Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1

(M) Sony DVD/BD

After three turgid films and superhuman bouts of abstinence, this (apparently) is the film that Twilight fans have been waiting for.

Shamelessly, with a plot that could fit on a chewy wrapper, this story of a love that has finally been consummated in marriage has to trudge along in two parts — all the better to separate teenagers from their (or their parents’) hard-earned cash.

It’s hard not to be cynical about the fiction that launched a thousand knock-offs. Vampires and werewolves were the grist for horror films back in the day. But Stephanie Meyer crafted a teenage romance and turned a genre on its head.

For those who have never (and never intend to) watch a Twilight film, the plot swirls around the marriage of Bella (Kristen Stewart) to Edward (Robert Pattinson). A honeymoon brings with it news that Bella is pregnant with a very fast growing human/vampire hybrid, the birth of which will cause a lot of problems in the Twilight world (for reasons that will be revealed in part deux).

Complications during the birth force Edward to make a snap decision which may have dire consequences for Bella.

For those who vote “team Edward” this is surely the film you have been waiting for. The rest of us are wondering how this pulpy romance became a pop-culture phenomenon.

The main problem with this movie series has been the source material. Add to this the fact that Stewart getting more wooden and less likable with each instalment. It is hard to believe that, with such an unsatisfactory lead, these movies are so popular.

Pattinson seems to be able to make a fist of his underwritten role as the pale gentleman with fangs and a conscience and Taylor Lautner, as the werewolf, has more of the hammiest lines. Perhaps this is why he spends much of the films shirtless; obviously his abs are more interesting than his acting technique.

This particular film also has some truly worrying things to say about the nature of relationships and sexuality and the tricky subject of abortion — Meyer’s agenda is preachy and driven home with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

Plodding, totally lacking in intentional humour (unintentionally it abounds) and bland, this is the cinematic equivalent of a sleeping pill. Pop the DVD in the player, get a blanket and see how long you can last before you nod off. It took this reviewer three goes to get to the finish line.

Adrian Drayton

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