No amount of knowing witticisms can detract from the fact that this is fan-fodder through and through.
As the penultimate installment in the mind-bogglingly successful franchise, it’s hard to separate Breaking Dawn – Part 1 from the overwhelming hysteria that surrounds it. Unless you fall into the tween or should-know-better categories, this movie does not want, or need, to know your opinion.
Nevertheless, Bill Condon has done well with a plot that would arguably never get the green light were there not an army of hyperventilating fans ready and waiting. And, as with many successful franchises, the coating of cinematic gloss grows thicker with every release. Breaking Dawn is bigger, brasher and slicker than it’s predecessors.
Yet it’s tough to escape the basics: Breaking Dawn is about a vampire getting married, implausible conception and a lovesick werewolf. As Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) get serious, their matrimonial and physical union creates havoc in the form of an unborn vampire child.
The threat of a prenatal bloodsucker re-ignites the werewolf versus vampire feud running between the Quileutes and Cullen broods. Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is then forced to make a tough choice between his pack and unrequited love, Bella.
The film deals admirably with its 12A rating, not shying away from the dicey subjects of death, sex, obsession and a gross-out childbirth sequence. It’s almost enticing to imagine the film this could’ve been were it not required to be so preposterously kiddie-friendly. There are also welcome moments of humour, which are surprisingly subtle and self-referential.
However, no amount of knowing witticisms can detract from the fact that this is fan-fodder through and through. As an adaptation, it’s faithful, and as a climactic follow-on from Eclipse it ticks all the boxes. But if you’re neither team Jacob nor team Edward, just don’t bother. There’s an army of Twihards willing to fill those seats for you.
The publicity spectacle alone is something to witness.
Vampires, blood, werewolves, wedding, babies, blood, bed breaking...
Darker, sexier, sharper – a neat next step.