“Breaking Dawn, Part I” Movie Review

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By Liza Pandolfi

A few weekends ago, I went with a couple of friends to see the latest installment in the “Twilight” saga. Both of these friends and myself are aggressively anti-“Twilight,” so of course we had to spend twelve dollars each to go see “Breaking Dawn.” I have so say, I had hoped for this movie to be an improvement from the previous films, seeing as “Twilight” has been raking it in since its first movie. I was bitterly disappointed by every aspect of the film. The dialogue was scarce, the special effects were of poor quality, and the acting was particularly horrible.

Within the first fifteen seconds of “Breaking Dawn,” Jacob Black (played by Taylor Lautner) whips off his shirt and runs dramatically into the woods, changing into a wolf as he goes. While this was no surprise, I felt that they could at least have a little more dialogue before the actors started stripping.

The film went on, Bella staring up at Edward, her eyes crossed, her mouth slightly open, while Edward pouts. Somehow, the editors thought it would be a good idea to play the song they used at the end of the first “Twilight” movie when the couple kissed at their wedding. No. Just no. In “Harry Potter,” repetition of musical themes is allowed, but in “Breaking Dawn,” it is not.

During their honeymoon, as many already know, Edward completely destroys a bed. I’m not an expert on relationships, but I’m pretty sure that this is what we call a red flag. Generally, if your spouse has to break furniture to keep from hurting you, it’s a problem. While Edward and Bella are on some remote island off the coast of Portugal, they indulge in wholesome activities such as wandering through the jungle, jumping off of waterfalls, and playing chess. As far as plot consistency goes, there wasn’t any. I saw none of the sparkling (comical as it may have been) on Edward’s skin by which I was amused to no end in the previous films. “Plot consistency is overrated,” my friend said via text message when I brought this up. And so it is.

One scene in particular really chewed on my nerves. Here, Jacob and all his werewolf comrades gather on a nameless and stormy beach. The wolves, whose CGI is unbearably bad and cheap-looking, are surrounded by piles of lumber that conveniently match Jacob’s russet wolf-pelt. These werewolves have some sort of telepathic connection. I can respect that. What I cannot respect is when their mental voices echo with irrelevant chatter, drowning out a conversation between Jacob and the alpha of the pack, Sam. I guess changes to the film to make it understandable weren’t in the budget.

For those of you who don’t know, on her honeymoon, Bella becomes pregnant with a human-vampire hybrid that has been sucking the life out of her for most of the film. When the baby starts coming, Edward has to give her a terrible, bloody cesarean section, without morphine. The noise of Bella’s stomach being gouged open awoke my other friend (who had slept through a large chunk of the movie), and all three of us watched in horror as more and more fake blood gushed all over the room. But nothing was worse than when we saw the baby. Up until then, I thought that all babies, even computer-animated ones, were supposed to be cute. Ugliest CGI baby I’ve ever seen.

Finally, the scene we had all been waiting for (but not really): Bella’s transformation sequence. It begins with Edward biting her repeatedly. I don’t care if it saves her life: biting your somewhat-dead wife over and over is creepy. And very wrong. Once Edward finishes with the biting, he rams a syringe filled with “his venom” into (ouch) Bella’s heart. This was followed by a bad computer animation of the “venom” racing through Bella’s veins and burning them until they were shriveled and black. We then saw a montage of Bella lying there, her clothes having been changed and invisible makeup artists having put eyeshadow on her. The eyeshadow doesn’t make sense. Is it a bonus for receiving a bloody C-section and then turning into a vampire? Apparently so.

Once she has on the proper clothes and makeup, and once her hair has grown a few inches (in three days), the camera zooms in on her perfectly made-up face. By this point, my friends and I were desperate for it to be over. The camera got closer, until only her eyes were in the frame. She opened her eyes, and the shot was frozen. Her eyes were red. Gasp! How unpredictable! This is where more angsty music comes on and the end credits roll. What a cliffhanger! It’s a complete mystery of what will happen in the next film. However, I can predict one thing: “Breaking Dawn, Part II” will be even more poorly-made–and hilarious–than part one.

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