Movie Review Time: I'm in the middle about Breaking Dawn Pt2

Discussion of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2

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Movie Review Time: I'm in the middle about Breaking Dawn Pt2

Post by December »

Didn't love it, didn't hate it -- or maybe loved some parts and hated others. This is a thread where you can meet up with fellow fans who were in the middle about the movie and add your middling-enthusiastic review.

Please remember that this is a review thread, not a discussion thread. If you have a different view about the movie, there's a suitable thread for you to post your own review on. Please respect others' opinions.
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Re: Movie Review Time: I'm in the middle about Breaking Dawn

Post by Tornado »

There were some things I didn't like about the movie, but I think other things put it over the line between like and sitting in the middle.

The things I didn't like: The scenes at the start of the movie with the Cullen family seemed really rushed, as if they were hurrying to get them all in. It was moving VERY fast. I did not like the cottage scene at all - it had none of the eroticism of part one's love scenes. It seemed like just a minute of a few disjointed images put together with no real sense. I did like the scene where Bella and Edward were just lying together talking, though.

I did not like the face replacement on the younger versions of Renesmee. I didn't think it worked at all. It looked just plain odd. I know that kind of stuff is really tricky, but I had hoped it would be better than that.

I didn't like the revelation that Jasper and Alice had gone. It was passed over so quickly that I think it would have been easy to miss if you hadn't read the book and the sense of abandonment that was in the book just wasn't there.

The things I did like: I liked Jacob stripping in front of Charlie and the look on Charlie's face. Billy Burke nailed that scene, as expected. I liked Bella attacking Jacob when she found out about the imprinting, and the pleased look on Edward's face as she did that. Priceless. I did like meeting all the other vampires, particularly Benjamin, the Amazons and the Romanians.

And now a special section about the battle. I had already guessed they were going to do that, and it is, unfortunately, a huge plot hole, because Alice cannot 'see' either the wolves or Renesmee, so they should not be there at all (and this is something that has been established as canon in the movies, so it's difficult to brush it off). However, I found the whole battle scene just so damn enjoyable that I am prepared to overlook that. It was brilliantly done. I especially loved seeing Edward and Bella fight as a team and the fact that Edward finally got to show that he is a great fighter. I loved that he and Bella were the ones who killed Aro.

And I did love the ending scene in the meadow, which was how I imagined it would be, and was a nice way to wrap it up. I liked them acknowledging everyone in the credits, too.

Here's my youtube review if anyone's interested.
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Re: Movie Review Time: I'm in the middle about Breaking Dawn

Post by Suzan »

Very nice review, Lynne! Always enjoy your video reviews. And such a cute dog in the background! I noticed the long forehead on baby Renesmee as well. I quickly got over it, but I agree that it still looks a bit strange on the babies. But I recently saw the Ellen show with Nikki Reed and Mackenzie Foy (Here’s the clip.) and I have to say that she does have a little bit of a high forehead so I think the babies actually do look like her. And I’m definitely not saying it’s a bad feature. I have a relatively large forehead as well. I think they did really well with the CGI considering the complexity and the amount.
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Re: Movie Review Time: I'm in the middle about Breaking Dawn

Post by Tornado »

Yes, I noticed that Mackenzie has a wide forehead, so that's probably why they did it, but it still looked odd.
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Re: Movie Review Time: I'm in the middle about Breaking Dawn

Post by alphanubilus »

Much like many of my other fellow Twi-hards, I'm really feel like the final film is a mixed bag. Over all I loved it, but at the same time, felt sort of cheated...

I've said this from the very beginning, one of the hardest parts about the Twilight book to screen adaptations, is that they tried to stay too "faithful" to the books, versus "tweaking" the scripts to make a better viewing experience. I know some people will cry foul... purests always do, but as a screenwriter and a novelist, I never write the same exact story for both, as both require totally different requirements.

When I go to a movie, I don't want to see an exact interpretation of the book on screen either, as no film will ever beat what I have in my head. I want a good movie... I want a different experience. If I wanted the same experience, I'd just read the book.

Several highly successful film adaptations made dramatic changes from the book to the screen. Lord of the Rings made HUGE changes, such as leaving Tom Bombedil completely out. He's a major player in the book series. They also moved Shelob's lair from Two Towers to Return of the King. I know people who hated the fact that they made those dramatic changes, but upon seeing the movies, they were floored at how good they were. They weren't the books, but they were a great movie.

Jurassic Park is another fantastic example. In the book John Hammond is a cruel, stubbern, unrepentent scrooge, who DIES at the end. In the movie, his character goes through a sort of evolution, and he wisens up, and lives. There is no dramatic T-Rex vs. Raptor fight, and Genero lives (he dies in the movie). Many of the characters get reworked for the film, the science gets dummed down for children, and story is shortened dramatically... yet the movie went on the be one of the highest grossing films for that year, and several years afterward.

See what I mean...?

I will get to my point in a moment...

My first complaint is the pacing of the first half of the film. It feels uneven... Some parts get rushed, some parts feel like they are being dragged out, and some parts you wonder why it is even in the film. (The Christmas present scene). I'd much rather had more emotion and such with the Alice/ Jasper leaving scene, versus that scene. I felt that this powerful scene was so underdeveloped, that it seemed like nobody cared that Alice and Jasper were suddenly gone.

In respect to the "Final Battle"... I loved the build up. I loved the feeling of dread, and over all I liked the fight, but to have it all be a poorly explained vision, is Deux ex Machina in all its horrid fashion. This is the worse type of storytelling, and for fans, such as myself, it fails. It's a great battle, and it gives you heartbreak and everything that you would expect, but then... BOOM... "OH it's not real."...

They could have had a really snazzy final battle without killing the main characters. Fans would be forgiving if they saw some of the new wolves die, or a few of the Nomands like Peter, or some characters from the other covens. Fans would be forgiving if the even Vulturi died. I've been wanting to pop Aro's head since book 2...

A movie exists in a different world than the books, so this would be reasonable. In the film world, the Vulturi are finished. It was a hard battle, lots of people of both sides died, but we still have our main cast. They made it, some scarred, but all still standing. No gimmick needed.

In all I still give this movie 3 paws out of 5, but it won't have my vote for "Greatest Movie of the Year"... I think it will be a close tie between "The Hobbit" and "The Amazing Spider-Man"...

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Re: Movie Review Time: I'm in the middle about Breaking Dawn

Post by corona »

alphanubilus, I mostly agree with your assessment. There were parts at the beginning that were uneven, that didn't have the impact I thought it would have. I also agree that Alice leaving didn't have the emotional impact it should have.

I tend to agree with you on "real" vs "vision" battle, a real battle would have been better in many ways, and for the very reasons you give. However, some of us here have tried out the various possible endings and couldn't come up with a good solution. Canon is uneventful, Vision is something of a cop out, and Real works well but has real deaths.

Some of us did try to figure that one out, but I know I couldn't come up with a workable solution, one that is great cinema while not turning off the fanbase. Frankly, I was surprised how well the vision actually turned out.

The biggest drawback to having a real battle was Cullen deaths. I take your point that you could have avoided primary character deaths, but that itself could have come across as a little too convenient. After all, the Cullens make up almost half of the vampires on their side, to battle with the Volturi and have the Cullens come out fully intact and the Volturi vanquished would be really pushing the realism.

The only way I could see having a real battle with no Cullen deaths is adding a lot more cannon fodder for the Cullen side but that actually gives the game away early. Possibly you could have the witnesses turn on the Volturi, but you are starting to get so far away from the book that I don't think the reaction from fans is going to be good.

That isn't to say canon can't be tossed if it gets in the way of a good story, only that it doesn't matter if a real battle can be pulled off while completely alienating fans because the movie became so radically different than the book. That's the way Stephenie set things up and she had a purpose for doing it that way. She tied so much of her ending story into this non-violent ending that it pretty well sabotaged any real movie battle. The ability to walk away from the confrontation unscathed was of such obvious central importance that changing that would have made the story unrecognizable.

I believe Edward shows concern in the movie, for example, that people are putting their lives on the line for the choice that he made, loving a human. That isn't stated in the book, but I always took that anyway as important before I even saw the movie. Movie Edward is actually giving us a clue to at least one of the reasons why the battle coming up is not real. Symbolically, the non-violent ending was important in order for B&E to continue on to their HEA without feelings of guilt that they somehow made the wrong choice, that others paid for the choices they made. Deaths would have cast a pall on those last few chapters. It's simply the way Stephenie set things up. Putting deaths into the movie changes some things that are central to her story.

That's just one of those things that if you do it, you decide to go there and make it important, then it makes it really really difficult to change later for a movie adaptation.
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