The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner
Directed by Bill Condon
Start hating me now, Twihards, but the sexless, bloodless, padded and plodding Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is the worst Twilight movie to date. (I don’t get it either.) In the final novel of Stephenie Meyer’s megabestselling Twilight series, the plot is crowded with incident. Human girl Bella (Kristen Stewart) finally marries Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), the vampire of her virgin dreams. They honeymoon in South America and have bed-crashing sex that results in Bella getting knocked up with a half-vampire baby that practically rips her body in half to get out of her belly in a grisly childbirth scene that nearly kills her, except that Edward turns her into a vamp just in time.
Whew! And that’s just the first half of the book. By cutting Breaking Dawn into two movies, the studio can bleed more bucks out of the audience, especially those Twimoms who dote even more than their swooning daughters on the forbidden love Bella has for Edward and her wolf friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Unless you think the studio is just in it for art, like the Kardashians.
Anyway, I harbored hopes, since both Breaking Dawn movies (Part 2 materializes next November) are directed by Twi-newbie Bill Condon, a first-rate director of indisputable talent (see Gods and Monsters, Kinsey and Dreamgirls). But Condon is helpless before the ravening banality of Melissa Rosenberg’s screenplay, which substitutes timidity for risk at every turn. Even good actors expire under the film’s cheeseball cloud. As for Lautner, acting is not one of his gifts, so the movie opens with him going shirtless. Oy.
• At the Movies with Peter Travers: 'Breaking Dawn, Part 1' is the Worst 'Twilight' Yet
• Rolling Stone's Guide to The 'Twilight' Saga
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star ratingFox Searchlight Pictures
star ratingMagnet Releasing
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star ratingWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures