Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1

22 11 2011

I try not to dislike something until I’ve tried it at least once. Since I haven’t read any of the Twilight books or seen any of the Twilight movies, I’ve always reserved my opinion on the divisive franchise. With Breaking Dawn Part 1 the only major movie released this weekend, I figured the time had come for me to try something new.

If you’re looking for a review of Breaking Dawn from a loving and dedicated fan, this is not it.

The movie kicks off with the highly-anticipated wedding between Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). Prior to release, the internet was abuzz with rumors about Bella’s wedding dress. I would describe the dress here, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

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After the wedding, Edward and Bella go on their honeymoon. Sometime during the trip, she gets pregnant. However, this is no ordinary baby, and much of the movie is spent figuring out what to do with that thing inside of Bella.

Since I have no previous experience with the Twilight franchise, I felt lost at some points. I can forgive the movie for that, as it would be ridiculous to demand a full recap before the start of each instalment. Nevertheless, this did lead to some confusion over certain plot points.

I understand that there is some sort of love triangle between the three main characters, but is Edward really okay with Jacob smelling Bella’s hair? There are several scenes where Jacob and Bella get fairly intimate, and Edward never seems to care. In one scene, he is standing in the background smiling while Jacob slow dances with Bella. What’s up with that?

In fact, I never really figured out Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Why is he so angry all the time? Why does he care so much about Bella, a married woman? It certainly doesn’t help that Lautner’s acting is absolutely brutal. He shakes his head and furrows his eyebrows when he’s confused, and when he’s mad, he gets really loud.

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The rest of the cast doesn’t perform much better. I’ve always heard that acting wasn’t a strong point in the Twilight series, but it gets downright ugly sometimes. Kristen Stewart reads her lines like a supporting cast member of a high school play, and every word that comes out of Pattinson’s mouth sounds wooden and corny.

Ultimately, the poor acting takes a lot of emotion out of the plot. Since virtually the entire movie consists of dialogue, this is a very bad thing. Any action that does occur is limited and brief. Although the series appears to be building up to a massive, action-packed finale, Breaking Dawn Part 1 would have benefited by including a few more exciting scenes.

Ultimately, I don’t expect this review to have much an impact on Twilight ticket sales: fans of the franchise will continue supporting these movies regardless of their quality, and girls will still drag their boyfriends to go see it.

Maybe I’ll have to read the books to get the full Twilight experience. As it stands now, I just don’t see the big deal.

1 star out of 5

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