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Breaking Dawn: Part 1 — The Most Ridiculous Twilight Installment Yet!

As I said the last time I reviewed one of these Twilight "films", writing a proper review is utterly pointless because the fans of these books are going to go see it, no matter how hard any critic out there may try and dissuade them. But while I really despised the majority of Eclipse, I've been desperately in need of a good laugh and there is nothing more preposterous than the fourth installment in this series. The Breaking Dawn book was so insanely bizarre that I almost couldn't wait to see this dreck in living color. And... it was everything I could have hoped for and worse. And don't worry, Twiharders, Bill Condon does absolutely nothing to elevate the quality of this material, so you don't need to imagine that an acclaimed director was somehow able to change the ridiculous storytelling of Stephenie Meyer and make it passable for normal human consumption. It is still the terrible mess that she created, now with bonus terrible acting. And it's stretched out for two movies. They want all your money. After seeing where they ended this one, and watching how padded out this was, there is absolutely no reason this couldn't be a single film. This isn't The Hobbit, it's Twilight. Even worse, this first installment didn't even end where it logically should have based on the novel -- instead, it kept going for what seemed like an eternity. Still, I did laugh... a lot. So here's a look at the most ridiculous things about the film. [If you are a spoilerphobe and actually care about Twilight, stop reading now.]

Jacob and the Wolves
Why did no one find a way to make how the weres communicate in their wolf forms sound less silly? These were supposed to be serious conversations about packs and leading and bowing down to each other, but I was just fascinated by the auto-tuned versions of their voices. Would subtitles have been too hard? Also, werewolf politics and treaties don't make any sense. Those guys need a good lawyer to figure out the technicalities of what constitutes death and what makes a demon.

Let's Talk About Sex
After Bella and Edward get married, Jacob shows up and is all sad about Bella's last night as a human. But when she informs him that she's staying human so she can enjoy her honeymoon, Jacob gets all uppity about her losing her virginity while still in mortal form. Taylor Lautner tried to look horrified about her possibly dying while having sex, but his serious face just cracks me up. [See also: Abduction]

Get Your Freak On
The infamous Edward and Bella sex scene, which is described as so amazing that it breaks furniture and destroys a bedroom, was the chastest lovemaking I've ever seen depicted on screen. They start making out, it fades to black and then we see her the next day waking up in a flurry of feathers. All I could think about was how that would give me a major allergy attack.

Well, Isn't That Special
These films aren't exactly known for their special effects, but they have a budget now and they didn't have to make anyone sparkle. Couldn't they have made the ocean in Brazil more... realistic? Or the vampire/werewolf chase scene look at all convincing? The Vampire Diaries and True Blood, both of which have vamps and werewolves and presumably smaller TV budgets, look far better F/X-wise.

Give Me a Break
Knowing that this book was being split in two, I thought I'd be spared until the next film from having to deal with the disgusting concept of Jacob imprinting on Bella and Edward's love demon/child, but I was wrong. The film, which I presumed would stop with Bella giving birth and lying there seemingly dead with the wolves ready to attack (it's called a cliffhanger) kept going on, forcing me to process the concept of a hot-blooded teenage werewolf being endlessly connected to a newborn vampire/human child in a way that usually conveys an eventual sexual relationship between the two. No matter how you try and spin the "protector" thing, it comes off more than a little stalker/predatory.

Thin Is In
They obviously had someone who was capable of doing special effects on staff, as they were able to take Kristen Stewart's Bella down to a skeletal level that was genuinely creepy. Too bad they couldn't find a way to give her actual facial expressions while they were at it. That might have been nice.

The Suburgatory Dentist Would Have a Field Day
Bella sipping blood out of a soda cup? Hysterical. Bella talking with blood staining her teeth? I had to bite my own tongue to keep from laughing out loud. I couldn't help but ponder if that would permanently stain her teeth. Plus, nothing makes me giggle more than the lame looks all of the vampires make when they smell blood.

House Did It Better
It's a rare day that I'm going to credit House with something positive, but while Bella's undergoing her transformation, we're treated to a lot of shots of her blood vessels and internal organs. I've seen these sweeping images of the inside of the bodies for years on Hugh Laurie and, frankly, they look better there.

The Big Dream Wedding
The night before her wedding, Bella has a nightmare where all of her guests are wearing white, and then end up getting killed by some evil-looking dudes, ending with everyone in a giant heap covered in blood. This one has to be seen to be believed; it's like a giant wedding cake of people all dripping with red. No one is smizing.

A Walk to Remember
Alice gives Bella these fantastic shoes to wear on her wedding day. They are white, jewel-incrusted stilettos that Bella can barely move in. But yet, on her walk down the aisle, which is outside, she has no trouble walking. How did she not sink into the dirt ground? Did the pretty shoes get ruined? Inquiring minds want to know. Actually, it's probably just my mind, as I had to occupy it with something to keep me from falling asleep as Bella and Edward exchanged the most predictably boring vows of all time.

Baby on Bored
Bella gets knocked up on her honeymoon and starts feeling the growing fetus right away. Edward makes that horrible "I just smelled poop" face that he's so known for when he finds out that she's pregnant. It's not exactly what you'd call acting. Then he spends most of the movie just whining. But the actual pregnancy, which seems to unfold over the course of about a month, involves the fetus breaking Bella's ribcage, making her unable to walk, forcing her to drink blood from a straw and having her become so thin that her legs look inhuman... all told with a heavy-handed anti-abortion message! It's fun and totally subtle.

Bite Me
When Bella goes comatose and Edward has to turn her, he starts biting her to spread his vampire venom around. In the books, this was one of the things that actually made sense to me. Seeing it played out on screen? Not so much.

There were a few purposeful laughs scattered throughout, mostly thanks to Anna Kendrick, but the rest of the film just took itself so damned seriously, considering it is basically a teen soap, that it was just impossible not to giggle. And again, I really did love those thinning special effects. Just wish that the magic of retouching had been applied in so many more places in this film.

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