The final installment (hopefully), of a two-part Hollywood cash-in, where awful acting, dull writing, and more of the same old vampire silliness, is exploited at the expense of creativity.
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 has confirmed that a lack of new ideas is not necessarily a bad thing for the bank accounts of bean counters and others involved in the movie business today. Making films has always been about making a profit through creating and telling stories via moving pictures. However, what most people fail to realize is that ever since the absorption of the major film studios into gigantic, transnational corporations such as Sony and Viacom, the business aspect of show business has really taken the forefront, while almost completely eschewing much of what has to do with creativity and art. Drivel masked as film is commonplace these days, and many major film projects are brought to life in corporate boardrooms, complete with suits pointing at projection charts, rather than by great maverick movie makers of legend.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in films such as Breaking Dawn Part 2. Instead of making a single book into a single film, a new trend that the brilliant business minds of Hollywood have been implementing lately is to split up novels into separate films, thereby taking in a heftier profit, which is the case here. Why take chances with new, ground-breaking ideas and stories? Eliminate the risk, and double the return on investment. Peter Jackson has taken it a step further, dividing The Hobbit into three separate movies, so this blueprint seems to be on the rise.
The “plot,” for lack of a better word, of Breaking Dawn Part 2 revolves around newlyweds Bella (Kristen Stewart), who was turned into a vampire at the end of Breaking Dawn Part 1, and her husband Edward (Robert Pattinson). Bella drops a baby which is half-vampire and half-shape shifter. For some inexplicable reason that is never explained, the bizarre cgi-rendered baby ages very quickly, and is soon replaced by young actress Mackenzie Foy. This abominable amalgam of supernatural super species violates some ancient murky vampire law, setting the stage for a showdown between Bella, her man Edward, and vampire leader Aro.
Sheen seems to be the only actor in the entire production who has any life in him. It appears as though someone told the rest of the poor young actors that they should act as if they are the undead, and instead, they misinterpreted this instruction as acting lifelessly. They all stand around with their mouths open as if they’re waiting for a fly to land on their tongues, and they deliver their lines with all of the panache of deflated tires. At least a tire makes a loud multi-toned wheezing sound when it deflates. These actors speak in dull monotones with little, if any inflection.
They look like background extras on an episode of Beverly Hills 90210, standing around with blank stares from under their tousled mops which have been hair sprayed to death. The set design is equally vacuous and lifeless, and has the clinical sterility of a soap opera set. Director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls), starts off with a pretty impressive opening title sequence and opening scene, matched well with Carter Burwell’s majestic score, but he soon settles into paint-by-numbers directing, as the cameras clunkily paint scene after boring scene.
As (thankfully) the closing credits started to roll, I was delighted to be able to leave the theater, until a morose feeling came over me. I knew that the more discerning movie viewers and reviewers out there, who were critical of this movie, really would have no impact on the success of the business model at play here. The throngs of pre-teen (and surprisingly some adult) fans who don’t mind devouring stories involving things as unoriginal as vampires and werewolves, will form lines around theaters for this bland exercise in bottom line profiteering. Unfortunately, there are already rumors of a third film being released in the future.
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