Director: Bill Condon
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Much of the 115-minute running time of the fifth and last of the films in the much-loved, much-loathed Twilight franchise plays like it has had the life sucked out of it.
In fact, dawn has long ago broken for the movie version of the massively popular series of books that feature some of the stiffest, least natural acting ever committed to celluloid. But here we are again, stuck with Kristen Stewart’s nasal, jaw-clenched, whiny Bella Swan, now finally morphed into a kickass, kung fu–strong vampire thanks to love bites from her forever mate, Edward, played by Robert Pattinson in his series-best performance. Just when the moonstruck duo finally seem so happy together—sigh!—their half-vampire baby Renesmee (seriously?) turns out to be a superchild, growing monstrously fast and capable of floating skyward while catching snowflakes. But for all the build-up, the movie only really gets cracking in the finale when our New World vampires must face down the monstrous Old World Volturi overlord vamps, led by Michael Sheen (campier and, hopefully, richer than ever). Things get bloody, heavy, surprising and thrilling. They also even get emotional, finally. Look, it isn’t saying much, but those 20-odd minutes of mayhem and regret are the very best things in the entire Twilight series, let alone this entire dull movie. At least it’s over. Until the inevitable Twilight: The Next Generation, which you know must be in some stage of planning already.