
But "Breaking Dawn Part 1" takes a giant vampire leap backwards, and if fact does not seem connected at all to the previous film. The wider universe that was introduced to us no longer exists, and it becomes quite literally an after-school special on teen pregnancy. Should she keep it, should she not? Should she tell her parents? All the while she maintains a border-line creepy relationship with her pal Jacob, in clear sight of now-husband, Edward. If I were Edward, I would inspect the newborn for signs of overgrown hair, dog-breath, and a wagging tail.
The entire Twilight Saga has always brought with it a repressed sexual energy, from the swooning (are you Team Jacob or Team Edward?), to the internal struggles of Bella. It clearly has struck a relatable nerve with it's audience. In this film, we add to that a wedding, and the universal female desire to get married that seems to be ingrained in the female soul.
Still...is there another film that would be deemed acceptable for women to get publicly giddy? Could you imagine that every time Mila Kunis or Megan Fox entered a scene, a theatre full of guys would yell out?
Inequalities of the male/female experience aside, this film really takes a pro-life stance as it is never considered to maybe just do away with the unwanted baby. Controversial? Perhaps, but kind of ironic that somebody who was just willing to give away her "life" would be appalled in taking that same life away from a fetus.
So take themes of forbidden passion, sex, marriage, motherhood, and pregnancy, and you can guess what demographic this film appeals to. I'm not saying that it's a movie only for a female audience...my argument is instead that neither male of female should take in such hokey crap. The love triangle and Bella's struggle had been building...but now it feels like we've entered the next episode in the vampire soap opera "One Life To Live...or Die."
Perhaps the title says it all...just like Harry Potter's "Deathly Hallows Part 1," the film is flawed based simply on the fact that it isn't a complete movie...it's in parts.
That being said, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" is the worst film in the series thus far, containing the worst acting, dialogue, and situations that we've seen from this group of talented young actors. During the end credits, we get a bonus scene that finally references the larger world of "Eclipse," reminding us that we may actually return to this world come Part 2. Here's hoping.
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