Look, if you've seen the other four movies and loved them, you're going to love this one, too. If you enjoy hate-watching them (like we usually do), there's plenty for you here as well. If you hated them and somehow think this one is going to be miraculously better, then you've got another thing coming. Or, if you are like the young woman sitting behind us at the screening who had never seen any part of the saga before, you will ask a million questions throughout the movie about the characters, laugh at unfunny things and then think it was a quality movie. Don't be that person.
Anyway, this is the culmination of the Edward and Bella saga in which the Volturi catch wind of the fact that the Cullens have what they believe is an immortal child, but is just freaky little human/vampire hybrid Renesmee, who ages from the creepiest CGI'd baby you've ever seen to a pre-teen girl over the course of the movie. Naturally, this film (which could have been easily condensed into the last one) is filled with ridiculous moments, so we've spotlighted the most insane. Spoilers possibly ahead for those movie purists who haven't read the books.
The Aforementioned Freaky Baby
Edward and Bella had a baby, Jacob imprinted on it and now that Bella's awakened from her vampire rebirthing, she's ready to see her kid. When they say it's a face only a mother could love, this is what they are talking about. Someone took a possibly cute baby and then made it all weird, like that E-trade kid, just so it could have facial expressions. They couldn't find a bunch of real babies that would coo and smile on command? Oh, and it has a magical hand that reaches up and shares Bella's memories, but it looks like something that was chopped off a cheap toy-store doll.
The Imprinting Reaction Shot
In one of the best-filmed scenes in Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Bella discovers off-camera that Jacob imprinted on her child, and then we see her reaction as she tosses him out of her house. And then she fights with all the werewolves who come to Jacob's aid, which allows us to see the new strong Bella, with her shiny and clean hair. None of this makes imprinting on a baby, who will be a fully mature woman in a few years, any less disgusting. Though, somehow, watching Jacob in wolf form with the young girl makes it a bit less gross, because it looks like she's just got an overgrown puppy looking out for her, direwolf style.
Bella gets to sparkle in the sunlight, and she looks like a female version of Rumpy from Once Upon a Time. With all the money that these movies have made, it's ridiculous that they can't afford better special effects. That, and the shots of her running in the woods with Edward, are particularly bad. Plus, the decapitations are almost cartoonish. Maybe this series would have been better in animated form entirely.
The Insanely Long Credits
For some reason, between the lengthy opening credits and the end title cards (where each character from all of the movies gets their own little shout out), the credits on this movie probably take up a good ten minutes of the running time. We weren't sitting there with our stopwatches, but it had to be close. Though it was amusing to see Bryce Dallas Howard's Victoria in one shot and then Rachelle Lefevre's Victoria on another.
The New Wolves Being Called Up
The influx of vampires to the area means that there need to be more werewolves to protect the land. That's all well and good, but there's a scene where a young boy is walking along and just spontaneously turns into a werewolf and rolls down a hill. It made us laugh out loud... and we're pretty sure we weren't supposed to.
The Baby Burning Scene
This falls under the ridiculous, but almost veers into ridiculously awesome: During a flashback to Jane (Dakota Fanning), we see immortal children (babies who have been turned into vampires) all bloody and disgusting, and then Jane tossing the baby onto the fire. It might be the best thing we've seen in any of these films.
The Vampires From Around the World
When all of the Cullen supporters started showing up, we kind of felt we were in a vampire version of Epcot with all the different stereotypical characters from all the different countries. Though we did like Benjamin's element-controlling powers, and we were glad to see that our beloved Lee Pace found work... even if it was a brief stint as a scruffy vamp in the final film.
In order to keep Bella's dad from freaking out, Jacob goes and strips in front of them (because what would a Twilight movie without Taylor Lautner stripping down to his skivvies at some point) and the turns into a wolf so that Charlie will come visit Bella at the Cullen's and not be weirded out by her sudden cold temperature. But the Cullen family preps Bella by teaching her to act human, and how to sit in a chair, when earlier we saw her gently moving around her home without any issue at all. And apparently Bella's mom doesn't give a hell about her kid now that she's married off? Because she doesn't even call in this one.
The Sex Scene
Edward and Bella do it as vampires for the first time, and she says that he was clearly holding back when she was human. We almost vomited a little in our mouths.
Bella's Special Powers
Sure, Bella has super-human strength and can kick Emmett's ass at arm wrestling, but her special power is shielding. This involves her looking extremely uncomfortable, squinting a lot and projecting badly CGI'd beams of light out of her brain to protect her loved ones from pain. It's... something.
The March to Battle
The Cullens assemble friends to help stand against them with the Volturi over the course of several months, and the Volturi weirdly walk across the snow. Why not sneak attack? Or come more quickly? We see that the Volturi can actually zip around fast when they want to, so why give the Cullens time to prepare? And why the painfully slow walk across the snow? Same goes for Alice's awkwardly slow entrance.
The Almost Awesome Battle Scene
Not to spoil too much, but they reveal in the trailers that the Volturi eventually turn up in Forks for an ultimate showdown. It had been a while since we'd read the books, so maybe we forgot the big twist here, but it was kind of a surprise to see this bloody battle filled with very visceral beheadings. If only the CGI effects were believable.
The Lord of the Rings-style Ending
We won't spoil it, but the movie ends a couple of different times. Let's just say that until you see the actual credits roll, the movie isn't over. There aren't any hobbits jumping up and down on beds, but there are certainly some memorable images there.
So, are we glad that we saw all five films? Well, yeah, it's a pop cultural phenomenon and we like to be up on those sorts of things. Did we occasionally feel like we were wasting our lives? Yes, but we've also watched far too much bad television to really let that get to us. Do we wish we could get that time back? Probably, but then again, these films -- particularly this last one -- provided some good belly laughs (mostly at the film's expense, though a few seemed to be tongue-in-cheek moments actually intended to be humorous), so at least we can console ourselves with that. Are we happy that we never have to see another one (unless they decide to do a Jacob and Renesmee ten-years-later sort of thing)? You better believe it.
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