This is my first time going on the public record about The Twilight Saga. I read the books, and after the release of Breaking Dawn Part 2, I have now seen all the movies. What do I think of the series as a whole? Let me give you my perspective.
I’m not averse to romance, done well (many of my favorite comedies happen to be romantic comedies). The Twilight series teeters on the border of overdoing it a little bit. However, even at its schmaltziest, there are still other things going on with these stories: specifically, vampires and werewolves.
I’ve been a fan of vampire stories for a long time, but unlike many offering their opinions on Twilight, I’m not a purist. I’ve never said “vampires don’t sparkle”. No two vampire canons agree on 100% of the dogma. The most successful stories often bend and extend their genre conventions.
And Twilight’s changes have not been written on Stephenie Meyer’s whims; they serve the story. Obviously, if the vampires in Twilight couldn’t leave the dark, there would be no story. They wouldn’t be able to blend in with society at all, attend high school, etc. Ultimately, this is one author’s take on a non-existant creature, and it’s her prerogative to write her own rules. That doesn’t bother me.
I didn’t love the books, and disagreed with criticism calling them poorly written. Shakespearean? Certainly not. Will people be reading them hundreds of years later? Not likely, but I enjoyed them all the same. I enjoyed the movies about as much, possibly more, as the three principal characters carried on well and the effects are pretty impressive.
It’s a little strange, though, writing a blog post about just the second movie in this two-part story. That’s ultimately a problem with the double-dip conclusion favored by Harry Potter and Twilight, and I hope this movie ends that trend. I’d prefer it to be a good three-hour movie (or even four with an intermission), but I digress.
Overall, I thought this conclusion sent the series off on a high note. The climax was captivating, and the film’s reveals were well-played. Also, this film ends with what reminds me most closely of a curtain call. The end credits give each principal character a few seconds of screen time, and a full-screen title card. That makes sense when concluding a series that has spanned five films over 4 years, and whose final entry didn’t include many of the characters instrumental in the earlier chapters. It was a nice touch.
One thing caused me to cringe repeatedly throughout the movie, however: Renesmee. The hybrid offspring of a vampire and human, she ages very rapidly. Unfortunately, this movie takes the Benjamin Button/TRON: Legacy direction, and to bad effect. Renesmee looks creepy. They should have used a real baby when she was first born (and for the brief moment we see her as an adult), and used more traditional practical effects as she grew to the actress’s actual age.
You don’t need me to recommend this movie or not. If you’ve never seen a Twilight movie, I would recommend watching the first two before you come to any sort of conclusion. If, after seeing the werewolves and battles in New Moon you don’t feel like seeing the rest, don’t. If you liked all previous entries, there’s no reason you wouldn’t watch this concluding chapter.
Links: IMDb | Blu-ray | DVD