Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 IMAX


And so we finally bid farewell to one film franchise that managed to survive the odds at the box office, propped by die hard fans and the curious, or by those, like me, who are completist with high threshold of pain. Despite negative and scathing reviews, the Twilight films suffered no dent in its revenue stream, and having the audacity to split the final book, like what Harry Potter did, to bring more money for the studios. But unlike the boy wizard's final installment, Breaking Dawn actually didn't have much content to justify the split, other than to dangle in its trailer an all out slug-fest, turning it into an action film with what I thought was an extremely shrewd move to get detractors into seats, just to see their hated characters getting ripped to pieces.

Or not. There were a couple of inherently strange and twisted plots and subplots in the franchise that I wonder just what's brewing in writer Stephenie Meyer's mind, having to go against the established grain that vampires can survive under ultra-violet light, and sparkle at that, while also developing X-Men inspired mutant powers in addition to Superman like abilities. I suppose one has to buy into Twilight's logic in order to enjoy it, but if it keeps pushing the envelope of the ridiculous, one can only call it a day, with this movie churning out a finale that I'm not embarrassed to reveal would be something for comic book movie fans, if only it had the guts to stick to what it did, rather than to cop it out, exactly in the same way how Ong Bak 3 did it.

But what's more disturbing are, firstly, already revealed in Breaking Dawn Part 1, was that the already dead Edward (Robert Pattinson) can actually impregnate Bella (Kristen Stuart), which even the Volturi, headed by Aro (Michael Sheen) deem impossible to happen. But it did, which events from that film, culminating in the third party Jacob (Taylor Lautner) having to sexually groom a female infant, who will grow at breakneck speed in this installment. Let's not forget he's a wolf too, so you can do the math. Fantasy romance is one thing, and some lines of decency shouldn't be crossed, considering that the novels were targeted at a particular population demographic.

In many ways this followed the formula employed by the slew of many superhero origin movies, with Bella, now immortal and very powerful, showing off and discovering many other new found abilities. With every challenge thrown her way, be it trying to stave off her instinct for human blood, to dealing with slightly more mature issues in reconciliation with her dad, there's nothing to even make her break into a sweat, which kind of makes it very boring indeed. And that's not all, considering that the story had thrown a lot more cardboard X-Men characters on screen, from those who can deliver electric shocks to some who can control the elements, just to fill up some half hour worth of CG laden mano-a-mano, only for the rug to be fulled under one's feet. This overshadowed the main thread of having tell the Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) story, a human-vampire hybrid who is the great unknown, with powers unseen and an unbelievable growth rate, having a pet wolf sworn to be by her side in Jacob.

Director Bill Condon really had his work cut out for him in making the movie, having to put up with cringe-worthy lines that will induce one to roll one's eyeballs, many times over. The acting by all from Pattinson to Stewart to the many support acts all showed a certain eager tolerance to be over and done with this. Michael Sheen hams it up in really boring fashion as the all powerful judge, jury and executioner, while Dakota Fanning probably signed on the dotted line to pay the bills, having to utter absolutely nothing, but to turn up in the office, show her face and act nasty. In fact, everyone did just that, including the leads,

If looked at on the whole, it's suffice to say this film franchise started off quite brightly (heh), only to have stretched itself too thin based on really lightweight material by its author. One can only put lovelorn and infatuation on screen for so many films without the feeling of repetition and deja-vu, before finally reaching its goal of a certain idea that was realized in the final installment - the crave for power and immortality, as can be seen from Bella's smirk each time someone mentions she is powerful. I suspect the story's none other than a stroke of one's ego and fantasy.

For the target audience, perhaps this film franchise is gold. But to the rest, well, this is something destined for the books as one really strange film anomaly.

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