What the fuck just happened?
Sadly lacking the wherewithal to slog my way through Stephenie Meyer’s sub-literate bestselling phenomenon, this reviewer was entirely unprepared for the gonzo plot turns of this series’ final chapter, which has been cravenly split into two films for reasons of crass commercial calculation and severe artistic demerit.
Having spent the entire past three movies begging to get banged by sensitive, sparkly vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson, acting with his hair again,) Kristen Stewart’s clumsy 18-year-old Bella is finally deflowered in a thunderous anti-climax, but not before saving herself for marriage.
The wedding, which runs about an hour and hogs so much screen time a friend in the next seat asked if it was an intentional homage to The Deer Hunter, is mere foreplay to The Big Event. Which of course, takes place off-screen, discreetly fading to black after her lusty undead husband breaks the headboard.
Bella awakens with the room in tatters, furniture destroyed and pillows shredded. She’s covered in bruises and swears that she “loved it.” Icky, but not as icky as the half-vampire hybrid rapidly hatching in her womb, kicking out Bella’s ribcage from the inside and snapping her spine.
I can’t even begin to parse all the creepy anti-sex, body-horror abortion debate issues bubbling around the ugly subtext, as I was too distracted by the gang of wolves having a psychic strategy discussion just outside the birth chamber, because it looked like an out-take from Up. (I may or may not have shouted “Squirrel!” in a crowded theater.) And all that was before the toothy vampire cesarean.
Perhaps the only way to motor through such madness is by pitching it as camp, a choice that eludes director Bill Condon. Breaking Dawn has been stodgily photographed on what appears to be exactly three cheap soundstage sets. The mania never properly takes hold, as the filmmaker largely sticks to medium shots and slathers every moment with incongruous selections from a hit soundtrack album. There’s also only about three actual scenes, not nearly enough material to justify a 117 minute running time.
And then a werewolf falls in love with a baby. People really read this shit?