Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Review: Disappointing Buzz Bank Fodder for Repressed Half-Literates
film / tv / lists / guides / news / love / celeb / video / think pieces / staff / podcasts / web culture / politics / dc / snl / netflix / marvel / cbr

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Review: Disappointing Buzz Bank Fodder for Repressed Half-Literates

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | November 16, 2012 | Comments ()


For the first time in many months, I had an experience at the cinema that honestly moved me, that made my heart do a little back flip and turn to mush. Two characters onscreen -- one a monster, one a human -- captured in a brief snatch of time the transformative power of love, and it's ability to heat even the cold hearts of the undead.

Of course, that was the trailer for Warm Bodies that preceded Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2. It looks so good, people.

As for Breaking Dawn Part 2? That movie was crap. An unrelenting assault of vacuous, stubbornly anti-sapient hormonal porn for middle-aged moms. It says a lot about the franchise that over the course of four years of Twilight screenings, the demographic makeup of the audience has shifted from squealing high-school girls crushing on chiseled Teen Beat dreamboats to to sketchy soccer moms drooling over glistening hard-abbed boy-meat. Most of the original teenage audience has grown up, exited their Twilight phase, and gone to college, leaving their tattered Edward Cullen posters hanging on their walls; it's their mothers, who might have gotten into Twilight as a way to connect to their daughters, that are suspended in a state of cross-legged arrested development. They get older, but Jacob Black's abs stay the same.

The franchise itself has been achingly paced from the beginning; eight hours of screen time could've been reduced to an hour and a half if only they'd stripped the franchise of the hung-mouth stares and confessions of devotion that read like the scribblings on the back of a love-sick brain-damaged 12-year-old girl's notebook. Indeed, the very first line in Breaking Dawn Part 2, after Bella wakes up from her human-to-vampire transformation, is "You're so beautiful," delivered by Edward with all the enthusiasm of an Aspergian asthmatic rehearsing pick-up lines in front of a mirror.

Part 2 picks up just as Bella is crawling out from her vampire chrysalis. Her eyes are bright red, and her face is a little more alabaster, but she is otherwise the same Bella, carrying around her perpetually bored expression, as though she's sniffing farts and remains unimpressed with their aroma. After frolicking through the woods like a meth-addled Forrest Gump in a race to blow out the spring's first dandelions, snarling unconvincingly at humans and sucking blood out of the hickey-holes of the wildlife, Bella is disturbed to find that Jacob -- who suddenly smells to her like a wet dog swimming in sour milk -- is weirdly protective of her newborn daughter, a CGI-creation that appears to be the Goth version of the E*Trade baby.

Turns out, Jacob's imprinted upon Renesnmee, a "wolf thing" that means he's biologically required to watch over and protect her until there is grass on the field, at which point he and his lupine manhood plan to play ball. Bella is at first unhappy with the development, but soon learns that it's beneficial to have free child care from an inbred two-by-four while Edward fucks the last trace of humanity out of her.

There are complications, however. Their daughter, Renesmee, is half human and half vampire, and in a world where vampires are forced to remain in the closet, it's not good to have a doddering child with a thirst for human blood, a flappy mouth, and no impulse control messing it up for everyone else. Naturally, the Volturi get wind of Renesmee and plan for a showdown with the Cullen clan as soon as the snow falls.

That gives the Cullens -- who have joined forces with the Wolves, on account of Jacob's interspecies crush -- to develop their powers. It turns out, they're not just vampires; they're like X-Men draculas, and as the Cullens collect allies from across the planet , they hone their abilities to manipulate the elements, bro-tase the enemy with their fingers, read each other's minds, and -- in the case of Bella -- develop her shield powers: If Bella concentrates really hard and looks like she's trying to pass a human head out of her ass, she can defend the Cullens from the wicked powers of those fiendish Volturi scamps.

The entire film, in fact maybe the entire series, is building toward that huge, spectacular showdown where the Cullens and their allies plan to defend Edward's family "Everyone deserves to fall in love with whomever they want," Carlisle says, as though campaigning for Washington to become the first state in the Union to allow for Vampire-Human marriage.

However, the biggest problem with Breaking Dawn Part 2, besides the fact that every single second of watching it feels like f*cking a fire ant-hill while someone is yanking out your nose hairs, is that seven-and-a-half hours of excruciating Mormon house-wife porn is all leading toward one spectacular head-ripping melee of cape-wearing, round-house kicking dildos and none of it counts. I won't spoil it for you, except to say that the only 20 minutes of gleeful, joyous fist-pumping display of vampire-killing in the whole exhausting Quadrilogy doesn't. f*cking. count. For a blithesome 20 minutes, Michael Sheen showed the Twilight world what it's like to witness a real actor before the screenwriter kicked us in our apple sacks and threw us back into abyss where Taylor Lautner's career will go to die. It is one of the most shamelessly cheap, frustratingly terrible endings ever put to film, like having mind-blowing sex only to discover, once the lights have been turned on, that you've been buggering your goddamn pillow the whole time.

It's a fitting end, however, to the Twilight series, which has been nothing but four years of interminable hype building toward crushing disappointment. It's a banal, brain-dead series, an epically tragic love story with no goddamn tragedy to speak of. The final film, like the series as a whole, is a hollow, soporific experience full of characters who only come to life in the minds of the middle-aged women hours after the movie has ended when they're lying beneath the Edward and Jacob posters in their daughters' rooms dying to feel something, anything, but malaise and blighted hope.

"Nashville": Come For The Music, Stay For ... The Music | Silver Linings Playbook Review: A Funny Character Drama for People Who Can Handle Being Spoken to As Adults

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • the other courtney


    It was fine. Cool fight scene at the end and yay, happily ever after. Whatever. The trailer for the Dick and Liz movie is worthy of way more vitriol.

  • alannaofdoom

    "Anti-sapient"! Well that's my new favorite word now.

  • abell

    Did anybody else notice that Wendell Pierce, aka, the Bunk, from the Wire was in this? What? Why? That depressed me so much more than the entire rest of the movie.

  • Skyler Durden is not logged in

    I saw a matinee this morning. This movie is terrible and jaw-droppingly stupid. However, it was a blast to watch in a theater packed with Twihards. They whooped! They clapped! They cheered, hollered, and yelled at the screen. You would think that this was the greatest day of their LIVES. I'm telling you, if you see this, see it with fans. Their earnest enthusiasm is delightful.

    I have to get some stuff off of my chest. Spoilers ahoy.

    1. Bella smells a mountain climber and loses her mind, yet is perfectly fine when her dad hugs her, his neck pressed against her face.

    2. Jacob exposes himself to Charlie, who is surprisingly nonplussed. At no point is it addressed that Charlie's new girlfriend, who we can assume he's banging, is also a werewolf.

    3. Charlie meets Renesmee as a baby, and doesn't seem at all surprised when, a few days later, she's, like, 7 years old.

    4. At one point, Bella stands in a sunbeam and sparkles. This is the only sparkling in the entire move, despite almost every scene taking place in broad daylight.

    5. I thought the point of the passports was to whisk the child away and keep her why are we bringing her to a battlefield?

    6. Who was the 'Jenks' guy? Is he relevant? Is he in the books or something?

    7. Why weren't the Volturi notified when Bella got pregnant? It could have avoided this whole misunderstanding.

    8. Clean cut, Pushing Daisies Lee Pace= meh. Older, scruffy, whiskered, leather trench wearing Lee Pace = I might never stop masturbating.

    I feel better now.

  • Jezzer

    This review is so magical that I don't even resent you for not making TK do it.

  • Bella is at first unhappy with the development, but soon learns that
    it’s beneficial to have free child care from an inbred two-by-four

    *falls over with glee*

  • ,

    You're not around here enough these days, m'love.

  • I think we should all give Michael Sheen the benefit of the doubt and forget that he was in these twilight movies. Like an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where we continue to not remember that he deigned to appear onscreen along a roundhouse kicking dildo and a bored 20-year-old girl.

  • duckandcover

    And there, on the night's breeze, came the hushed whisper of Meh from those who read the books.

  • dani

    I havent seen it and probably wont untill I can netflix it. But honestly, I thought part one was hilarious. I expect i when i get around to seeing this one I'll probably think the same thing. These aren't the most talanted actors and the source stuff isn't that great, but I feel like the whole series has been done has a joke. Like the directors just decided said "Hey , this is going to suck anyway so lets just see how bad we can make it." I just can't take them serious.

  • Sarah

    Aaaaand then Buffy staked Edward THE END.

  • Lee

    Dustin, you ALWAYS say the things that I think about certain movies, but you are funny. I am one of those 'mums' but fuck I hate Twihard and its aborted fetus, 50 Shades of Puke. There must be a lot of women out there feeling neglected by their hubbies and sexually frustrated - it's the only explanation for this inexplicable phenomenan. Sad I say.

  • Wonderful, funny review. I saw the first two painfully bad movies out of sheer curiousity. I remember a review for the 2nd film saying "Poor Bella. Still the dullest girl in the Pacific northwest". Amen to that, brother. Maybe I should go and see this one just to laugh at all the wrong moments like I did when I watched Tom Cruise in "Vanilla Sky" so many years ago. Sigh, I'm such a bad person :)

  • latvianlady

    OK, forty-something mom here, with an Ivy League diploma and a graduate degree, to boot. First, let me say that I love the above film review, and I completely believe it. Because yes, I have seen the previous 3 movies. However, I DID NOT see them because I'm into seeing naked teenage boys (I prefer 'em a bit older), but because I had read the books and I was curious to see how they were (albeit horribly) put to film. But do you know what you're going to hate most about this post? The fact that I liked the books. Quite a lot, actually. And some (not all) of my friends -- also 40-something moms, with MD's and PhD's -- liked them too. I know, it's weird, huh? I don't know how Stephanie Meyer did it, but the plot was actually GOOD. And I wanted to know what was going to HAPPEN NEXT, and so badly, that I tore through the books in one week's time. One of my theories on Meyer's stupendously bizarre ability is that her simplistic and uncluttered writing allowed me to read so God-damn quickly that my brain could focus on only processing a rush of pure, enjoyable plot. ... and I kind of wish I could do the same kind of black magic, so that I, too, could become a MILLIONAIRE stay-at-home mom. P.S. For some reason, the whole teen-wolf and baby vampire bonding-for-life-thing didn't seem creepy at all in the book -- but in the movie, it does look really pedophilic and makes me feel icky on the inside...

  • This forty-something graduate degree mom says Ditto.

    ps. Competition for creepy: CGI baby vs. Jacob imprinting on CGI baby. Not sure who won that one?

  • Tinkerville

    "..the plot was actually GOOD."

    And that's where you lost me. I say that as someone who tried to read them.

  • Lee

    I'm with you there Tinkerville. Couldn't make it through even a quarter of the first book without falling asleep with boredom.

  • Kelly

    No. Just no.

  • Zuffle

    Fuck me, Dustin, I love you like the brother I never laid.

  • Ben Morrison

    The poetry of hate.

  • Tinkerville

    *Slow clap*

  • John

    Yeah, let those middle-age hags have it! And the "Mormon" bit adds that tang of religious bigotry to the sexism and ageism!

  • Jezzer

    It must be exhausting combing through all the pop culture sites looking for isms.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'm a middle-aged hag and I wasn't offended at all. Possibly because I've never read the books or seen the movies but I enjoy Dustin's disgust over them.

  • David Sorenson

    Just make sure you find every single reason you can to be "offended" by the review. Heaven forbid you miss the full "outrage" experience. There's nothing worse than finding out you could have been more needlessly pissed off over nothing at all but didn't catch everything in the first go.

  • DarthCorleone

    I feel so empty. Now that it's over, isn't this sort of like Inigo Montoya with a great big hole in his heart due to a lack of vengeance to fulfill? I guess we can try piracy.

  • Miscie

    Thank you for the Dazed and Confused reference. Good ol' Wooderson.

  • bleujayone

    ...And so finally ends the national nightmare of banality that is Twilight; A series of piss-poorly written, acted, directed and produced movies that wouldn't even been exhibited in Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp on the grounds it would be far too cruel. It was the type of material that should have deservedly garnered reactions from theatergoers the likes of which have not been seen since Ted Striker would spin his endless yarns to unsuspecting passengers. They were the kind of movies so crappy that had Dr. Forrester shown the boys on the Satellite of Love, they would likely have had a 24-hour marathon of Reefer Madness randomly spliced in with the Atomic Cafe while getting Surge & Crystal Pepsi cocktail enemas just to wash the taste out of their mouths.

    But I would rather take a moment from curb-stomping these lazily made cash-grabs and instead look at the droves of drooling, sexually unsatisfied women that willing and regularly ponied up the money for what amounts to tweener porn. To them I say that they no longer have a leg to stand on for going after men who see movies for gratuitous tits & jiggle with accompanying exaggerated and pointless explosions. Men have their cock-rocker movies and you have flicks?

    At the risk of going on a neverending diatribe, let's just leave it at that- especially since we all know most of those folks will be making the natural and inevitable pilgrimage to the 50 Shades of Grey movie(s). And with that, the cycle of self-misogynist movies based on books that read like they were written by the female equivalent of Beavis & Butt-Head armed with a stack of dirty Mad Libs and fueled with a mixing bowl of Froot Loops with Jim Beam continues....

  • damnitjanet

    I may be a "drooling, sexually unsatisfied woman" but I'll be DAMNED if this would do a thing to satisfy my frustration. Sherlock Holmes, on the other hand....

  • damnitjanet

    Dustin, sorry you had to spend your birthday like that. But, GODDAMN I love you. Poetry, my dear, poetry.

  • athena23

    It's really, really hard to pick a favorite line but this: "Bella is at first unhappy with the development, but soon learns that it’s beneficial to have free child care from an inbred two-by-four while Edward fucks the last trace of humanity out of her." I WILL be incorporating "inbred two-by-four" into speech sometime soon. After I stop giggling about it.

  • Wow, reading this review is the most fun I've ever had with Twilight.

  • $27019454

    I am only a few paragraphs into this and I am kinda pissed. Middle aged former frat boys have been lusting after nubile girls onscreen in movies meant for guys half their age and no one thinks it is anything but "atta boy." Middle aged Bud drinkers go apeshit over boobs-with-a-pulse a la American Pie and movies of that ilk and it's funny wink-nudgy. Women do it to movies like this piece of crap and they are pitiful, ridiculous specimens. Kinda fucked up.

  • Your Daddy

    How many middle aged men do you know with Miley Cirus, Taylor Swift, and Selina Gomez posters on their walls? Better yet, how many of them stand outside of red carpet screenings screaming at them saying "I LOVE YOU!"? These middle aged women creepily talk about how they are infatuated (read: want to fck) with Jacob and Edward but I've yet to sit at the poker table whilst hearing "Dude, Selina Gomez is WAAAYYY hotter than Miley Cirus, are you kidding me??"

  • ,

    So everybody's all "atta boy" and nobody's squicky with that Courtney Stodden thing?

    News to me.

  • Lemon_Poundcake

    I want to read this review over and over. Which is more than I can say for those craptastic books.

  • melodrama + crazy action + self-aware humor = whats not to like yo?

  • lowercase_ryan

    God this sounds so fucking stupid it hurts me.

  • RedRage

    The carnage was beautiful. As all the audience screamed with horror for their beloved characters, my friend and I were enjoying it.

  • I kinda want to see it in the theater now, just to hear the sobs and screams of the Twihards. Is that wrong?

  • Groundloop

    I kinda want to see it too, but I am going to get so shitfaced first.

  • lowercase_see

    This review is exactly what a hungover Friday needed.

  • Puddin

    God I miss Thirsty Thursdays.

  • Donna SHerman

    Yup, sounds about right.

  • TheOtherGreg

    So, no thumbs up then?

  • BWeaves

    The worse the movie, the better the review. Thank you!

  • koko temur

    how delightfully filthy!

  • Fredo

    Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty! We're...

    /reads about movie adaptation of "50 Shades of Grey" coming to theaters motherfuckers...

  • Ozioma

    Don't forget about the movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's OTHER book, 'The Host'!

  • Maybe the best review I've ever many quotes I want to save, frame, and keep forever. Thank you for this.
    "An unrelenting assault of vacuous, stubbornly anti-sapient hormonal porn for middle-aged moms."
    "he’s biologically required to watch over and protect her until there is grass on the field, at which point he and his lupine manhood plan to play ball"
    ..pure magic

  • Chantelle Holmgren

    like having mind-blowing sex only to discover, once the lights have been turned on, that you’ve been buggering your goddamn pillow the whole time.
    still laughing and picking out the frame and matte momentarily..

  • Puddin

    Well dammit, now I want to know how it ends.

  • Puddin

    Ugh! I hate my compulsive need to Google everything. Seriously, y'all. It's the WORST.

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    I'm actually more interested to know why the Cullens all dress like an Abercrombie catalogue, and yet all the other vampire clans - the darkskinned ones - dress like Tarzan set extras.

    I mean, come on now.

  • Hannah

    Haven't read the books or seen the movies but I clicked that link and... wow. That's... yeesh. That's some cynical filmmaking, that is. Although I suppose I should have known better than to expect High Art. Or even Middle Art. Or even Not Crap.

  • Donna SHerman

    So...basically the same as the book, then? Chickens.

  • athena23

    I'm as compulsive as you and had to click the link and really, it is. The. Worst. So glad I never intended to see it anyway.

  • Never change, Dustin. This review is magical.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    It's too bad these vampires are immune to fire, because you'd have taken them all out with that burn.

  • Maguita NYC

    Forget the vampire burn! I really would like to ask Dustin for that pillow's phone number...

  • ClaireB

    I think i'm going to cry. Thank you, thank you.

  • mswas

    Way to bring the scathe, Dustin!

  • Bless you, Pajiba. This review had me cackling.

blog comments powered by Disqus