'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part I': A hater's guide
The last couple of weeks have been worrying ones for someone who has been tasked with writing a “Hater’s Guide” to each Twilight movie but who remains open to the possibility that one day the vampire franchise might actually produce a decent film. After all, if an infinite number of monkeys given an infinite amount of time can write the works of Shakespeare, then it would surely take just one chimpanzee a few weeks to write a film better than, say, 2008’s thunderingly dull series opener Twilight or 2009’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon which, to the best of my recollection, consists entirely of Kristen Stewart’s heroine Bella looking out the window and watching the seasons change. In real time.
Truth is, the advance word from colleagues who had seen a preview of the Bill Condon-directed The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I was alarmingly positive. “Things really get going this time,” one EW staffer told me. “There’s a really gruesome bit at the end that you’ll like,” said another. “You still owe me 20 bucks,” declared a third, although perhaps that’s irrelevant to the subject at hand. The movie has even been gifted some startlingly good reviews (if not by EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum). The New York Times critic hailed the film as a franchise high and went so far as to say that one sequence is “so palpably disturbing that it might cause David Cronenberg, the master of body of horror, to wince.”
I needn’t have worried. My colleague will get those 20 bucks back when I win at poker next week and this fourth Twilight film is another absolute snoozefest. I would say the film is so awful non-Twihards should actually run away from it were there the remotest possibility of this sluggardly venture being able to outpace a legless tortoise.
But what does the hate-filled, yet mildly curious, pop-culture fan need to know about the movie? Well, Bella and her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) get married in an interminable sequence which will only appeal to people who enjoy attending really boring weddings, and the pair then enjoy an island honeymoon in a sequence which will only appeal to people who enjoy attending really boring timeshare presentations. Yes, the newlyweds finally do the nasty — but in a dull, PG-13-friendly manner that manages to disgrace the word “nasty.” Their coupling does result in Bella getting pregnant and, for reasons I won’t trouble you with here, that ultimately causes Taylor Lautner’s werewolf Jake to doggify himself up and start communicating telepathically with his mutt pals. This particular scene is so hilariously ludicrous I genuinely believe the selling of popcorn should be banned from cinemas showing the film to prevent mass chokings.
Finally, there arrives the much ballyhoo-ed birth sequence which, while conceivably alarming to the very young, is really the Cronenbergian equivalent of a paper cut. The whole shebang concludes (ugh, “Spoiler alert!,” I guess) with our heroine transforming into a vampire. The process involves her taking around a minute to mentally relive all the exciting things that have happened in her life. And if you’re thinking, “Why does that take an entire minute?” then, well, good for you.
The happy news? There’s only one film to go! In the meantime, feel free to vent about, or defend, the latest Twilight movie below.