“Breaking Dawn”, the fourth film in the popular “Twilight” saga, has already grossed $140 million since it opened on Friday.
As I took my seat in a theater primarily populated with anxious teenage girls, I couldn’t help but feel a bit out of place. Regardless, I was ready to give the film a fair chance, wanting just one question answered in return: How did “Breaking Dawn” claim fifth place on the all-time opening weekend box-office chart?
As the closing credits rolled and the curtain was drawn shut, I was still waiting on my answer.
The film begins with the beautiful wedding of Bella (Kristen Stewart) to vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). The two embark on an exotic honeymoon to a remote ocean island where Bella, unturned by Edward, discovers she has become pregnant. Seeking answers, they have no choice but to return to the Cullen household.
When Bella’s werewolf friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) hears the news of the pregnancy, he is forced to choose between saving Bella’s life and maintaining loyalty to his wolf clan now looking to kill her and the hybrid baby.
The drama aspect of the film offers nothing new from the former Twilight films. Jacob plays the same one-dimensional, resentful character that never got his desired Bella. Edward, seeming to always have a tear in reserve, continues his stale self-loathing whenever he steps beyond his vampire-human moral boundaries.
And lastly, Bella continues to string both of them along to a point where one might expect some violent reprisal between the two. However, that would require action, and this film has none of that, either.
In fact, the action scenes as a whole are generally a bunch of diplomatic huffing and puffing, never satisfying the desire of those viewers hoping to witness the strength and skills of these opposing immortal forces. The closest we get is a laughable voice-over argument while the wolves square off, and a brief, forgettable scuffle between the wolves and vampires.
The film has a couple perks.
The acting, particularly on the part of Kristen Stewart, was much matured from the original “Twilight”. As a whole, the cast seemed more comfortable with one another on-screen, the result of which made dialogue feel less scripted and romance scenes less contrived. Director Bill Condon even does a nice job of implementing comedy into what otherwise might have been a film that evoked no emotional response whatsoever.
Overall, I would recommend an afternoon with your chatty grandpa. It’s free, and likely to be more interesting than “Breaking Dawn.”