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Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)

“Let’s start with forever.”

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner

I love it and I hate it. Simply because I read all the books before I saw any of the films, and I was a massive fan immediately, I feel my review may be a bit biased. So, I’ll do it purely from an objective angle and try and be less of a Twilight geek for the next 5 minutes.

Breaking Dawn opens as the final touches of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) wedding is being put together. While Jacob (Taylor Lautner), shirtless and broody as always, receives an invitation from the happy couple and runs away in a strop all werewolf like. With the lucky girl that Bella is, Edward treats her to a honeymoon on Isle Esme, a private island just off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Bella – having decided she wanted to remain human to experience her wedding night just like everyone else – soon finds herself in a dangerous and what she believed, impossible situation. She thinks she’s pregnant.

The remainder of the film is largely made up of baby bump, vampire vs werewolf, what’s going to happen to Bella? territory. Very typical of Twilight, though it seems the love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob has been toned down and replaced by a vamp-baby conundrum. At least the story actually moves forward and we get to get past all of this “I love her more” nonsense that we had to endure in Eclipse. Though it lingers on the pregnancy throughout, having nothing else to really clutch at.

The acting in the film is very average, though it seemed that Lautner was just that bit better than the rest, mainly because he actually conveyed emotion, even if it was just that of an angry kid. Stewart’s efforts at a withdrawn and anxious teen see her fall a little short in the acting department, and Pattinson doesn’t have that many lines, he just looks pretty and manages to drop his English accent and adopt an American one.

If you’re not already a fan of the franchise or on Team Edward or Team Jacob, the chances you will enjoy this film are slim. Because it’s pretty flimsy and involves a lot of close up glances, sideways smouldering looks and awkward exchanges, it doesn’t stand alone as a great film. There are also quite a lot of awkward visuals in the film. Ranging from a montage of flashing bright lights as werewolf Jacob runs through the woods, to flashbacks of previous films that don’t really add anything to the story. Then there’s a conversation between the pack of werewolves, which although much more visually improved, is just awkward and cringy – their mouths don’t move and their voices very suddenly become coarse and angry. It doesn’t fit with how we’ve seen them previously and interrupts the flow (if it can even be called that) of the film.

Breaking Dawn does get a bit more exciting towards the end of the film though; Bella goes into labour, the werewolves and vamps prepare for a fight and just as it reaches this point, the film stops, making way for the next instalment. Typical of a franchise, especially a teen franchise, but then this is how they’re going to cash in massively. Breaking Dawn raked up an estimated $138 million around the globe on its opening night alone, so there is no doubt that even if the film is crap (which it kinda is), those dedicated Twi-hards – including me – will always be there to watch it.

Star rating: 4/10

Directed by Bill Condon.

Running time 117 minutes.

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