Director: Bill Condon
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Want to see the real walking dead? Then, feel free to knock yourself out by joining the throngs of swooning, panting, glassy-eyed Twi-hards who’ll be packing any theater showing The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1. It’s the fourth movie made from Stephenie Meyer’s series of weirdly successful, bizarrely prudish potboiler bestsellers built around the love triangle of an edgy, misfit young beauty named Bella, Edward, a broodingly seductive vampire, and an equally broodingly seductive wolfboy, Jacob.
Swirling around these three stick figures is a long-simmering, brutal, to-the-death war between their respective tribes. Meyer’s oeuvre may be no more than dumbed-down Romeo and Juliet-meets Gone With the Wind romance novel porn but fans can’t seem to get enough of her Lifetime movie-style silliness. Although directed by the highly gifted Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Gods and Monsters) Breaking Dawn, Part 1—in which Bella marries Edward and nearly dies giving birth to a life-sucking demon child – neither messes with the formula nor challenges its massive viewership by bothering to show an ounce of originality, quirk or style.
Slow, stodgy and taking itself so seriously that it topples into camp, the flick is a horror show of cut and paste plotting, one-note characters, soda-snortingly bad dialogue, cheesy CGI, laughable wigs and makeup and acting that would only pass muster in small town community theater. Make that a very small town. While the physically awkward Kristen Stewart continues to snort often and look utterly miserable, Taylor Lautner, this generation’s Keanu Reeves, only seems to remotely lifelike when he rips off his shirt. Meanwhile, Robert Pattinson spends most of his screen time either looking bored or trying to stifle a good giggle. We understand completely. Wait. Does that mean we’re on Team Edward?