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.