The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (is it me, or are these titles getting longer and longer?) probably isn’t the best of the sparkly vampire bunch, but I’ll give it this much, for a series that is finally fully embracing itself as less of an exercise in quality thrillers and more of a teenage soap opera, this is a satisfyingly sudsy flick.
It ain’t for everyone (read here: me), but this sequel certainly sucks in its target audience (hi there, girls). For those following Stephenie Meyers’ girl-meets-bloodsucker saga, now in its fourth movie, there isn’t a whole lot Breaking Dawn doesn’t have. There’s a wedding, a romantic honeymoon (complete with busted headboard — how it got that way is an off-camera procedure) — and, well, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Bella with a baby carriage. And a super-industrial teething ring, ‘cause junior’s likely arriving with fangs. (If breast feeds are in the parenting plan for this couple, one word for Bella: ouch.)
The acting hasn’t improved much, not that anyone will be overly invested in that area. Ditto for the action sequences, which are so dark and muddled, it’s tough to tell if the vampires are handing it to the werewolves, or vice versa. But again, the deal here is Edward (the slightly less pasty Robert Pattinson, proving a getaway off the coast of Rio does a creature of the night good) and Bella (Kristen Stewart), their nuptials and all the tween gooey goodness that goes with it. And in that department, Breaking Dawn has enough cheesy topping to work. By the way, the movie is directed by Bill Condon, who also helmed Dreamgirls. I figured a dance number here would’ve been kinda cool, but no such luck.
Oh, and in case you’re interested Twilight fans, it takes about 14 seconds into the film for Taylor Lautner, the head of the wolf pack, to take his shirt off. Y’know, just in case you needed another reason to get in line.
Out of a possible five stars, I’ll give The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 a two and a half. The feature is currently playing at the Pen-Mar Cinema Centre in Penticton.
Jason Armstrong is a movie reviewer living and watching in the Okanagan.