Animadversion: Vampires, werewolves and the end of an era
As we end Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2, the finale of the love affair between chalk-white vampires, humans, werewolves and hybrid beings, we see leads Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and his newborn vampire-wife Bella (Kristen Stewart) at one of those familiar violet-flowered meadows from the first Twilight Saga film. The grass looks greener, the atmosphere serene with a bookend flashback recounting key scenes of the destined-to-be duo’s first encounter four years ago.
The moment is beautiful, complete with a self-congratulatory whizzing of author Stephenie Meyer’s book’s last few pages that tell us that they lived happily ever after “forever”. So, why do notes of the bittersweet end song, A Thousand Years, performed by Christina Perri, sound distinctly like a looming threat?
I am not one of those dizzied by the vacant-eyed and scrupulously apathetic performance of Stewart, or Pattinson’s young Jimmy Dean-ish charisma. But there’s no denying Twilight’s pop-culture iconism.
This finale of a long-winded, two part-er directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) is a fine closing point — and it features a heck of a vampire/werewolf brawl. Vampire heads fling about like bottle corks on snow-covered ground as delegates from the suspiciously evil-looking Volturi (the Italian vampire order prevalent from the second film) takes it down with the Cullen family and their assortment of unique friends by Breaking Dawn’s climax.
The Volturi, led by the wilily flamboyant Michael Sheen and a passive Dakota Fanning, feel insecure since Bella gave birth at the end of the last film. The child, Renesmee, is a human-vampire hybrid who is growing at an incredible pace (she starts out as a digitally-created baby and becomes a pre-teen in a matter of weeks). And she is believed to be a contravention of vampire law — a half-immortal of unique new abilities — or so the Volturi think.
Jacob (Taylor Lautner), as die-hard fans know, “imprints” on Edward and Bella’s newborn. Their relationship, which may become similar to Edward and Bella’s, may sound sweet in theory. However, the image that plays on the screen is anything but — especially when an ever-present Jacob consistently looks at a 10-something Renesmee with restrained, oogly eyes.
Released by Lionsgate, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2, is rated PG-13. There’s an artsy love scene and a keen supernatural brawl.