Dan's Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Dan's Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

A wedding, a honeymoon, a baby birth and a dogfight...
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (Summit)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements.

Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Julia Jones, Booboo Stewart, Billy Burke, Sarah Clark, MyAnna Buring, Maggie Grace, Casey LaBow, Michael Sheen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Christopher Heyerdahl, Chaske Spencer, Christian Camargo, Mia Maestro.

Written by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer.

Directed by Bill Condon.

GRADE: C-

REVIEW:


Disclaimer: I am not a fan of the Twilight series (book, film or otherwise). I have never read the books, and never will. That said, the following criticism/review of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 will be based solely on the film's merit (or lack thereof), and nothing else.

Let's get down to it.

Breaking Dawn Part 1 picks up where Eclipse left off - Bella Swan's (Kristen Stewart) choice of dashing vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) over the hunk-werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner). The story begins with Edward and Bella's wedding, where Bella reveals that she will enjoy her honeymoon as a human before allowing her blood-sucking hubby to turn her into a vampire herself, much to the chagrin of Jake.

The wedding goes off without a hitch, and the happy couple travels to Rio de Janeiro to consummate their bond. After a night of rough sex on a private jungle island, Bella soon discovers she's pregnant.

Ed and Bella rush back to their hometown of Forks, Washington to get aid from Edward's adopted father, Dr. Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli). Only a few weeks after the wedding, Bella's health deteriorates as she learns that the full-term fetus is killing her. Jacob (still in love with Bella, which doesn't seem to bother Ed too much) takes up watch near the Cullen residence and rebels against his werewolf tribe to keep them from killing the mixed-race vampire baby (you see, the werewolves have sworn an oath to keep from killing vampires and to protect Bella).

As the birth approaches, Bella's health takes a rapid decline, and Edward must risk turning her into a vampire to save her life. Meanwhile, Jacob battles the other werewolves to protect the baby and Bella.

But will Bella survive the transformation?

Personally I don't give a crap. I got lost sometime around New Moon, but since this is a movie review, I will now proceed with the critique.

First, the news is not all bad.

If you are a Twilight fan, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 will satisfy you like a vampire in a blood bank. There is substantial sexual tension, heroic gestures and romantic content to keep Twilight fans giggling like schoolgirls for the months leading up to the release of BD Part 2 (due next summer). The cast and director Bill Condon keep to the Twilight script that congeals all that far-fetched vampire and werewolf love-lore enjoyed by so many of Stephenie Meyer fans. Because the last book in the series was split into two movies, there's so much of that lore to go around.

And that's the bad news for regular folks like me.

BD Part 1 felt much longer than its nearly two-hour run time. The first hour and 1/2 is full of long, drawn out love scenes and Bella's troubled pregnancy. I caught myself yawning more than a few times during the screening, even though I was surrounded by several gushing Twilight fans who seemed to faint and giggle at the slightest grin from Taylor Lautner. The only "action" in the movie happens in the last few minutes, as Bella clings to life and Jacob engages in a dogfight with his werewolf brothers. The rest is much like the first Twilight movie, which I referred to as a "90-minute perfume commercial."

I suppose it might make more sense to a guy like me when the second part comes out, but I'm not going to bet the farm on it.


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