First of all, I feel I should point out that nothing that I, nor any movie reviewer, says about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 really matters at the end of the day. This film will appeal to Twilight’s diehard fans, and rake in the millions, and that’s all that really matters.
It’s such a shame, then, that there’s so little to work with in the latest instalment of the Twilight Saga. In an unwise move (except for financially of course), the last Stephenie Meyer book in the series has been divided into two movies, with the second half out next year. The problem is that there simply isn’t enough content to justify this decision.
Overall, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is just a bit of a snoozefest. If you’ve seen the trailer you get the gist: Edward and Bella marry in the fairytale wedding of the century and jet off for a romantic honeymoon in Brazil. But, of course, their happiness can’t last too long (this is Twilight, after all). Bella becomes pregnant with Edward’s baby – and this half human/half vampire creature growing inside her slowly begins to kill her.
On top of Edward’s worries for Bella’s health, the wolf pack led by Sam Uley see this as a breach of the sacred treaty between the vampires and werewolves, and vow to exact revenge on the peace-loving Cullen family.
Bella holes up in the Cullen household, becoming weaker and more emaciated. Then they come up with the bright idea of feeding her human blood to nurture the half vampire child growing inside of her, which Edward thoughtfully decants into a fast food cup with a straw to make it more appetising.
A pretty horrific birth scene follows, which is quite faithful to the original material, and is probably the most compelling scene from the whole film. It’s pretty shocking, given the young fanbase and 12A rating.
Then there's the main action scene - a hard-to-follow bust-up between the Cullens and a bunch of CGI wolves - which just doesn’t make up for the dead slow pace of the preceding 90 minutes.
Positive aspects of the movie include the much-anticipated wedding scene, which is lovely. It’s saved from being too sickeningly romantic by a humorous segment of wedding speeches, most notably by the hilarious Anna Kendrick as Bella’s friend Jessica (who had some scene-stealing moments in the first Twilight) and the ever-likeable Billy Burke, who plays Bella’s father Charlie. This is the first of only two funny moments in the whole film, which otherwise has a decidedly serious tone.
The performances are what we’ve come to expect from the three leads. Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen is as dark and brooding as ever; Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan is angsty and troubled, and Taylor Lautner’s Jacob, well he takes his top off within the first few minutes of the film, which is what he’s known for at this stage.
With such a disappointing penultimate instalment of the generally enjoyable Twilight Saga, I’ll be hoping for a bit more bite in the final movie.