Thursday, December 13, 2012

Movie Review - Breaking Dawn Part 2

So a few years ago there was this little book series about a teenage girl in love with a Vampire in the Pacific Northwest. My wife found the series around the time the second book was released and she had fun with the books. She had me read the first book and while I didn't love it, I didn't hate it either. Granted, I'm not really the target audience. Still, I found it an interesting take and fun fluffy writing. I never read anything else in the series but heard that it had some fun rides.

Then the movies came out. The trailers seemed pretty laughable and I wasn't impressed with the acting I saw. Eventually my wife rented the first movie and watched it. She admitted that it was a moderately faithful representation of the story but that it certainly wasn't Oscar-worthy. Still, she eventually convinced me to watch it with her.

Generally I found the acting to be stilted and stiff and the premise to be less engaging than it had been in the book. It was still moderately entertaining but we found ourselves laughing at a number of the scenes. Over the years my wife has had me watch bits and pieces of some of the other movies but I don't think I've seen an entire one since the first.

For an impromptu date night a couple of weeks ago, we decided to go to a movie. We weren't really "feeling" any of the movies playing and so she decided we should go see Breaking Dawn Part 2. I hadn't seen the first one, but we were both sure I'd catch up quickly.

I'm not sure if the actors matured or if the directing was better, but the acting did seem a little less constipated than in the first movie. There were still a lot of vacant expressions and "intense" pregnant pauses, but for some reason the characters and their motivations felt a little more believable. Some of the characters were absolutely ridiculous, but that could just be their natural characterization from the book.

I liked the extra tension that the writer put into the story by expanding on the ongoing love-triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob. As I knew from the previews, Bella and Edward had married and had a baby so I wasn't sure how Jacob's involvement would persist in these final chapters. The method used to keep him engaged was interesting.

Not having seen the rest of the movies (or read the rest of the books), I can't really speak well to the violence and intensity of the movie as compared with the books. It's nothing slasher-movie "blood and gore" worthy, but there were some pretty intense segments as they set up the main conflict in the book…the conflict being the existence of Bella & Edward's child.

I can say (as based on a conversation with my wife) that there is a MAJOR departure from the book towards the end of the movie. Apparently the scriptwriter and director decided that the movie needed more action-adventure and so they added a very lengthy scene and killed off a TON of pretty major characters in an intense battle. Maybe this is the 'reward' for all those men who went to this 'chic-flick' with their wives. (Don't worry dear…I would've gone with you anyway)

The battle was pretty exciting and (based on what I'm told) it sounds like a more compelling ending to the saga than what was originally in the book. Still, I understand that many book-purists are up in arms about it.

Overall I found that I enjoyed this movie much more than I thought I would. The acting and presentation seemed better than in the first Twilight films I'd seen. The storyline is interesting and has some compelling conflicts and character development. I haven't looked at other reviews but I suspect there is a degree of polarization: on one hand the uber fans who will praise it wholly (though they might complain about the battle sequence) and on the other hand the uber haters who hated it before watching and still hate it.

I'm somewhere in the middle. It's not going to be my "movie of the year" by any stretch but I wouldn't run away screaming if somebody suggested watching it (though I may or may not actually stick around to watch, depending on what else is going on). It seems like a well crafted and pretty fulfilling and exciting conclusion to an interesting premise for a story.

3 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

Gina said...

Interesting to get the male perspective on this series...even in movie format. Agreed on the the first film, the acting was definitely not up to par, but your wife hit it on the was mostly faithful to the book so it was passable as entertainment. With each movie, the actors/actresses grew into their roles a bit more making them better and better until finally....well, you saw the last installment; worked out pretty well.. LOVE the books, enjoyed the movies. Thanks for sharing!