Saturday, 8 September 2012

Review: Twilight Breaking Dawn Part I

Laugh at me if you will, but I get sucked into watching trashy stuff like this and by golly, are we are at the peak of tween trash. I will get around to reviewing the first three films at some point but for now here's a quick intro to the world of Twilight:

The Backstory
Edward "the Hair" Cullen is a 100 yr old + vamp. He hangs out with his faux family (other vamps) in Forks, Washington and is doomed to repeat high school over and over again because he can't physically age. And if that isn't punishment enough, he is set to marry Bella "delicious smelling vamp food" Swan, the epitome of teen angst and the least emotive person in Forks. Must be slim pickings for romance in this town, eh, Edward? Edward claims Bella as his and the Cullens accept her as family after just ONE DATE. These Cullens are a desperate single girls' dream! They save Bella's life over and over again because she is super tasty to all vamps, and then vote to turn her into a vamp, too, probably because they're tired of rescuing her all the time. Meanwhile, Bella's BFF Jacob "perpetually shirtless" Black, a werewolf (sworn enemy of the vamps) tries his darndest to win her over but the every flighty Bella sends him mixed signals and then spurns him for emo Edward. And that's where the last film ended.

The Film
It's raining in Forks. Jacob is wearing his best sad face. Ladies and gentlemen, we have out first shirt removal twenty seconds into the movie! He drops a piece of paper onto the wet ground as he runs towards the forest. Way to be inconsiderate to your wheelchair-bound dad, Jake. Papa-Jake looks concerned as he picks it up and reads it. It's a wedding invite! Jake is understandably pissed, because who sends an invite to their spurned BFF to watch her marry his worst enemy?! Jacob turns into his werewolf form and disappears, presumably to be shirtless somewhere else for a while.

Elsewhere in Forks, Papa Swan reads his invite. He looks about as happy as Kristen Stewart was to be in the previous three films. And he doesn't even know Edward's a vamp. Bella's mother is a bit more pleased about it and we are treated to five seconds of screen time with Bella's step dad. Goodbye, Phil. See you for another five seconds next film, if we're lucky!

At Casa del Cullen, Bella practises walking in her 6-inch wedding heels. We are reminded of her tomboyish teen angst as she complains that she never wears heels; only sneakers and emo boots. Alice (sister-vamp) is making her wear them and is also being quite the bridezilla. There should be one at every wedding, I suppose.

Edward looks pensive, so Bella sits down to have a wedding eve chat with her betrothed. He has secrets to tell her that might make her call off the wedding! Bella asks if he is a virgin and he laughs in a way that makes me think maybe he is. But he's not really a virgin- he just killed a whole bunch of people back in his thirsty vamp days. They were all murderers, which makes it ok, and the wedding is still on. Phew. Edward heads off to his bachelor party to do some more murdering and Bella goes to bed. What- no Hen's night? LAME.

And suddenly... it's wedding day! Bella is wearing a lovely strapless dress and all the guests are wearing white. What, did they not get the memo about not overshadowing the bride? Alice will definitely lose her shit over this. Wait- it's a dream sequence! Edward kills all the guests and leaves them in a bloody pile. Woooah. Bella just had a conversation with her fiance about being a murderer and THEN DREAMT ABOUT IT. Clearly, her subconscious is super deep.

Time for the real wedding day! Bella's eyes are all dark and puffy. Alice scolds her for not getting any beauty sleep. That's not nice, Alice. She always looks like that. Thankfully, concealer was invented for just this purpose. Rosalie (sister-vamp who disapproves of Bella's wish to be a vamp) pops in to lend a hand and fix her hair. Aw, weddings bring everyone together! And in just thirty seconds, Bella is transformed from puffy to radiant. The hair could use some work, though. Tendrils are so 1998. Papa Swan comes in to see the bride, cry and tell dad jokes. He also manages to sneak in a quick gibe at his ex-wife. Nice one, Charlie. She totally deserved it.

The guests are here! And the high school cliches are living up to their name. Mike (the jock) is ogling some hot vamp ladies. Fat chance, Mike. Jessica (the queen bitch) wonders whether Bella's bump will be showing. Surely she can't mean a food baby because Bella never eats! Angela (the nerd) defends Bella's purity. Or at least- her lack of pregnancy. Bella's way too skinny to be able to get pregnant, so good sleuthing there, Angela.

Papa Swan takes Bella down the aisle. The dress isn't bad but the dream-sequence dress looked so much nicer. I have never seen ANYONE look so depressed at their own wedding. Bella looks like she's going to vomit all over the pretty white flower petals. There is a desperate look in her eyes that I think is supposed to convey excited anticipation... nope. Still looks like vomit-face. Nice job with the concealer, though, Alice.

(Hang on. It's sunny! Why aren't the vamps shimmering like diamonds? Have we forgotten this very important vamp trait? Do the guests just assume the vamps are all wearing shimmer powder?)

Back to the vows. It's all over in a few seconds. And then the kiss. Still the kiss. OK, I would look away at this point but our voyeur audience just lap it up. Get a room! And... it's over. They're married. For realz this time!

And the party begins. WTF? Some werewolves were invited! Papa Jake apologises for his son's absence. We get to meet the hot blonde vamp "cousins" that the high school jock was ogling before. One of them, Irina (it's Maggie Grace of "Taken" fame! Is it too much to hope for a Liam Neeson cameo?) is shitty that the werewolves are there. THEY KILLED LAURENT. Because Laurent tried to kill Bella. But I'm too busy admiring Laurent's hot missus to notice the rest of the conversation. Another one of the hot cousins tries to appease Irina but she leaves in a huff.

Speech time! I love wedding speeches. Emmett (vamp bro) is up first. He makes a quip about how Edward's not going to let Bella get any sleep from now on. BOOM CHICKA WAH WAH. Awkward. Papa Swan skolls his drink and resists the urge to punch Emmett in the face. Next up... is bitch Jessica. She points out that Edward chose Bella despite the fact that she isn't captain of the volleyball team OR president of the student council. Everyone resists the urge to punch her in the face. Now it's Papa Swan. He makes more dad jokes and reminds everyone that he has a gun and will shoot Edward if needs be. Aw.

Time to hit the dance floor. But wait- there's one more guest. It's Jacob, wearing clothes! He spent his shirtless time in the land of maple syrup and grew some pretty nice stubble, too. Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner have so much chemistry! They share a sweet moment but it's all ruined when they start talking about... Bella's virginity. This has to be the most awkward wedding in history. Jake's worried that Edward's super penis will kill Bella. Or rather, his super strength will blow a hole through her... uncharted territory. A punch up almost ensues but the other wolves arrive to drag Jake away before he has time to remove his shirt. Must EVERY scene end up with Jake storming off?

Bella's wedding pretty much sucked. Luckily, she gets to leave first. She says goodbye to Mama and has another nice moment with Papa Swan. Predictably, Phil is nowhere to be seen. I'm pretty sure he was just an extra. Edward drives them off to the airport and we hear some howling wolves along the way. Just in case we forgot about Jake. Which we didn't.

And we're in Rio! Great choice, Edward. Oh- but now we're off to Isle Esme! Carlisle (Papa Vamp) gifted this isle to Esme (Mama Vamp). Apparently he's been alive for so long he can afford to buy islands. Working as a GP. How is this possible?

The isle beach house has been decked out with candles, crisp white linen and every other cliched honeymoon commodity. JUST IN CASE YOU FORGOT IT'S BELLA'S FIRST TIME. Twi-hards have been waiting for this moment for a million years. So please, do stretch out the scene as long as you possibly can. Bella asks Edward to give her a few minutes to do some human stuff. Like brush her teeth. Then her hair. And shave her legs. And... splash cold water on her arms? Jeez- this really is her first time. Somebody give the girl a few pointers! She flings herself to the floor in despair and tells herself to grow some balls.  Edward is naked, waiting at the beach for his virgin bride and probably wishing that Bella would hurry the fuck up.

Bella grows some balls and decides not to wear anything at all. She walks naked into the ocean and... cue: the most hilarious sex scene of all time. They end up back inside on the bed. Edward grabs the head board and smashes it in his hand. Wait- it's over already? Luckily for Edward, Bella doesn't know any better. She wakes up surrounded by feathers, and a broken, empty bed. Who uses real feather pillows these days? I thought we'd all converted to memory foam. Ah, and the flashbacks begin. Hey Bella- why not just relive the moment by finding your husband and doing it again instead of seductively/hilariously touching your head? Was it that bad? Edward returns and interrupts her head-caressing to point out the bruises he left all over her body. Edward apologises and pouts about hurting her. Is there anything this man will not pout about? Bella puts the womens' movement back about 50 years and tries to make her pouty husband feel good about knocking her around.

And now I think we're gonna need a....


Since Edward won't touch her anymore, they have to vent their sexual frustration for the rest of the honeymoon- by playing chess. And swimming. And MORE CHESS. Bella tries desperately to regain his affections by wearing sexy lingerie but he only laughs in her face. Way to be asshole, dude. Why don't you play some more chess? (They do). But after a solid resistance of maybe five days, he finally gives in. Predictable.

Let's check in with the werewolves, shall we? Back in Forks, Jake fantasises about killing Edward when Bella dies. He really must think highly of Edward's power penis. He wishes he had "imprinted" on her- the act of binding himself to a mate as werewolves do. Foreshadowing, much?

Back on the isle, Bella fixes herself some food. She does eat! She cooks up some chicken and suddenly feels sick. Dun dun DUUUUUN. Don't act surprised. We all knew this was coming. Bella spots a packet of Tampax and the lightbulb in her head goes "DING!". Not for Edward, though. He's lived for over a hundred years and still has NO IDEA what the significance of your partner going wide-eyed at the sight of a tampon and asking you what today's date is. Men. It's been fourteen days since the wedding and Bella's already showing. Accelerated pregnancy!

Edward still can't process what's going on. Conveniently, the housekeeper has superpowers and forsees Bella's death just by touching her stomach. Cue: worried looks all around. Edward promises that Papa Vamp will "get that thing out". Comforted yet, Bella? I sure am! But I guess she isn't because she calls her most unfriendly sister-vamp, Rosalie, for help.

Papa Swan tells Jake that Bella is "extending her trip". His spidey senses tingling, Jake arrives at Casa Del Cullen and is greeted by the sight of his beloved Bella looking gaunt and even paler than anyone ever thought possible. And good golly, the baby is almost full term! And it's literally sucking the life out of her. Which of course means Jacob is outraged. Again. The Cullens want to kill the supernatural spawn but Bella has enlisted Rosalie as her personal bodyguard. Seems our blonde sister-vamp is of the pro-life persuasion. Jake blames Edward for ruining Bella's life for the 456th time. As Jake tries to think of a new way to exit the scene, Edward asks Jake to hang around- with the promise to allow Jake to kill him if Bella dies. Jake agrees to stay. Edward's negotiation skills leave much to be desired.

Jake begs Bella to live- by killing the baby. Bella won't do it. Jake gets upset and leaves. Yet another stormy exit for Jacob! He shifts into a wolf and we are treated to a slightly silly montage of his thoughts as he bounds through the forest with his fangs bared. Will he turn back? No! He almost gets hit by a car and then howls at the sky. That's... helpful. His fellow wolves come running but they're not the friendly kind. They want to kill the evil spawn. Jake's not having any of this shit so he breaks from the pack. He's even got followers- like the adorable Seth and the embittered Leah. Team Jacob unite with the Cullens to protect Team Evil Spawn from the other wolves. Hurrah!

Papa Vamp gives Bella the bad news- the foetus is "not compatible" with her body. No shit, Carlisle. She looks like death, and according to him, she WILL be dead soon enough. And good grief, Edward is pouting again. Apparently it's Bella's fault because she "decided to leave [him]" by dying. Um, who's jism made the baby, Edward? Stop being a dick!

Bella is now nothing more than a skeleton with a giant food baby. Unlike some sulking vamps, Jacob is there to hold Bella's hand and figure out some way to get her some nourishment before she dies of starvation. The solution: give the spawn some human blood. Great idea! Papa Vamp has a shitload conveniently stored in his fridge. Bella sips it through a straw and it tastes DELICIOUS. Malnutrition solved!

Edward comes around to the whole baby idea and decides to listen in on baby vamp's thoughts. Turns out it's not evil! Relieved smiles all around. Jacob walks in and sees them looking happy. Poor Jacob. Carlisle pulls him aside to tell him they've run out of blood. He decides to confront the rival wolf pack as a diversion for the vamps to get more blood for Bella. And then... he promises to kill the baby vamp? NO!

Back inside the house, Bella has come up with some baby names. She barely gets to say them before her back literally breaks and she collapses. That crunch was... awful. But it's time! Where's Carlisle? The placenta has detached and Rosalie makes an incision without anaesthetic. I'm not sure she's over her grudge yet. OUCH. Bella screams in pain. Rosalie is too turned on by the smell of blood to continue. Uh-oh! Edward throws her to the ground and Alice leads her away. Edward gnaws on something as Bella writhes and Jake tries to calm her down. This is NOT going to end well. And suddenly, there she is! Renesmee Cullen. What a stupid name. Edward smiles as he holds the baby and Bella fades away. God, she looks terrible. So much worse than when she didn't get her beauty sleep. TURN HER, YOU IDIOT! Edward hands the baby to the Rosalie, who only moments before, tried to eat the baby. Great idea, Edward. And Bella's dying! Only Jacob notices and tried to resuscitate her. Edward injects her heart with his venom, a la Pulp Fiction, but it's too late. She's gone. Jacob allows Edward to live as punishment for her death and makes his sixth angry exit of the movie. Edward desperately bites Bella all over her body to try and turn her and it looks as creepy as it sounds. We get CSI-style look at Bella's insides transforming (or dying?) but still, nothing happens.

Rosalie is sitting on a rocking chair all weird-like but has successfully not eaten baby Renesmee. Yay! Jake is outside crying and the rival tribe are coming to kill the Cullens for Bella's death. And... oh no! Jacob is coming inside to kill the baby! But as soon as he takes one look at her... he imprints. He falls to his knees. The other wolves have arrived and the vamp-wolf fight is on! The Cullens are outnumbered... but here comes Jacob to tell them all to stop. It is against the wolves' most sacred law to kill somebody that any wolf has imprinted on. Phew. The wolves retreat and the baby is safe. And Jacob is tied to the daughter of his first love for the rest of his life- poor guy just can't catch a break.

Bella's body is being cleaned. There won't be an open casket thanks to Edward's teeth marks. I'd like to see them explain that to Papa Swan. Her pale, gaunt body lies on a bed and they've put a nice blue dress on her. But wait! Her hair is transforming to an auburn colour. Another view of her insides, this time transforming for realz. It's like extreme makeover! The venom makes her skin flawless, her eyelashes longer and brings the colour back to her lips. The weirdest change of all is the appearance of a permanent peachy coloured eyeshadow. Not the colour I would have chosen for myself, but it suits her. Of course, no transformation would be complete without another montage. Memories from the first three movies flash by. But finally, her eyes open. And they're bright red, like the other vamps. Woooooh.

Not a whole lot of plot to this movie. But the final scene was pretty cool. And I love Fitch Coop.

The Verdict: 2 out of 5 Ducks

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