Movie Review:: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Obligatory disclaimer: My girlfriend asked me to see this.

Going into Breaking Dawn, I had only seen about 45 minutes of the first movie, while slightly intoxicated at a party several years ago.  It wasn’t good enough to hold my drunken attention (which can usually tolerate more), so the thought of seeing a sober Twilight sequel without any context of what happened in between was slightly frightening.

But I guess not a lot technically happened.  Where I left off in the first one, Bella was drooling over Edward, and Jacob was mildly involved somehow.  At the start of Breaking Dawn, Bella is marrying Edward, and Jacob is mildly involved somehow.  It’s like the two movies in between didn’t even happen!

Nothing happened for the first hour of Breaking Dawn.  In fact, one thing I would like to point out about this movie is the pacing.  There are numerous times where there are these super long stretches of literally no dialogue, and just music plays over scenes of people doing normal things.  It’s as if 75% percent of the movie was composed of uninteresting music videos.  It eventually got to the point (the second time they did it), where I started to notice these dialogue-less music breaks, and I became slightly obsessed with them.  It’s like they broke every rule of good film storytelling, and the audience was still eating it up.  There could have been a scene of Edward and Bella eating sandwiches for 3 minutes with an Evanescence song playing over it, and I’m fairly confident they could have pulled it off.

The acting…  well…  pretty ridiculous.  Lots of phoning it in.  Taylor “Llama” Lautner is probably tied with Channing Tatum as my favorite unintentionally hilarious actor.  Kristen Stewart actually did a convincing job (SPOILER ALERT!) playing a corpse.  Very convincing lifeless performance.  Probably a lot of real life practice being an empty shell of a person.  I’m not sure that any of these actors care about the quality of their work in these movies anymore.

That’s kind of how I felt about a lot of the movie.  I think a lot of hard work went into making Breaking Dawn, from the set designs to the special effects (not great, but I’ve seen much worse), but the featured players like the actors, the director, and the editor; they just don’t seem like they care.  It came across as a very lazy film to me.  And who can blame them for being so lazy?  If this is considered the best of the Twilight films, then the bar is obviously set pretty low for the target audience.

Breaking Dawn isn’t trying to be Apocalypse Now.  In fact if I asked the majority of the audience in the theater I was in if they’d seen Apocalypse Now, I bet they’d say “HUH? What’s that?”.  I’d obviously be wrong to compare Twilight to a respectably decent film, or to relate it to the scope of all films.  It’s a specialty film, a film designed for a very specific target audience.  It would be like comparing Hannah Montana to Breaking Bad.  Twilight: Breaking Dawn isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen by a long shot.  I don’t even think it’s in the bottom 5 worst movies I’ve seen this year.  It functions for what it is, and if it makes who it’s supposed to happy, then good for it.  Unintentional laughs at least kept me slightly interested.  But, I mean, in terms of raw filmmaking…  it’s not very good, or very well constructed.  Or very well acted.  Or very well scripted.

It’s sad that barely anybody saw Drive or 50/50, and yet Twilight will make a billion dollars.  It’s kind of annoying in the same way that Jeff Dunham and Larry the Cable Guy are the highest grossing stand-up comedians while Louis C.K. exists on the same planet.  But it’s not worth wasting my time thinking about these things, really.  Not unless I wanted to be unhappy all the time.  I saw a Twilight movie in theaters, it happened, and now I will simply go back to watching the regular things I watch.  No need for me to think about it too much.

13-year-old girl rating:  OMG out of 10

Normal person rating:  5.5 out of 10

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