Thursday, November 24, 2011

‘Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1’ – Breaking Yawn more like it…

I will openly admit that I am neither a 'Team Edward' fan nor a 'Team Jacob' fan. I really could care less and I suspect only those that actually care would appreciate this film, and this film series. I have not been a fan of the 'Twilight Saga', at least the films. For the most part, they have been wooden, boring and very poorly acted. Basically, it is a 50 minute movie that has been stretched 2 painful hours with a lot of furtive looks and teenage, soap opera angst.  I am sure author Stephanie Meyer’s and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg are laughing all the way to the bank with what seems a very pedestrian and half hearted effort at adapting the original novels.

The film opens with the preparation for the wedding of 18 year old Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart, looking as bored as ever) to the much older vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, who has still not learned how to emote one single bit). Crammed with over the top visuals meant to be romantic, we are bombarded with the kind of wedding preparations that reminds one of the ‘All My Children’ soap days and some of the more extravagant weddings of Erica Kane. It’s all a bit uneven, poorly written and equally poorly acted. At least during the first half, which most teen girls may enjoy as Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is shirtless within the first five minutes, the characters seem a bit cartoonish; someone really needs to tell Billy Burke (Bella’s father) that the 70’s porn mustache really needs to go. Surprisingly TSBD: 1 was directed by Academy Award winner Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters); who is sadly wasted as the director only, apparently the producers did not wish to leverage his writing capabilities.

Without explaining why (or maybe I slept through that part in the last Twilight film), Bella opts not to be turned into a vampire by Edward until AFTER the honeymoon; a fact that Jacob fears will somehow kill Bella (but isn’t that the point? Kill her and then she comes back to life as a vampire?). After some very weird S&M type honeymoon scenes, Bella comes to find that she has somehow become pregnant; a pregnancy that will likely yield a human baby that is also a vampire that could possibly destroy her from the inside out or become the next savior of the universe. I am not sure; I got a little lost in all of the furtive and longing looks between Bella and Edward.

Admittedly, the Twilight series is a good idea – it’s just poorly executed (or rather, should be executed). I am sure the novels, which have sold millions, are not too bad; I may just pick them up and read them; but nothing ruins a good novel more than a poor screen adaptation that is equally poorly executed by all involved.

The film ends after the credits have been run – with what I am sure was meant to be chilling dialogue from what looks like a rival coven of vampires. Instead it seems more tongue and cheek; forced as well as comical. It was hard not to laugh out loud. I am certainly hopeful that the series will end on a high note and surprise me; but I am not betting on it. Instead, I think it will more likely be another 2 star effort better off left to a Redbox rental.

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