So I finally got around to watching this abomination of a film. (I watched Part 2 as well, and it was just as bad).
Wait, maybe I’m being a little harsh: it was not a bad comedy. Problem is, it wasn’t intended as one.
Consider this fair warning: if you’re not hammered, stoned or in a semi-vegetative state when you see Breaking Dawn Part I, you probably won’t enjoy it. In fact, if you’re stone cold sober, like I was, it might generate feelings of rage, violence and/or suicidal tendencies.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a bit harsh. After all, I did manage to get through the entire book without throwing myself off the balcony or going on a murder spree (I was close, though). However, if you’re planning on seeing it and have liquor lying around, this might be the perfect opportunity to invent a new drinking game: every time one of the ridiculous characters makes you want to *facepalm*, you drink. Copious amounts of booze. By the time the end credits roll, you won’t even remember what the 2 hours of drivel you just witnessed were all about!
Enough with the general trashtalk. The movie wasn’t ALL bad… We got the gratuitous topless Jacob shot at the very beginning, and the hilariously bad CGI werewolf transformation that followed. And thankfully, that was the last we saw of the annoying high-voiced alpaca-lookalike for a very long time, as we prepare for the big wedding.
Bella’s dream in the beginning was alright. She looked pretty, her wedding dress was elegant, the bloody twist was interesting… and it was all ruined by the disgustingly hilarious pile of corpses of her entire family and friends. The lack of a makeover scene that would transform plain-Jane Bella into a glorious bride was a complete missed opportunity, but then again it actually made sense, because of how meh she looked in the end. The actual wedding was pretty much a letdown after that, mainly because the dress was awful, her hair looked like the kind of messy updo I favour when I’m doing chores at home, and she looked freaking miserable as always.
I mean, dude, I get it. You’re supposed to be the brooding heroine and all, but even in the books you’re happy on your WEDDING DAY. Does Kristen Stewart have only ONE facial expression? She looks like it’s actually painful for her to smile! Hell, even the constantly brooding vampire groom manages to crack a smile as she walks down the aisle. I know the 3-inch heels are uncomfortable when your shoes of choice are Chuck Taylors, but do you really have to look so cranky as you’re about to marry the one guy you idolize and refer to as a god every chance you get? Sigh. The toasts were a deviation from the books, and probably the only deliberately funny aspect of the entire movie, which really does say something about the Mormon’s writing style (or lack thereof).
One of Edward’s wedding gifts to his grumpy new wife is a surprise. He takes her to the woods behind his family home and who else is waiting there but the “best man”, Jacob? Edward is clearly the bigger man here, and Bella is clearly an idiot, as she can’t contain her excitement over the fact that she will FINALLY get laid during her honeymoon. Jacob’s not a happy camper, and his werewolf buddies, who have the worst fashion sense in the history of the world, show up in their cutoff jeans and sleeveless tees and whisk off the infuriated teen wolf.
The newlyweds are off to the secret honeymoon that Edward planned, and their first stop is Brazil. Even in a tropical place with her new groom, Bella still seems incapable of showing any emotion other than gloom. Edward takes her to Isle Esme, which is a glorious little island off the coast of Rio, with a beautiful glass-fronted beach house waiting for them. Bella looks around, Edward asks her to go for a midnight swim, and we are treated to a ridiculous scene where the brooding idiot suddenly turns into a blushing bride, whose anticipation of sex gives her the jitters. We might have been spared the makeover montage before the wedding, because clearly Bella is beyond saving, but we are treated to a ridiculous succession of scenes whose only raison d’etre is to validate a fact we’ve known all along: that Bella is stupid, and didn’t even shave her legs BEFORE the actual wedding. Thank God we didn’t have to watch her get a Brazilian (ha!)… although, on second thought, watching her suffer would totally make the montage more enjoyable.
And as the moment we’ve all been waiting for draws near, so does the single most retarded scene in the entire movie: Bella is all geared up and ready for sex, legs shaved and all. Edward has been waiting for his wedding night for more than a century. They’re both naked, in the ocean… and they just stand there, side by side, looking up at the full moon. I mean, REALLY? And then, when they finally head to the bedroom, it’s so PG-13 I’m sure even the 13 year olds in the audience wanted to throw things at the screen. At least they do get one scene right though: the next morning, Bella wakes up amidst torn up pillows, lots of feathers, and a broken bed. Which only makes us angrier, because, hello, why didn’t we get to see all the rough sex that left the room in shambles? We’ve been waiting for 3 and a half movies for this!
At least we do get to see Bella attempt a half-smile. It looks painful, but it’s a solid effort… and then it all gets shot to hell. Edward can’t bear to touch her again because his vampire-style lovemaking has left her black and blue, and Bella’s back to grumpy mode. The rest of the honeymoon is spent with the lovebirds playing chess, doing fun island things, and remaining as celibate as they were since they first got together. Until one day she wakes up and decides to enjoy a delicious breakfast of chicken, peanut butter and yogurt. If I’d ignored my diet and gone for the bucket of popcorn at the concessions stand, I would be barfing just as violently as Bella does in the next scene. At least now she has a valid reason to be grumpy: showing his utter lack of respect for personal space, Edward barges in while she’s puking.
And then comes the oh-my-God-I’m-pregnant scene, which surprises no one, except apparently Edward, whose empty gaze is, I guess, the vampiric equivalent of going into shock. This little twist marks the beginning of the most tedious sequence I’ve had to sit through in years: for the remainder of the movie, Bella is grey and even more annoying than usual, but I do have to give the producers credit for making her look as skeletal as humanly possible, as the little half-vampire child slowly kills her in the womb. Edward is miserable, because his stupid wife wants to keep the little monster, killing herself in the process.
The baby is hungry, so they give her blood, in a styrofoam cup, complete with straw, which makes it less disgusting in Meyer’s mind. Meanwhile, everyone’s talking semantics. For Edward, the baby is a thing, right from the start; to Alice, it’s a fetus, because she’s so P.C., whereas Rosalie keeps correcting anyone who doesn’t call it a baby. Bella is even more precise, and is convinced the baby is a boy. To Jacob, it’s an abomination, but why exactly does he even have a say in all this? Wise up buddy, she married the vampire. Do us all a favour and take your admittedly impressive abs somewhere else.
Equally as tedious as this drawn-out scene is Jacob’s permanent scowl, but the unintentionally hilarious wolf-ESP scene sort of makes up for it. Which brings us to the other only intentionally funny scene in the movie: Bella announces that if it’s a boy, his name will predictably be Edward Jacob; if it’s a girl, it’s going to be Renesmee, a portmanteau of her mother’s and mother-in-law’s names. The look on everyone’s faces is priceless, and this should have been another obvious sign that Bella is simply not in her right mind, and shouldn’t be making these decisions in the first place.
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for arrives: the fast-growing baby has already cracked Bella’s rib, and is now becoming even more aggressive. At some point, it breaks Bella’s back, and it’s emergency c-section time, vamp-style. In the book, that means Edward tears into Bella’s belly with his teeth to get the baby out in time to save her, i.e. turn her into a vampire. In the movie, things are way more tame, as Rosalie makes an incision with a scalpel, and is about to drain Bella herself as soon as she sees the delicious blood on the blade. Edward does step in to finish the job with his fangs, but it’s nowhere near as gory as described in the book, and is another disappointment in what seems like a movie exclusively comprised of letdowns. He proceeds to manically give Bella CPR, and you can’t help but ask, REALLY? He turns the bed posts to kindling when he tries to have sex with her, but constantly pumping her heart doesn’t crush every one of her ribs, when the tiny monster-baby can do that from inside the womb? Please.
The child is born, and it’s actually a girl, so Bella clearly didn’t know what the hell she was talking about once again, and the poor baby will now have to go through life as Renesmee. As the wolves gather and decide to murder the newborn (who doesn’t look newborn at all – apparently a fast growing fetus evolves into an even faster-growing baby, but who are we to question Meyer’s poetic license?), Jacob sees her for the first time, and we are treated to a flash-forward of a pretty toddler growing into a very beautiful young girl. This is our cue to realize that Jacob just imprinted on Renesmee, as he kneels in front of the baby like some ridiculous teenage werewolf knight. That right folks, it’s not only pedophilia, it’s also bestiality! Meyer won’t let her heroine sleep with the love of her life until she’s married, but apparently matching a Teen Wolf with a baby is fine by her. How many eyeroll-inducing moments will we have to get through?
The answer to that question is two: the first one is the filmmakers’ awkward attempt to bring to life the long inner monologue of Bella’s suffering. She lies on the table, seemingly dead to the world, as the venom Edward injected in her slowly makes its way through her body, burning her up from the inside and causing her unbearable pain. Cut to: a CSI-esque sequence which shows us exactly that: veins and arteries and venom and images of Bella writhing in agony. The second one is the final scene, because OF COURSE the movie leaves you with a sense of ‘why the hell did I just sit through two hours of this crap?’: As the transformation of Bella into a vampire is complete, her lifeless, colourless, skeletal body starts becoming healthy, her complexion rosy, her hair lustrous. And her eye-makeup is superb, because we all know that’s the real sign of a proper vampire: expertly done smoky eyes.
Part 2 continues so be in much the same vein as the book, but considering the only scene actually worth watching was all in Alice’s head, I won’t even waste space talking about it here.
Excuse me while I proceed to slam my head repeatedly onto my keyboard.