By Roger Moore
Whatever happens before it, the finale is a doozy, almost certain to be satisfying to fans and impressive even to the casual “Twilight” viewer.
But so much of what comes before that payoff in “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” the conclusion to “The Twilight Saga,” is mundane, dull, all talk and no action.
It’s a made-for-Lifetime movie about teen vampires, with talk-talk-talking leads muttering romance novel lines, a vast clutter of late-to-the-saga new characters, that same blue-grey production design, more digital wolves and incessant, insipid music
In other words, pretty much what we’ve come to expect from this finally-ending never-ending saga.
Director Bill Condon (“Kinsey,” “Gods and Monsters”) never quite overcomes the sense that he feels this is all beneath him with this second half of the book he got to film to finish “Twilight” off. He’s still too-quick to look for the joke, none-too-subtle when looking for excuses to have Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner strip. But the barely-concealed contempt of “Breaking Dawn — Part 1” doesn’t show.
Bella’s baby, Renesmee, is growing up fast, but mostly outside of her grasp. A “newborn” vampire herself, Bella (Kristen Stewart) doesn’t know her own strength, so others nurse he child. Bella revels in her heightened awareness of nature, her sharper senses. She can toss hubby Edward (Robert Pattinson) around and have her way with him any time she wants.
“I was born to be a vampire,” she narrates. Then, she kicks the brawny Emmett’s butt (Kellan Lutz) at arm wrestling to show she’s wholly Cullen-ized.
Lee Pace and Rami Malek are standouts among the legion of newcomers hurled into the saga. And I have to say, after four films and untold tons of heavily made-up heavy-breathing close-ups, the casting of that original corps of Cullens and humans has worked out wonderfully. The gorgeous supporting players, from Peter Facinelli and Nikki Reed to Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone, never treated this teen romance as anything less than “War and Peace.”
The movies around them, however, have veered from tepid to time-stands-still tedious. The passionate panting first-love of the first films has settled into an embattled but lusty couple setting up housekeeping, the effects have improved marginally and, as said at the outset, the ending and the epilogue pack a punch.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.