In Theaters: Monday 1st July 2013
Production compaines: Summit Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Director: Bill Condon
Screenwriter: Melissa Rosenberg
Starring: Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen, Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen, Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale, Kellan Lutz as Emmett Cullen, Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale, Billy Burke as Charlie Swan, Dakota Fanning as Jane, Jamie Campbell Bower as Caius, Maggie Grace as Irina Denali, Mackenzie Foy as Renesmee, Michael Sheen as Aro, Cameron Bright as Alec, Chaske Spencer as Sam Uley, MyAnna Buring as Tanya Denali, Christopher Heyerdahl as Marcus, Julia Jones as Leah, Booboo Stewart as Seth
With a flurry of bonkers action and cross-species bonding, The Twilight Saga surges to a howling conclusion that has more attitude in it than all four previous films put together. There's no time for moping now, as things build to a crescendo of girly emotion, portentous pronouncements and more decapitations than you can count. Even the plot itself gets rather playful.
We pick things up immediately after Part 1 ended: Bella (Kristen) is getting used to her heightened vampire senses and intense lovemaking prowess with her new husband Edward (Pattinson), while their daughter Renesmee (Foy) ages alarmingly from infancy to about 10 in just a few weeks, overseen by soulmate-protector wolf-boy Jacob (Lautner). But the ruling Volturi boss (Sheen) has been misinformed that Renesmee is a feared immortal child, rather than a rare but apparently harmless human-vampire hybrid. As the Volturi army heads to Seattle to obliterate Edward and the Cullen clan (including Facinelli, Reaser, Greene and Lutz), the Cullens draft in an army of their own from around the world.
Essentially the film is a long build-up to a big showdown, as everyone jostles for position. This makes the film feel much pacier than the earlier chapters, as we jump from scene to scene while the Cullens prepare for the onslaught. Many scenes involve the introduction of the vampires who support their effort, and like X-men many have some sort of supernatural ability that can aid the fight. Thankfully, director Condon refuses to take this nonsense seriously, and has quite a lot of fun with the various story elements. He also gleefully ramps up the tetchy interaction between Jacob and Edward, and even makes a joke about the fact that actors playing vampires must wear red contact lenses.
On the other hand, he doesn't make the special effects any more convincing than they've been in previous films. The wolves look like cartoon figures, and the vampires' speedy movements never appear even remotely realistic. The infant Renesmee is so obviously digital that she makes us feel queasy, and the grisly climactic battle looks like it's been rendered with dodgy videogame graphics. Much better are the photographed details, with beautiful shots mimicking Bella's new heightened senses, including a very silly sex montage. But all of the actors actually seem to be having for the first time in the franchise. Maybe they realised that this was their last chance to chomp on some scenery.