The Twilight Saga, four years, five movies and over $2 billion of box office takings worldwide later, has finally come to an end with Breaking Dawn: Part 2.
It’s been an unprecedented phenomenon, shooting its then-unknown lead cast members Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson to worldwide superstardom and garnering a particularly obsessive army of fans.
The final book in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series was split into two (to double the money, presumably), and the first movie muddled along without much really happening. However, they saved all the action for the final instalment which brings the series to a satisfying, and relatively thrilling close.
The film picks up where we left off in Breaking Dawn: Part One, with Bella’s (Stewart) eyes opening to reveal her new vampire status. She then goes hunting with husband Edward Cullen (Pattinson), tackling a mountain lion to the ground to get her first taste of blood.
From here, we meet their newborn daughter Renesmee, a half-human, half-immortal child who Jacob (Lautner) has “imprinted” on, a werewolf occurrence which means they are meant to be together.
Sounds mental? Well it is, but fans of Meyer’s books will be well acquainted with the vampire/werewolf lore and not bat an eyelid at the proceedings, but this makes the film the least accessible of the series.
Bella, Edward, Renesmee and Jacob play happy families for a while but of course, their lives can’t continue in this peaceful manner, and a compelling threat comes from the Volturi, a group of powerful vampires led by an excellent Michael Sheen.
They perceive that Renesmee is an immortal child, who is a threat to their kind, and begin the journey to American to wipe out the entire Cullen clan.
Luckily, the Cullens are given a heads-up by future-teller Alice, giving them time to round up a motley crew of vampires from around the world, including a cringe-inducing coven of Irish vampires complete with ridiculous accents and a Paddy cap to boot.
It all climaxes in a thrilling battle scene, with the Cullens bolstered by the wolf pack against the much more populated Volturi crew. The 12A rating is perhaps a little generous given the amount of decapitation that goes on, but the sequence is well choreographed with a twist to surprise the most avid fans of the books.
Kristen Stewart has put in her best performance to date as the newly vampiric Bella, and suits being an ass-kicking vampire more than a morose, lip-biting teen. Lautner is charming as Jacob, and is once again given a shirt-taking off moment, this time with even more hilarity, while Pattinson will make hearts melt around the world as he plays loving father to Renesmee.
The closing credits show a line-up of all of the actors who have played any significant role in the series, giving a fitting and poignant finish for a series that captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation of fans.