Following the viewing of “Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” at the request of many of my friends, I promptly drove to the nearest post office, bought a stamp, and mailed off my man card.
Yes, I liked the final film in a series so notoriously adored by screaming teenage girls.
So did much of America, it appears, as the capper to the “Twilight” saga grossed $141.3 million domestically, the second highest opening revenue of the series. And while “New Moon” ($142.8 million) holds the highest domestic opening of the saga, “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” attracted a larger worldwide crowd, pulling in a total of $430 million. With numbers like that, I can only assume mine was not the only man card to be sacrificed over the weekend (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself).
“Breaking Dawn – Part 2” picks up where the fourth film left off, with Bella (Kristen Stewart) now a fully-transformed vampire, the latest blood-thirsting addition to the Cullen family. Bella struggles early on with the new life, her bloodlust for humans nearly defying the civil lifestyle of Cullens, but progressively subdued by her husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson).
Together, the couple watches their newborn daughter, Renesmee, grow under the protection of the Cullen family and supervision of the Quileute werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who have since agreed to play nice.
When it is falsely reported that Renesmee, who was born half-human, half-vampire, is instead a human infant bitten and transformed, the Volturi, overseers of vampire law, fear a breach of secrecy and prepare an attack on the Cullens to kill the child.
In response, the Cullens call on a number of foreign vampire clans to witness and attest that Renesmee is not what the Volturi assume, and if need be, fight to defend the family’s well-being.
Aro, the Volturi leader, prepares an overwhelming force of his own, far outnumbering that of the Cullens and Quileute, and the two meet on an open battlefield to settle the fate of Renesmee.
The film does well what so many of the saga’s predecessors did not – it builds suspense toward a meaningful resolution and it gives viewers something to root for. It’s no longer like watching a bad reality television show where the love triangle of Jacob, Edward, and Bella has grown completely stale to the point of nauseating. And finally, finally, this film gives us a glimpse of the true physical powers of these immortals, which in the previous films was for the most part limited to diplomacy and enduring love-making.
Furthermore, the fact Bella has turned into the family’s strongest vampire is a breath of fresh air, as viewers can now rely more on her ability to brutally beat up on bad guys than on her ability to act.
Sure, the computer graphics are still distractingly poor, and the pace is a bit slow at times, but for those unfamiliar with the novels, there are equally some jaw-dropping, unexpected moments, and an interesting twist to cap off what is, overall, a very well done film.
If I had another man card, I’d see it again. Anyone want to let me borrow?