The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 Review
“It Was The Worst Book Of The Series, But It's The Best Film Of The Saga.”
November 19th, 2011
I'll start off with the complete honest truth. Truth in which I'm proud of; I've read all four Twilight novels, and since 2008 when the first book published by the fascinating Stephanie Meyer, I've been a fan of the Twilight Saga. Just because I'm a fan of the books, however, doesn't necessarily mean that I'm the biggest fan of the movies. The first three films were guilty pleasures; they weren't the best adaptations ever, but they were still a good example of a popcorn flick. The reason the movies have never really stuck with me as the books did is because they got just about everything wrong. Twilight was an epic saga to read and they each took me two days, less if I didn't have to do other things throughout the day.
The movies have never had the chance to cross upon the term "epic" because they mostly lack the flare Stephanie Meyer crafted. Because of the movies, a lot of men, for say, refuse to have any part in Twilight because they think its "gay" or whatever silly term that want to tag it as. Yes, I can agree that sparkling vampires is a little silly but if these films were adapted into a script by Stephanie Meyer herself I believe the movies would have a more open fan base, even from those who claim it as "gay". I'm hoping one day, far from now, that these movies get the adaptations they deserve from the start. If it wasn't for all the mistakes Catherine Hardwicke caused with the horrible adaptation with the first Twilight (I mean, it wasn't even close to similar as the novel), this saga would have had a better chance with a lot of things. Luckily, the second and third entries were put in better hands but there wasn't much they could do to fix all of Hardwicke's mistakes.
With all that being said, I can surprisingly announce that Breaking Dawn is the best of the saga thus far, mostly because it followed the book as close as possible. We still have the second half to see, but I think this installment was put into the right hands. Being the worst book of the four (I found it to be a bit of a slow conclusion); Bill Condon has beautifully crafted the best film of the saga. Almost everything about the film was spot-on, besides a few flaws we've witnessed with the first three entries. Even with the flaws, Condon worked his best to polish them up as best as possible to please the audiences (even boyfriends dragged into this) with the epic conclusion they deserve. Being a fan of the books, I'm proud to say that I've finally walked out of one with a smile on my face due to it actually being loyal to the literature.
Let's put it this way; there is the character Bella Swan in the books and then there's the character Bella Swan in the movies. Bella Swan in the movies is very stolid, dry, and confusing with just about everything. Her face is always played with no emotion, and it's almost as if she's supposed to be this lifeless character throughout every moment of her waking life. The Bella Swan in the books is interesting, curious, and her thoughts on everything going on around her make the beautiful human that she is. She isn't supposed to be stolid and boring like the films make her out to be, or how Kristen Stewart likes to play her. This is a huge factor to why a lot of people dislike these films. Kristen Stewart has never really taken the time to understand the character completely. She may fit the role by her looks, but in personality she just doesn't fit the character all that well. All this put aside, I was able to get past that with Breaking Dawn, due to the circ*mstances of what her character goes through in this one. This time, her solidness actually works to her advantage.
Robert Pattinson is not a bad actor. In fact, he's a great actor. Though his role as Edward Cullen over the years may not be his greatest highlight (even he's admitted to that), he's shown audiences through other films like Remember Me and this year's incredible Water for Elephants that he's stable of giving excellent performances, maybe even Oscar-worthy ones. Now, Edward Cullen is a difficult character to play. Pattinson may not do it perfectly but through some rough dialogue he makes due. The first Twilight film I hated him, but it wasn't really his fault. Eclipse was when I really accepted him into the role, and in Breaking Dawn I think he's done a fine job. He gathers more life into Cullen this time and adds a lot of flare and intensity into each scene. Because of this, Breaking Dawn wasn't the train-wreck it could have been.
As for Taylor Lautner, well, he's still Taylor Lautner. He must be the worst casting decision for a movie-character ever. In the first film, Taylor was scrawny and didn't fit the role of Jacob at all whatsoever. For that, he should never have been giving the role. Though I do give him kudos for bulking up in less than a year and making himself fit for the role, he never carried the acting capability to play the role off. Because of the bad mistakes made in the first flick (See how those caused the entire saga to suffer), Jacob Black, the poor character, was never given the good recognition. He was a fun character to read along with in the novels, but because of Lautner, I hate him in the movies.
There were a lot of things that I loved about Breaking Dawn. One thing in particular was the wedding sequence, both of them. The dream wedding turned nightmare was beautifully shot. The use of white and red was astounding and even though it never happened in the book, it was an aspect I adored in the film. Then with the real wedding-sequence, I enjoyed the amount of humor used to make it feel a bit more realistic. It may have felt a little over-the-top, but it was a very well-made scene. The soundtrack throughout these scenes was perfect too, especially the piano piece playing during the vows.
All and all, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is the best of the film series. It has intensity that none of the other installments could ever grasp. It may be quiet on the violence, but the drama is very entertaining, even if it is hard to get into the idea of a vampire impregnating a human. This is fiction, people, as far as I'm concerned it has every right to do whatever they want with vampire mythology. I can't wait to see part two, especially after the ending, which definitely lived up to expectation. I honestly don't think it needs an UNCUT version on the DVD, because the final-cut was very bloody. This film definitely could have passed for an R-rating and while I am surprised that it didn't, I'm just glad that it passed as a good movie overall. It's the best of the saga, see it.
Thanks for the read!
-Written by Corey Wood