ShOR 365: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Photo Credit: Summit/Lionsgate

Hello, hello and welcome to part two of my something different that I embarked on last night. I decided that I would watch The Twilight Saga last night but only the first and last films. One, because I’m lazy and school is kicking my hind end and two, I wanted to see how the two films were different from one another and how they stood the test of time and lack of hype. I wasn’t lucky enough to see Breaking Dawn Part 2 in theaters. I had to watch it after the fact on DVD which kind of dampened the experience and, revisiting it, made it much worse.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 is great. It’s a huge improvement from Twilight. The acting is better. The writing is better. Everything is just so much tighter. Honestly, Belle should’ve turned into a vampire at the end of Twilight. It would have made everything far more interesting in my opinion. But, that’s neither here or there. What matters is this movie rocks. If you’ve not seen it, don’t read anything about it. Save for this review because I won’t spoil anything. Promise.

So, Bella turns into a vampire after the birth of her daughter Renesmee (McKenzie Foy). Horrible name but there you are. Renesmee is half vampire and half human. She ages incredibly quickly and is impossibly beautiful. Thinking that they’ve satisfied the Volturi by turning Bella into a vampire, the Cullens begin to settle into their lives. Bella excels at being a vampire. She has the gift of shielding which is incredibly important in this lore because she can protect from other vampires’ powers. Trouble brews when one of the Denali coven, Irina (Maggie Grace), is mistakenly lead to believe that Renesmee is an immortal child. Immortal children are forbidden because they are unable to be controlled. This causes the Cullens to begin gathering witnesses to attest to Renesmee’s humanity and prepare for battle with the Volturi.

Before I go any further, I just have to say that the world needs a spin-off series focused solely on Garrett (Lee Pace). Garrett is one of Carlisle’s oldest friends and one of the best additions to the universe and it’s a pity he wasn’t introduced sooner. Pace nailed it. He was snarky and hilarious. He was tall and lanky and gorgeous and he really excels at the more laid back comedic roles. This is one prime example. Smack in the middle between Ned the pie maker, Thranduil the woodland elf, and Joe MacMillan, Garrett needs so much more loving. The script really lent to Pace’s talent and it allowed him to thrive. The only problem is, there’s not enough of him and his character, first off and second off, there not enough information on his character. Garrett is the type of character that really needs an entire series of films centered entirely on him. I’m not saying this just because I’m on a Lee Pace kick. I’m saying this because Garrett really is super interesting.

Okay, enough fangirling. Beyond the amazing inclusion of Lee Pace, the acting is much better in this film and a lot of it comes back to the script. First movie jitters are gone and are replaced with last movie excitement and a chemistry that’s grown and blossomed over the span of three years. Gone are the extraneous stories of the wolf pack and Bella’s high school “friends”. This story focuses simply on the Cullens as vampires and it’s great. Stewart delights in playing Bella as a vampire. You can see that she’s having a lot of fun which just solidifies my opinion that Bella should’ve changed in Twilight. It’s simple as that. It adds a lot of depth and dimension to his character and gives Stewart something to work with.

As for the writing, Melissa Rosenberg really hit her stride with Breaking Dawn Part 2. She managed to stay true to the second half of the novel while also throwing in one major twist that no one saw coming. Not to mention that the time seems to have solidified Rosenberg’s understanding of the family dynamic as the characters have grown and matured. If Summit ever decides to explore more sequels, I hope Rosenberg returns to pen the scripts. I feel like, at this point, she’s possibly the only one besides Stephanie Meyer who understands the Cullens and the characters around them well enough to come up with something exciting and different.

In all, Breaking Dawn Part 2 definitely holds up much better than Twilight. It’s enjoyable, well written, and well acted. It managed to make me want more which is incredibly difficult because sequels tend to get annoying and boring for me. But not this one. This is one sequel I think I can watch over and over again. The Twilight Saga, while generally dismissed as boring and stupid YA fodder, really holds up thanks to this film and I’m glad I rewatched it.

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