MRR Movie Review: Breaking Dawn Part 2

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After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.
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Movie Review: "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2"

-- Rating: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes
Release Date: Nov. 16, 2012
Directed by: Bill Condon
Genre: Adventure and Drama

All good things must come to an end, and for fans of the "Twilight" franchise, the end comes with "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2." Though the series ended after only four books, the studio decided to break the last book into two parts to cover the various storylines that lead to a satisfying conclusion. All of the elements that made the series a billion dollar phenomenon are here, giving fans a chance to say goodbye to their favorite characters.

The film begins just moments after the previous film ended. Bella (Kristen Stewart, "Adventureland") finally got her wish to become a vampire, thanks to Edward (Robert Pattinson, "Water for Elephants"). The two want nothing more than to be good parents to their new daughter, but they must first battle the Volturi. Bella and Edward travel around the world, gathering support from vampires and werewolves alike in the hopes of finally getting the chance to be happy together.

"Breaking Dawn Part 2" is the film that fans waited years to see. The main problem with the earlier films is that the action tended to move quite slowly. At times, it felt like the films were just plodding along until reaching the conclusion. The last film had few action scenes, and while it ended on a big note, it left many viewers feeling unfulfilled. This film finally gives fans all the action and romance they need and want.

Stewart and Pattinson practically grew up together onscreen. Despite having some problems in their off-screen relationship, the two recently began dating again, and their chemistry sizzles on the big screen. Stewart takes Bella to the next level, showing her as a strong and independent woman, rather than the starry-eyed teenage girl who fell in love with a vampire in the first film. Pattinson does an equally good job of playing Edward. Though vampires never age, this Edward is a strong man who is finally willing to admit that he loves Bella and wants to spend his life with her.

All of the top characters from the other films in the franchise are here. Jacob (Taylor Lautner, "Abduction") spent most of the early films hating Edward and loving Bella, but in this film, he finally finds his true love and lets the two enjoy their lives together. While characters from the previous films like Alice, Rosalie, and Emmett also make appearances, these moments are few and far between.

"Breaking Dawn Part 2" has a cast list of nearly sixty speaking parts, which led to some characters taking on background roles. With so many different scenes and characters, the film couldn't pay homage to all of the favorites. Some fans might be a little disappointed that their favorites only appear in a handful of scenes, while others have only one or two lines.

It's easy to overlook that minor problem given the exciting plot of the film. The opening scenes show Bella transforming into a vampire and adjusting to her new body, complete with bright red eyes. It doesn't take long before the film jumps into the action, letting Bella get control of her new abilities to defend her daughter and loved ones. This strong and vibrant Bella is who fans have wanted to see since the first film.

"Breaking Dawn Part 2" is not just for diehard fans either. Those who saw the earlier films will love the action scenes, and those same scenes will keep newcomers entertained. It stands alone as a single film, while still serving as the perfect end to the franchise. The film even interjects some humor, which was sorely missing from the tense scenes of the previous films. Though this is far from a straight-up comedy, those humorous scenes cut the tension and provide a break from the dramatic elements.

The earlier films primarily relied on the relationship between Bella and Edward. The premise of the first film focused on Bella making a choice between her vampire love and the werewolf Jacob. This love triangle played out over several films, and it tended to drag at times. Director Condon does a smart job of focusing on the action and ignoring the love triangle. Bella made her choice, and this film tells the story of the lengths that each character will go to protect their loved ones.

"Breaking Dawn Part 2" might not turn someone into a "Twilight" fan, but it will delight and please the diehard fans of the franchise. The sweet ending will lead many to feel happy that they stuck with the series through thick and thin.

Rating 3 out of 5