It's hard to judge a movie like Breaking Dawn: Part 1 without considering its literary counterpart. How do you make a somewhat watchable movie out of a melodramatic trainwreck of a novel? There's really not a whole lot of quality to be squeezed out of a book about vampire-human hybrid fetuses literally breaking their mothers from the inside out, the mother sipping on O-positive like she got it at the drive-thru at Taco Bell, and a teenage werewolf genetically bonding himself to an infant (no, not like that... but at some point -- ew, I know). All signs point to the fact that this last book should never have even happened because of the daytime soap opera antics within, but here we are, movie adaptation released, demon child born and transmitting visions through the touch of her fat baby demon hand, the honeymoon scenes as completely devoid of chemistry and heat as I would expect from a PG-13 movie. Stephenie Meyer, I don't know what you were thinking.
For those whose fingers aren't glued to the pulse of pop culture, here's a brief rundown. The movie opens with people receiving their wedding invitations and reacting accordingly. Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) hulks out -- or rather, werewolfs out -- from rage and jealousy. Bella's dad, Charlie (Billy Burke), sits at the kitchen table and sulks. It seems his entire function within the series is to sulk. He's rather good at it. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is finally going to marry Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), just like she's been dreaming about since she laid eyes on his stony, pale visage upon moving to Forks. Yes, folks, that's the only thing she's been dreaming about. Not college, not kids, not blossoming into an adult with a wide array of experiences... just becoming Mrs. Edward Cullen, Newborn Vampire, How Do You Do, Sorry If I Snap At You, You Just Smell So Delicious (I don't think all of that will fit on her license, but it needs to). They get married, Edward doesn't wrap it up before performing his and Bella's honeymoon duties, Bella is carrying Beelzebub Jr. within a matter of days. She takes up a severely pro-life stance when some of the Cullens start suggesting she have a shmushmorshmun at the shmushmorshmun clinic to eradicate the... you get the idea. You can probably see how this is going to end.
Are you still hanging in there? Yes, it does get more ridiculous. But I'm going to stop and critique what's already transpired. The acting is as stiff and wooden as ever (no pun intended), and the wedding is really more to get all the ladies in the audience wedding-horny. I mean, more than they are already. The time spent panning the back of Bella's dress alone had me calculating the popularity of replica Bella Swan wedding dresses in the upcoming quarter.
I know that Twilight was written by a practicing Mormon woman. There are certain beliefs and values that have been transferred onto the characters (other internet sources go into depth analyzing this much better than I can, if you'd like to Google it), and the thing that bothers me is that the sex scenes were about as sexy as those underwear body suits that Mormons have to wear underneath their wedding clothes. Glimpses of the two of them writhing between blackness and the odd moan or groan or kissing noise? Really? They're married. It's okay now. God isn't going to smite them for this. Two things I understand: Edward still has his superhuman strength and could crush Bella's femur like a cooked bean, and this movie still had to qualify for PG-13 without crossing into R territory. I understand these things fully, but the first time Edward and Bella kiss all the way back in the OG Twilight had way more heat than the first time they sleep together. Catherine Hardwicke, can you come back and re-shoot this to give it the justice (and the sex appeal) it deserves?
All right. I have to concede on the (exactly) two things about this movie that made me smile, both of which entirely have to do with me and the fact that I'm from Brazil: the honeymoon was actually shot in Rio De Janeiro, which made me happy and homesick all at once, and Robert Pattinson's Portuguese really isn't too shabby at all. This was sexier, to me, than the entirety of the consummation of their marriage, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. Director's Cut in the future? I sure hope so, for the sake of people who care about this steaming, putrid mound of garbage.
What saddens me most, among a host of reasons, is the fact that all the horrible reviews in the world aren't going to stop anyone who wants to see it from going to see it. This series makes some people happy. I get that. There are also several things that make some people happy that have no business existing. This is an instance of that. Do what you will, reader. I wash my hands of this Twilight mess. At least until I'm sent on assignment to review Part 2.