Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser
SPOILER ALERTS!!! I do need to preface that I am overall a fan of the Twilight series. I've seen the movies numerous times. I've read the first three books and am pretty far into the fourth one. However, I would not consider myself a full blown out Twi-Hard though.
When a movie starts with a pissed off Jacob (Lautner) running out of his house and ripping his shirt off in the rain, you would hope that moment is not one of the best moments of a movie. I say that because you don't want to peek so early on in the movie that there is nothing to look forward to later. Unlike some of the other Twilight movies, Shirtless Jacob only happens for about two seconds in this entry. Getting an invite for the Bella Swan-Edward Cullen wedding would piss me off to if I was madly in love with Bella. Why anyone would be in love with her is beyond me. Unfortunately, she picked the vampire over the werewolf. The wedding goes off without a hitch. No major drama for Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattison). There are some disgruntled relatives, but there are always disgruntled relatives at a wedding.
After the wedding is over, Edward whisks Bella away and takes her on a getaway honeymoon on some remote family island. Bella and Edward decide to have sex for the first time on their honeymoon. As fun as that sounds, it's all too risky for a human and vampire in the Twilight world. Due to Edward's super human strength he could actually kill her. The chances of her getting pregnant are supposed to be slim. If she were to carry a baby, it would kill her as it is part vampire and part human. The next morning Bella wakes up bruised and in a broken bed. Edward is clearly far stronger than he thought. A couple of days pass before Bella starts to get sick. She feels nauseous and realizes that the slim possibility of getting pregnant has happened. They leave the island and return to the Cullen household to take care of Bella and decide what to do with the demon baby. The werewolves find out that Bella is pregnant and go after the Cullens. Due to the fact that Bella could die, the treaty between the vampires and werewolves has been broken. Jacob must decide if he will take sides with his own kind, the werewolves, or protect Bella who he still harbors feelings over. The demon baby starts to grow at an alarming rate causing her bodily harm. Turning her into a vampire will save her life, but she can't turn until she's had the baby. Hopefully, she doesn't die before it is born.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is adapted from the first half of the final book in the series. Twilight is a huge cash cow with millions of fans. Summitt Entertainment wanted to capitalize on this by turning the final book into two movies. The problem is that there isn't enough material to make two full movies out of it. Much of Part 1 drags on without any driving force or action behind it. The wedding and honeymoon scenes could be edited down to twenty or thirty minutes. By this far into the series, I've grown accustomed to the writing style. In the first three movies, the cheese factor is sky high. The screenplay is chalk full of horrible one-liners and bad acting choices. I'd hate to fault the screenwriter because the original source material is written so terribly. I'm assuming she is just trying to stay faithful to the original text written by Stephenie Meyer. The fourth entry is no different. Same cheese, same dialogue, same bad acting. Before you think that I just hated the movie, there are some redeeming qualities. I appreciate the fact that they got rid of the horrible pasty look for Edward and his family. They look far more naturalistic and you still believe they are vampires. Hair and make-up design was far better than it ever has been. It's unfortunate that the better actors like Anna Kendrick, Michael Sheen, and Billy Burke are reduced to such minor roles in this one. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson aren't strong enough to carry the movie. Pattinson and Lautner have improved with their characters and give them more humanity, while Stewart does nothing with Bella. I don't feel like she's grown or changed at all throughout the course of the four movies. Make sure to stay through the credits. There is a pivotal scene with head vampire, Aro (Sheen), that sets up what could be a great finale. I haven't finished reading the book yet, but here's hoping Part 2 brings it all home and delivers an epic finale to make up for a lackluster Part 1.
RATING: **1/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars)