Yet another huge franchise is coming to an end – Twilight Saga, with Breaking Dawn – Part 2 now out in theaters. The much-anticipated finale to the series is a big step up from its predecessor in all aspects. With Bill Condon returning once more as the director, Part 2 manages to stay true to the book and bring the many new vampire characters to life (or rather, undeath) in a highly entertaining way, while adding an unexpected twist to a key scene at the end.
Breaking Dawn – Part 2 picks up right where Part 1 left off – as Bella opens her eyes for the very first time as a vampire. She now has to get accustomed to her heightened senses and extreme strength. By using some pretty fascinating camera work the movie does a great job with allowing us to see the world through Bella’s eyes. Kristen Stewart seems to be the most comfortable with her character this time around – and she surely makes for a believable vampire, while Robert Pattinson moves a bit more to the background with his portrayal of Edward.
The conflict once again involves the Volturi – the Italy-based keepers of law in the vampire world. This time, they come after Cullens because of Renesmee, Bella and Edward’s daughter, who they mistakenly think to be an immortal child. Renesmee certainly presents a challenge for the film-makers, because she is supposed to be growing at an unusually fast rate, but it is handled rather well in the movie.
With the focus less on the relationship between Bella and Edward and more on Bella’s experiences as a newborn vampire it is much easier to look past the unavoidable cheesiness. The main thing that I liked about this installment though is the way it handles all the new vampires introduced in the second half of the book. The number of these supporting characters may seem overwhelming at first, but it is easy to distinguish between them – each one manages to be an individual. I especially enjoyed seeing Lee Pace as Garrett and Rami Malek as Benjamin. It was also a lot of fun to watch Gury Weinberg as Stefan and Noel Fisher as Vladimir.
The film-makers took a very interesting liberty with the final confrontation with the Volturi, which earned a reaction from nearly everyone in the audience. Overall, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 does a decent job tying everything up and has a great sense of finality about it.