The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1

Even though I hadn’t read the fourth Twilight book, I had some curiosity regarding its film adaptations. Someone spoiled a couple of the events that took place on its pages, and I wanted to see how the filmmakers would attempt to show that to an audience and still keep a PG-13 rating. After seeing Breaking Dawn: Part 1, I no longer care. All that happens are a bunch of blackouts that stop us from seeing anything important, and then flashbacks that give us a general idea.

I’ll give you an example. Bella and Edward (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) get married. They go on a honeymoon. They have sex. While they have sex, we fade to black before anything happens. The next morning, while Bella tries to remember it, we get closeups of the two characters’ faces and pretty much nothing else. We understand what happened — or at least, those over the age of 10 or so will understand — but we don’t actually see anything that might be boundary pushing. Something happens later on that’s much more intense, although less sensual, and the same technique is used.

And, learning that, most of the interest I had in the upcoming films — I still can’t believe there are two of them — had disappeared. I still hoped for a good, or at least kind of good movie, as that’s what Eclipse was, but anything that might have been genuinely enjoyable simply couldn’t be shown. I knew that it would be hard anyway, as some of the content is really graphic, but my hopes were up anyway. I guess that’s what I get for having any sort of hopes for a Twilight movie.

I’ve already brought you to most of the story of this film, so let’s just skip right to the end of any actual progression. Bella gets pregnant, and after some disbelief — “That can happen? — that’s kind of amusing, she starts getting sick. That progresses as everyone sits around her and that’s all that happens for the rest of the movie, right up until the last ten minutes or so, which I won’t reveal because that would be spoiling. You can probably guess exactly what will happen, though, as it’s not at all shocking and is pretty much required given the direction the series has taken ever since the first one started.

That’s it. Nothing more happens, and most of the film seems to just be waiting for the pregnancy to end, one way or another. The werewolf tribe has some internal squabbling, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and Edward still aren’t seeing eye to eye, and nothing much goes on during the almost two hour running time. To call this the least eventful Twilight yet would be an understatement; this is one of the least eventful movies that I’ve ever seen.

If you’re not already on-board with the franchise, this film won’t win you over. In fact, it might turn away some borderline fans. For instance, I enjoyed Eclipse and I didn’t think the first film was that bad. This one killed any and all expectations I had for Part 2. It’s just that bad. It didn’t need to be, but in order for it to be better, the filmmakers would have had to make Breaking Dawn into just one movie, and that would result in less money.

See, a lot of the “content” in this film feels like filler to me, included just so that the studio could separate the book into two films. There isn’t enough here to justify it, but if you keep the characters talking — saying nothing, but talking nonetheless — then you’ll please the fans who don’t really want their series to end, while also making everyone pay for two tickets instead of one. All the action will be crammed into Part 2, while this film just gets to sit there and, unfortunately, not really even set up anything.

It’s all so dull and nothing gets accomplished. If you are a borderline fan, just watch the trailer for Part 2 and you’ll learn everything that happened in this movie without having to sit through all the tedium. There is nothing here that justifies taking up more than 15 minutes of your time, and it’s definitely not worth whatever you might pay to see it. Even if it’s free, your time is more valuable than this.

By now, the actors could probably play these characters in their sleep. For some of them, that might not be too much of a stretch. Previous films had some characters showing some emotion; this one has everyone as monotone and straight-faced as possible, even with Bella’s life on the line. I didn’t understand why certain people acted as they did. It was like they didn’t care, even when they were spouting off lines, telling other characters that they’d die to protect Bella because she’s family now! It doesn’t make sense, and none of the performances will draw you in.

Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is the worst film in the franchise so far, and if it’s indicative of Part 2, then you’re going to want to skip that one, too. This is a dreadfully boring, slow moving movie where nothing happens and what does happen makes little sense. There are no real characters here, the dialogue exists just to fill up time, and I felt defeated by the end of it. I wasted two hours of my life watching this film, and everything I learned could be gained by watching a two-minute trailer for the second part.

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