Sunday, February 5, 2012

Movie Review: Twilight-Breaking Dawn Part 1

Director: Bill Condon
Genre: fantasy
Rating: ** (2 out of 5)

Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning Director Bill Condon went out of his comfort zone of cult films (like Gods and Monsters) and biopics (like Dreamgirls and Kinsey) to take on an entirely different genre: teen vampire romance. It proved to be a stretch too far for the seasoned director.

I hate to admit it: I enjoy the Twilight quadrilogy, the same way I do superhero comic books and movies. Like the heroes and heroines in X-Men and Super Friends, each vampire in Twilight has a different ability. These special abilities, combined with the bildungsroman (coming-of-age) genre, create a winning formula for the box office.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 by Bill Condon

The fourth installment of the Twilight franchise predicates on the same old love triangle: Bella is as devoted to Edward as ever, Jacob as bitter and Edward as conflicted about turning the love of his life into a blood-sucking monster. After a while the story gets old, not least because the characters and the acting are both so hopelessly one-dimensional. But who cares as long as the werewolves keep taking their clothes off and making the female audiences squeal like pigs?

Breaking Dawn – Part 1 opens with a painfully slow wedding ceremony, followed by a dreadfully boring honeymoon in a Rio beach resort. The lengthy loving making sequences, played out so tediously on the big screen over and over again, become a 30-minute infomercial for a time-share vacation home turned soft-porn. I am convinced that Director Condon was given specific orders from the studio to stretch the fourth and last installment into two full-length films. And so he did, at the audience's expense.

Vampire movie or soft porn?

If the first half of the movie doesn't bore you to death, the second half will gross you out to the point of vomit. An hour in, the story veers off topic and leaps into a pro-life propaganda film. Bella is now a defiant teenage mother who wants to keep her baby despite family opposition. She is Juno MacGuff if the latter were impregnated with a demonic vampire fetus. Then comes the gruesome child birth scene, as Edward performs a graphic C-section on an emaciated Bella without proper anesthesia (or viewer's advisory). Then, just like that, the movie ends. That is it. Thank you and come again in nine months!

Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is the least eventful installment of the Twilight franchise to date. The Volturis, whom I like, have been written out of the screenplay. Let’s hope that Part 2 would be heavier on action and lighter on the young motherhood sap.

A demonic baby about to burst out of the emaciated Bella

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