Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 1)

ANGSTY VAMPIRES


WISHY WASHY WEREWOLVES SHAPESHIFTERS


ASHLEY GREENE


That can only mean one thing:


LET’S ROCK THIS BITCH.

Seconded.

– – –

So we start with everyone getting invites to the wedding of the millenium proposed from the last movie.  Some are happy (Bella’s mom), some are skeptical (Bella’s dad), and some still act like children (Jacob, the shapeshifter ).  Bella is getting ready for her wedding, but has a terrible dream the night before about a human wedding cake thanks to her dear soon-to-be-hubby Edward, and loses sleep because of it.  Either that, or the sudden appearance of Edward as she’s packing up the things in her room with an almost accusing “Getting cold feet?” might have put her on edge.  Maybe the anecdote he shared about his bi-curious phase many decades ago could have provided the fuel for that particular nightmare.  Who’s to say?

She gets ready, and she slowly walks with her father.  Each step is accented by the terrible agony of her life soon to be combined with an emo vampire.  Silence takes over the screen, save for the main theme of the movie turned up 20 decibels louder than what is necessary in any movie theater around the world, but it was probably done to provide emphasis on the breathtaking ceremony that is about to begin.  Slower and slower, a full minute of movie passes as she and her father almost seemingly hesitate to end their walk, as they approach…

… the beginning of the aisle.

So as to do away with the stupid silence accompanied by loud music from the licensed soundtrack, Bella and Edward alternate their vows, and then they decide to kiss, seeing as how the preacher must have been paid for the first minute of the wedding.  As they kiss, the camera turns around them in a melodramatic way, showing that the seats are empty, almost like this whole ceremony had been made up.

Yes… This makes sense!  Maybe they never sent invitations, and instead, they just dressed up like little kids and built a church aisle out of wood and forest items a la Snow White, and they’re only PRETENDING that they’re getting married.  I knew that the Florida weather looked a bit TOO perfect, and that hard rain in Forks as Jacob ran away like a wimp couldn’t fool me.  Besides, I’m pretty sure Bella’s father would have figured out that they weren’t human by now, considering that he’s supposed to be sheriff, and he’d be far more discerning of who Bella goes out with, like any normal father would be.  Maybe this was the only alternative for Bella and Edward, who understand that they can never really be together due to their conflicting worlds, and are quietly accepting it by a game of House usually played by children.  Maybe…

Oh wait, scratch that.  The wedding guests show up again.

Never mind, it was a pointless art shot.  Keep calm, carry on, and all that.

At the wedding reception, the movie audience is entertained with the sight of seeing us normal folk being entertained by vampire hosts and not being able to tell that there’s something off with Bella’s new extended family.  Not even during the toasts can these people tell.  But then, that’s not too surprising since Bella’s mom and dad take turns in making themselves look like idiots.  Seriously.  The toast montage plays out like a blooper reel that’s usually saved for the DVD.  Even Edward goes up front and gives a toast.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, since I haven’t been to that many weddings… but if you’re one of the people involved in the actual marriage, isn’t the toast off limits?  I mean, a groom toasting his own bride, that would look much too cheesy, right?

Right?

After that, Edward takes Bella off to see a late wedding present, towards the woods.

Oh no.  He’s going to abandon her again and run off to Rio, isn’t he?  Edward, we talked about this: we use our words to express our feelings, not our legs.  Running away…

Oh.  It’s Jacob.

Kind of a weird gesture to come in as a present, but I’ll play along.  Cautiously.

Bella is super happy, and the two of them dance while Edward goes off to dance with one of his step-sisters.  With Jacob there, Bella now says that it’s perfect.

OK, I hate to break up this tender dance moment, but I have to ask: why does she keep bringing Jacob back into this?  I’ve stopped asking the far more obvious question of “Why aren’t you running as far away as you can from these stupid people, Jacob?”, and have gotten more philosophical up in this bitch since the last pathetic installment.  And it’s a valid question: “Why does Bella keep insisting that Jacob be there for her?”  She has what she wants: a rich vampire who’s constantly on his period, following on the dream that she might get him to turn her into a vampire.  What does she need from Jacob?  What has he got that Bella can’t obtain from her pet vampire?

Apparently not sex, since she tells Jacob that they plan to do parallel planking while on their honeymoon.  Shockingly, Jacob gets mad.  Edward senses an annoyance in the force, and rushes to be with Bella, as Jacob is pulled back by his tribe.

I know what you’re thinking:

Best.  Wedding.  Ever.

Finally, it’s time for Bella and Edward to leave for their honeymoon.  Destination?  Rio De Janeiro.  Or rather, an island off the coast of Rio containing a lovely timeshare, now decorated into the perfect honeymoon suite.

Suddenly, I’m starting to wonder if this was the reason why Edward left for Rio in the second movie New Moon.

Creepy.

After some sexual tension that is rather unnecessary since, you know, they’re married, they proceed to bonk.

Considering that I almost gouged my eyes out with the straw from my drink, I’ll spare you the details.

Instead, I’ll share how even on their honeymoon, Edward can still be the most angsty baby ever when he broods about bruising Bella during coitus.  He apologizes, and tells her it will never happen again.  The sex, I mean.  The bruising may come in handy when she starts bitching about not getting her way.

Thus begins a montage of all the cool things you can do on an island in South America, such as play chess, walk on the beach, play chess, go swimming in a stream, and…

… I’m sorry, I just can’t get over the fact that Bella and Edward are smart enough to play chess.

Hysterical

Edward brings in a middle aged native couple from Rio.  But before I can commit hara kiri from the prospect of a swingers night, he mentions that they’re housekeepers.  They set to work on ground zero (AKA the bedroom), and the newlywed couple start getting frisky.  In the living room.  While the housekeepers are not twenty feet away from them.

Oy.

So after another implied trip to Sex Land, Bella gets up and makes herself some lunch.  She strips away the flesh from a chicken leg and her eye catches the blood inside.

One second later, she’s puking in the bathroom.

Boy, did she pick the wrong person to marry.

No, it’s not the blood that made her throw up.  After a needlessly drawn out segment of putting two and two together, she finally comes to the conclusion that she’s pregnant.

Well, it wasn’t hard to figure out, as she immediately looks to the mirror and realizes she has a two month old bump in her stomach, despite being on honeymoon for 14 days.

Soon, Alice calls

Obligatory Alice photo

and Bella tries to find out what’s going on from Edward’s dad Carlisle .  Apparently, it’s a half-human, half-vampire baby (not sure how Edward still had little soldiers in that fanny pack of his), and it’s a dangerous threat to Bella.  Edward panics, and rushes to get someone that he feels might know what to do.

He brings in the housekeeper.

Yes, you read that right.

Edward brings in the mother-frakking housekeeper, thinking that she will know how to save Bella from this supernatural pregnancy.

I’ll leave you to come up with your own joke for that one, as snark is a beautiful thing when in the hands of various people on our planet Earth.

The next thing we know, Jacob is on his way to the Bella household, where he discovers that Bella had been back in Forks for two weeks.  And that’s not the only thing.  He soon discovers that Bella looks like absolute crap, and has a 9+ month old bump on her stomach.  After Jacob arrives, everyone decides that it’s now the perfect time to enter into a pro-life/pro-choice argument about what to do with the soon-to-arrive-baby.  But Jacob decides that this whole thing is ridiculous, and leaves.  He morphs into a wolf, and calls out for a meeting with his tribe.  There, he tells them about the pregnancy.  Or something.  See, this whole scene here is done entirely in wolf, and it’s hard to understand a single thing that’s going on amidst all the snarling and crowd chatter and dramatic music.  Not to mention that, despite being color coded, it’s really difficult to tell which wolf is which, and what the significance of any possible dialogue is.  Finally, the brown wolf starts talking about ancestors, and then it runs off to go back to the Cullens.  For those of you who guessed it was Jacob, you win the bet.

Soon, he is joined by Seth Clearwater and his older sister Leah, who decide to help protect the Cullens with him.  Well, except for Leah, as she still retains the title of “Most Useless Twilight Character Ever”.  In the last movie, her only reason of existence was to give an excuse for Jacob to get seriously hurt in the last few seconds of the battle, which then led to even more unnecessary drama.  In this movie, the only reason she ever comes on screen is to say “Jacob, you need to imprint on someone.  Don’t be like me, who is destined to be an old maid forever.  Have you imprinted yet?  WHY AREN’T YOU IMPRINTING, JACOB?!  IMRPINT ON ME, JACOB!  IMPRINT ME!”  Each time I see her on screen, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for her, as it seems that no one likes her.  No, really.  Any time she speaks, there’s a 50% chance that someone will say “Shut up, Leah”, like a bad Family Guy rerun.  But even still, I can’t abide useless characters, so I too must say “Shut up, Leah”, and we will never speak of her again.

What we WILL speak about, though, is what she means by imprinting.

Cue the Twilight Saga Wikia:

When a shape-shifter imprints on a specific human of the opposite gender, he becomes unconditionally bound to her for the rest of his life. When it happens, the experience is described as being pulled toward that person, while a glowing heat fills him; the connections of everything else become severed, or simply secondary, and only the imprintee is left to matter, leaving the shape-shifter with a deep need to do anything to please and protect her.

Meanwhile, Bella is getting worse.  And it’s here that I have to commend the film for showing how incredibly weak she looks.  It’s a lot like Chris Evan’s portrayal of pre-serum Steve Rogers from Captain America: The First Avenger.  Edward is distraught over her pain, although most likely over how horrible she might be tasting right now if he were to take a bite.  Taken from a sarcastic comment made mentally by Jacob, Edward suggests that perhaps the demon spawn needs suitable food in order to stop sucking the life out of Bella.

So they grab a Styrofoam cup, fill it with blood from Dr. Cullen’s stash, and tell Bella to drink up.

Marriage is awesome, huh?

She drinks the blood, and rather than throw up like any normal human being would, she says it tastes good, and begins slurping it down.  This helps her regain some strength, but not too much.  No, too much would be perfect to describe how many blood packs she’s going through, so Edwards parents decide that for her to survive until she goes into labor, they must go out and hunt.  But wait!  Sam and his tribe have surrounded the Cullen estate!  How in the WORLD will they be able to make it unscathed?

Leave that to Jacob, who decides to go out into the middle of the woods and tell Sam and his cronies that he wants to turn in Seth and Leah Clearwater, so that they’ll be safe.  And then he goes into detail about how he plans on killing the baby once s/he has been delivered.  Meanwhile, Edward’s parents (along with the help of one of his brothers) escape a patrol of wolves, and… do whatever it is they do.  Sam gets word of this, and he and his henchmen fall back to try and catch them.  Jacob goes back into the house just in time to see that while he was saving their lives, Bella and company have been picking out baby names.  She decides on the name E.J. if it’s a boy, E.J. meaning “Edward Jacob”.

That has to be the dumbest name I’ve ever heard.

And if it’s a girl, then her name would be Renesmee.

Definitely spoke too soon.

And the baby must have agreed, because as soon as she finishes that thought, Bella’s body nearly snaps in half.

Let me repeat that:

Her body (which is to say the top part of her body) nearly snaps (meaning bends over backwards) in half.

… Oh, nothing.  I just thought I’d emphasize the amount of pain that she’s in.

This means that she’s going into labor.  Edward and Jacob rush her to the operating table in the Cullen household, and they try to figure out what to do.  Since no one could really decide on whether to say ‘baby’ or ‘fetus’, let alone what they were going to do when this birth would eventually happen, the group begins to improvise.

Now, ladies and gentlemen: this next part is a bit serious.  After having been out in theaters for a week, there have been reports that this scene has led to people getting seizures, due to the nature of filming, editing, and post production CGI.  This is a very delicate matter, one that people are not crazy about, in addition to having to see a Twilight movie.  Well, I have watched this scene.  I have seen the flashing red and black, the shaking POV camera, the flashbacks from earlier in the movie; all of this I have bore witness to.  So it is with this knowledge… nay, this experience in mind that I share with you my professional opinion regarding this unfortunate situation:

*ahem*

Seriously, it’s Bella in agonizing pain.  After everything she has ever done in this series, this retribution is a long time coming.  You gonna let a little thing like epilepsy get in the way of seeing divine payback?

But no, she’s dying, so the other folks have to figure out what to do.

And it’s here that we come to what I believe is the highlight of the movie.  The one reason I wanted to see this film in the first place, just to see if they would do it or not.

You see, there are times when an adaptation doesn’t fully follow the source material it’s basing itself on.  Nothing too surprising.  After all, if you wanted the story to remain perfectly intact, then you might as well stick with the original source instead of creating unreal expectations on the adaptation.  But as we learned from the Watchmen movie, it may not even be enough.  Sure, you can have most everything you’ve wanted.  But sometimes, it’s the little things that don’t make the cut that can subtly make or break any adaptation.

And I am pleased to say that the C-Section of Bella’s baby, as performed by Edward’s teeth, remains mostly intact.

Dead serious.

Since they make a point of mentioning that ultrasounds and needles can’t pierce the placenta, one of Edward’s sisters (the one that isn’t Alice)

(HOT)

tries to cut into Bella’s stomach.  The blade isn’t sharp enough (or the other sister has a brain fart moment and stops trying), and Edward bites a hole in Bella’s stomach so they can pull the baby out.

And folks: that was worth the ticket of admission.  Right there.

Now, being that this is a PG-13 movie, they couldn’t actually SHOW the C-Section happening.  Not to mention that we couldn’t see anything thanks to Bella’s excellent seizure-ridden point of view.  But it was more than implied.  Oh, was it more than implied.

So they take the baby out, and we find out that it’s a girl.

Frak.  She is SO gonna get teased when she reaches pre-school.

Bella looks at her newborn daughter, expresses approval, and then dies.

In a panic, Edward reaches into a drawer and pulls out a syringe filled with his venom.  He stabs Bella with the needle and injects his vampire venom into her body.

Um… hey, Ed?

Eddy boy?

Yeah, WHY DIDN’T YOU DO THAT BEFORE SHE DIED?

You had enough time from *PLOP!* to *sag* to make sure that she was (for the most part) still alive for the injection.  Why did you wait?

So the other sister takes the baby away to get cleaned up.  Jacob watches as Edward maniacally tries to get Bella to turn into a vampire, and then resuscitating her through CPR.  Because that’ll TOTALLY work on someone who will eventually become one of the undead.

While he does that, I’d like to take this time to talk about the music of Breaking Dawn.  Aside from the use of a surprisingly good original score composed by Carter Burwell (known for working on nearly the entire Coen Brother’s filmography as well as the first Twilight movie), there’s a lot of licensed songs in this movie.  A LOT.  As in, one will be playing during a scene, there’ll be like 40 seconds of dialogue, and then the next licensed song will start up.  As you might expect, it’s the same emo BS that you hear in every Twilight movie soundtrack: quiet songs filled with way too much falsetto and enough atmosphere to become it’s own universe.  Well, except for The Features.  Their song wasn’t too bad.  But it gets distracting when you try to watch the movie and licensed song number 8 comes on, moreso because you’ll wonder who the hell did that song rather than focus on what the task at hand is.

Not to mention that there were some segments where the original score is a little bit louder than what is normally heard.  After hearing the music in Breaking Dawn, I compared it to last night when I saw The Muppets.  Same theater, so same sound system.  And there’s quite a difference.  Mainly because The Muppets knew what was a manageable volume for their songs, so that they didn’t overwhelm its audience.  I’m not sure what the idea was for Breaking Dawn, but I hope that’s not becoming a new trend in movies today.

Anyway, back to the misadventures of Whiny Vampire and his dead bride: Edward is still pumping her chest like an idiot, and Jacob leaves the room to grieve for the loss of Bella.  Alice

*THUMP!*

and whatever the other brother’s name is go out to hold off the impending wolf invasion, since they can sense that Bella is dead.  Rosalie (the other sister of Edward) is taking care of Renesmee, doing an excellent job in protecting the baby from harm by sitting near the fireplace in a VERY exposed living room with the baby in her arms.  Jacob finally snaps, and decides to kill the baby for having indirectly killed the girl that technically didn’t love him.

Sure, dude,  Whatever makes you happy.  At least this stupid business with Bella is over.

He steps into the living room and acquires the target in his sight.  He starts menacingly walking to the baby.

And then, with the fireplace glow behind her, the baby looks at Jacob.

And time stops.

Jacob has a vision of the future.  A future where he sees a more mature Renesmee running around, doing stuff.  A time where she keeps looking at him with those eyes.  Those sweet innocent eyes that only a half vampire, half human could have.  That long flowing hair.  That signature almost-smile her mom has.

For you see (and hear, since his narration assumes you’re too stupid), Jacob has imprinted on the newborn Renesmee.

I’ll repeat that.

Jacob (who is 17) has imprinted (some long-winded explanation of finding a supernatural soul mate) on Renesmee (who has just been born).

And once more with feeling:

JACOB HAS FALLEN IN LOVE WITH A BABY.

Look, I understand there’s more to imprinting than initial attraction.  But really, that’s just what happened, folks.  Jacob just fell in love with a baby.  Even the Twilight Wikia more or less implies this:

There are stages to imprinting, especially if the shape-shifter imprints on a child, or otherwise the imprintee is very young.

First stage

If the person is young, the shape-shifter will act as an older sibling.

Second stage

As the person gets older, the shape-shifter will also come to be their best friend.

Third stage

They become intimate friends. Meaning, their feelings for each other are changing into romantic feelings. (Remember, this stage may or may not happen to the imprintee, but the imprinter will fall in love with his imprint. They will not ‘see’ any other woman or man in a romantic way, at all. Their imprintee is all he/she cares about and he/she will love her/him even if those feelings aren’t returned.)

Fourth stage

When the person is old enough, the shape-shifter’s feelings grow into romantic/sexual love.

The shape-shifter will be at all times very protective and loving to the imprintee.

As Stephen King once wrote “Everything’s eventual”, and even though she is young, Jacob will now look at her with a potentially love-filled future in mind.  That’s what the rules make it sound like.  He can be her protector now, but he’s not doing it without some compensation in mind.  Not only that, but it appears to be divinely-revealed compensation.

Which is what prompts him to go right outside and face the other wolves, telling them that if they want to kill her, they’ll have to kill him.  It’s at this point they understand that he has imprinted on the baby.

And then they leave, because of some shoddy Deus Ex Machina about “Thou who hast been imprinted upon shall not perish by our hand” or something other crap.

That’s all well and good, but Bella’s still dead.  And despite all of his best wishes, Edward can’t bring her back.  So they do the sensible thing of cleaning her body, putting her in a blue dress, and then leaving her in the middle of the room as an elaborate display.

Except… there is something going on underneath.

Inside her body, fluid rushes through her bones, repairing torn tissue, healing small wounds, filling her back up to her normal figure, giving her a wicked dye job on her hair, and other such things.  Everyone else stops what they’re doing and look off to the side, sensing the change in the ecosystem.

And all is quiet, as the camera pans to Bella’s eyes.

And then her head explodes.

Okay, okay, she opens her eyes to reveal they have turned blood red.

The End

– – –

So what to make of this movie?  Well, considering that this is the first Twilight movie that didn’t warrant a “WHAT. ARBITRARY. NONSENSE.” label, you might think that it’s better than the other sequels.  Personally, I wouldn’t go that far.  See, when I watched this movie, I knew there was going to be ridiculous things.  I didn’t come for the drama.  I came to see the things that if any other movie had done, they’d be on the SyFy channel, not a worldwide blockbuster.  On the merits of drama, I can’t recommend it at all.  The characters are still idiots, the plot takes nonsensical turns, and it’s too long.  That last critique about length is actually the most glaring, as this entire movie could fit in one sentence: “After marrying Edward, Bella gets pregnant and dies in childbirth, but comes back to life(ish) as a vampire.”  See how easy that was?  It certainly didn’t require nearly 2 hours to explain all the important details.

Now, on the merits of comedy, that’s a whole different story.  The characters are still idiots, the plot takes turns that no one in their right mind could come up with while sober, and those weird-ass situations and encounters make the 1 hr. 57 min. fly by.  It’s unintentional humor can actually entertain someone who isn’t entirely too crazy about the Twilight universe, because we have now reached the point where it’s become impossible to take anything they do seriously anymore.  Before, we had to trudge along the sappy non-romantic story and suffer black-outs of events that ultimately did nothing to affect the film.  Now, as long as people look to the film as if the comedy was planned all along, then I dare say it’s one of the better comedies of 2011.

And as such, I recommend you go see it on those merits.

I know what you’re thinking: “Traitor!  How could you actually RECOMMEND seeing a Twilight film, after what they had done to your corner of Washington due to its setting?!”

Well, I’ve only got one thing to say to you:

*ahem*

VAMPIRE C-SECTION

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