The Flick Chicks

Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 | Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning | Review

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4_Chicks_SmallJacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
http://www.lasvegasroundtheclock.com
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for Lasvegasroundtheclock.com
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The Twilight Saga:  Breaking Dawn Part 2 | Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning | Review

After four films full of sparkly immortals, smoldering looks, growling wolves, and music-laden gravitas, the final
installment of the franchise finally gets it right, or at least, produces a more engaging finale than anything that came before.

Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) have a half-mortal, half vampire daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) who grows like a weed and whose birth stirs the ire of the vicious Volturi, who seek to destroy her.  These guys don’t mess around – they’ll rip your head off and set you on fire. Now they’re after Renesmee, thinking her immortal (she’s not).  Volturi leader Aro (Michael Sheen) and baleful minion Jane (Dakota Fanning) seem to have a personal vendetta against the Cullens of the Pacific Northwest.

Immortal children are thought to have power, but no emotional control.  The Volturi set about their task of destruction with relish - and red eyes.  It’s one of the only ways to tell a vampire in this fable, you know.

Bella’s a vampire, finally, and that makes her ever so much more interesting.  She can run faster than the wind, scale mountains sans shoes, and lust after blood, although with a lady-like control after a taste of mountain lion takes the edge off.

The tortured human-angst-embodied-in-one-girl Bella of  Twilight I - IV has been replaced by an energized, super strong being who promptly beats the wolf-scented stuffing out of Jacob (Taylor Lautner) after finding out that he imprinted on her daughter.  That’s a kind of mental Velcro that unites the two forever.

Meanwhile, benevolent international vampires converge on the forests around Seattle to bear witness to the child’s innocence as the malevolent Volturi march in dark robes upon snowy fields to confront Edward and Bella, their family, friends, and wolf allies.

The epic battle at film’s end brings all of the players together over the fate of Renesmee and there is a departure from the book that has some die-hard fans angry.  Bigger news comes with the fact that this film invests the Twilight non-fan in the world of Edward, Bella, and Renesmee, if only to tweak the parental instinct to protect a child from harm while kicking some mean, child-murdering ass in the process.  There are still plenty of glares and stares and meaningful glances to go around, but they take on a more urgent purpose here, despite the steady drumbeat of anguished heartbeats, inter-species conflict, and hip soundtrack.

Stewart’s vampire Bella is more human than the human Bella ever was.  We get to see her smile!  Pattinson’s Edward is still a quiet brooding man, clearly second banana to his formidable wife.  Lautner combats Jacob’s abnormality with abs of his own.  Fanning’s eyeliner is distracting as virtually all of her scenes feature tight close-ups.  Sheen’s cruel, icy smile is enough to impart viewer desperation for his demise.

Director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters) creates a nearly stand-alone product that doesn’t require extensive knowledge of the stories that preceded it to work.  That’s a feat in itself.  Never a fan of the books or franchise, I felt myself giving grudging respect to the handling of the story, the lessening of the mush, and the strengthening of the Bella character.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 does some breaking of its own, (stereotypes, gender roles) and for that it gets a break from this reviewer at least.

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