“Breaking Dawn 2,” the final installment of “The Twilight Saga,” pulls a winking rabbit out of its fan-pleasing hat as it brings closure to Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black’s supernatural love triangle.
The penultimate surprises director Bill Condon pulls aren’t neat tricks, but they allow the movie to veer away from the novels’ trite and kooky yarn-spinning. But, be forewarned: Expect the unexpected!
Still, you don’t need Alice’s precognitive skills to see some things coming. When Aro (Michael Sheen) and the Volturi coven get wind of the possibility that Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), Edward and Bella’s dhampir daughter (a vampire-human crossbreed), might be an immortal (a human child who’s been turned into a vampire), they set out to destroy the potential threat to their blood-sucking existence! —But, not if Bella, Jacob, Edward and their fanged allies from all over the world can help it!
Moreover, the Volturi needn’t have taken the long trip from Tuscany to Forks had they only verified their source! But, if they had, the movie wouldn’t have an action-packed conclusion, right?
Meanwhile, Jacob finds himself in a pretty pickle when he earns the ire of Bella, who hits the roof after she learns that her daughter has been “imprinted” upon by her best friend. Her anger isn’t without merit, though—because Jacob’s involuntary act has turned Renesmee into his—soul mate! Eww.
“Breaking Dawn 2” is a vast improvement over its sulky, sluggish and self-indulgent predecessor. This time, the movie gets a boost from the episodic thrills it offers—especially when its always-close-up-ready characters forget to pose and posture for the cameras.
The vampires-versus-werewolves franchise that turned Pattinson and Stewart into global cult figures hasn’t really given them opportunities to dip beneath the surface of their characters’ picture-perfect smiles and pseudo-existentialist brooding. With Jacob always in the background, you can’t help but notice the ambiguity and fragility of their love for each other. —A case of art imitating life?
After “Twilight,” Lautner has an even bigger challenge to hurdle, because he has yet to prove that there’s more to him than his swoon-worthy six-pack. After all, he can’t take his shirt off every time his character hits an emotional impasse, as Jacob does in his scene with Bella’s concerned father, Charlie. But, as his happy oglers squealed behind us, “Why not?!”