Breaking Dawn meets low expectations


After the monstrosity of Eclipse, viewers should go to theaters with low expectations for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. Though there’s something enjoyable about a so-bad-it’s-good film, not even Twi-hards can prepare themselves for the atrociousness of Breaking Dawn.

Viewers assume Breaking Dawn will disappoint, but even with these low expectations, they will be shocked by how terribly heinous the film is and will be mortified that this series plays such a prominent role in American cinema.

First and foremost, the exploitation of sex is an insult to filmmaking. Between opening the film with Jacob (Taylor Lautner) running through the rain with glistening, well-defined abs and Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) disgustingly desperate lust, the first half of Breaking Dawn comes off less as a vampire film and more as soft-core porn.

It’s no secret the film is geared toward teenage girls, but there comes a point where viewers can see Bella and Edward kiss only so many times.

The sexual exploitation continues with repeated use of the alpha male fighting for power and love. We get it: Jacob loves Bella, Edward loves Bella and Bella, being the weak and indecisive character she is, goes back and forth between the two. This love triangle was established in New Moon and should not even be a matter of discussion at this point.

In Bella’s defense, she finally agrees to marry Edward. The repetition of these confused feelings, however, is tiresome and cliché. What the audience craves and needs most is an interesting development.

Granted, director Bill Condon and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg cannot be completely accountable for this disgrace to filmmaking. Stephenie Meyer’s popularly acclaimed teen novel gives the director and screenwriter little to work with, but the repeated exploitation and poorly written narrative will leave viewers uninterested.

Narrative flaws serve as the greatest hindrance to the film. The poorly crafted characters are unlikable, leaving the audience feeling unsympathetic. As if the characters were not obnoxious, dull and one-dimensional enough, the leads’ portrayals are painfully awkward and unconvincing.

For instance, lines like “No measure of time with you would be long enough, but we’ll start with forever,” would be hackneyed in any right, but when delivered by Pattinson, the cliché factor is exaggerated to the highest degree. The squinting eyes, pouting lips and deep, testosterone-infused voice simply do not work in his favor.

To make matters worse, the trite montages interspersed throughout the film work as cop-outs for believable, convincing acting, adding flashy elements just for show. In one instance, the viewer sees through Jacob’s perspective, as he runs through the woods in his wolf form, tormenting himself over Bella. Meanwhile, red hues infiltrate the screen to show the rage and heartache that his acting clearly could not.

The film gets better — note the sarcasm. What starts out as a teenage love story quickly turns into a grotesque and poorly depicted horror film. As if Stewart’s acting was not painful enough, Bella’s discolored, bruised, shrinking skin inflicted by her hybrid human-vampire baby is simply unpleasant to watch.

The birth scene epitomizes this abhorrent attempt at horror. Superfluous blood, Bella’s nauseating appearance and another montage do not speak to the extreme pain she experiences but make viewers uneasy.

Some of these flaws could have gone unnoticed, but the melodramatic soundtrack amplifies the abominable acting and apathetic plot line. The film lacks an appropriate dispersal of the dramatic, violin-heavy score. Every moment, be it a love scene or Bella demonstrating her stubbornness, loses its value through the score’s excessiveness.

The only thing Breaking Dawn has going for it is the attractive leads and coherent plotline; even if it’s awful and you feel indifferent toward the characters, the plot is at the very least comprehensible. It sounds harsh, but it’s hard to find any legitimate redeeming qualities. You can’t even laugh at how horrible Breaking Dawn is simply because it’s just too agonizing to watch.

In all seriousness, your $15 would be better spent on other notoriously horrible movies, such as From Justin to Kelly, Glitter or Showgirls.

  • Jen

    I agree with most everything the ‘critic’ has said about this awful film, except one point. It’s “exploitation of sex”? Really? Did I miss something? Was there full nudity in this movie?
    The couple kisses (uh yes, quite a bit – they’re newly weds) and cuddle in bed. But guess what? They’re married.
    Bella and Edward’s disgusting lust? I must have missed that one also.
    If you want to talk about true sexual exploitation, go watch “Toddlers and Tiara’s”
    To me that is far more ‘heinous,’ exploitave and disturbing than this awkward, wooden film. And Skylar, what gives you the audacity to attack another person like that? Try giving an intelligent, constructive comment (proper punctuation wouldn’t hurt either) when you don’t agree with someone – instead of making sweeping generalizations and assumptions about their character. Grow up.

  • Belleza Soerjadi

    DUDE WHAT THE FUCK???? WERE YOU STONED WHEN YOU WROTE THIS?.. you must have been smoking a cheap ass weed then… Twilight is the best thing that ever happened to me, if it’s not because ot Twilight, I probably dead by now in depression.. Look where I am now, in a much much better place.. Thanks to Twilight..

    • Marc Baker

      Apparently, your the one who’s been smoking the cheap ass weed since you love poorly made crap like ‘Breaking Dawn’.

  • Celine

    OMG did you read the book??? I think this is the worst and most biased review ever. Soft porn seriously are you that conservative, go watch a Dutch or European movie and than go back to you film criticisms. The amount of abs showed didn’t even come close to what the book describes…BTW Bella is supposed to look horrible so what is your problem. A dying person should look horrible yes if not you probably would have had your comments anyway.
    I think it is too easy to hate on a successful franchise, this is for the fans, the fans love it and if you are so angry don’t watch these movies anymore!

  • Skylar

    Jan- I agree with you completely, the review was spot-on and as a fan of the book, i found the movie to be repulsing and cliché. (as the past three films have been as well- what a surprise.)
    Adrian- obviously she is not speaking for all fans, it’s a fucking REVIEW from HER opinion (clearly it will be biased). plus who are you to assume she didn’t read/didn’t like the books? clearly you seem like a a sexually frustrated and insecure teenager who gets off by watching this “soft-core porn” by your childlike response and obsession with these books. sadly, it’s people like you in the world who are turning your generation into mindless and pathetic readers and movie-goers who don’t understand the true meaning of a “quality” book/film.

    don’t defend this movie ever again. i’m saving you from a lifetime of embarrassment.

  • Jan

    Adrian – did you see the movie? I’m guessing not. I am a huge fan of the books and I also saw the movie today – this review was SPOT ON. The movie was horrific on so many levels….I will not see the second half.

  • Adrian

    Low expectations says who??? You?? I am sure you are not speaking for all the fans for sure. What a lame article with a bias perspective from a critic who I am sure didn’t even read the book. Now, if you read the book, then you should know that the movie was suppose to be gory. In the book, Bella gets married, gets pregnant, there is lots of blood, and sex. Twilight fans were expecting the books perspective within the movie. I know why you are just talking your butt off, it is because you just don’t like the twilight books.