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.

Continue reading: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Review