The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1  12-07-11-movie.jpg

(Rated PG-13) 4 Stars

Critics hate the Twilight Saga films, and Breaking Dawn—Part I (117 minutes) is no exception. But as much as I enjoy making fun of the books and movies, I am totally willing to admit that nobody twists my arm to get me into the theater. So, let’s acknowledge the essential sexism and bizarre sexual politics of the books, which only become more impossible to avoid on screen.

What I am getting at here is that The Twilight books (and by extension the Twilight movies) are not Shakespearean by any measure. Ok, awesome, the author wrote something that a lot of people read. That is good. People should read more. However, that doesn’t mean they are not poorly constructed bits of dreck, borrowing elements from other better books being turned into movies that appeal to the lowest common denominator.

So, it’s ok to like the films, as long as we are all aware that 18 year-olds getting married is usually a mistake. And that Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who is not even old enough to vote, much less get into a bar, is showing both a prurient and inappropriate interest in the honeymoon activities of Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart). And that when you establish clumsiness as the defining character trait of your heroine, you might consider explaining to your audience how she avoids sinking her ten inch spike wedding heels into the soft forest floor. And that showing the wedding and honeymoon only needed to take about 15 minutes, not 45. So really, there was no need to have two movies.

After nearly an hour’s worth of nothing much happening (PG-13 remember?), we find out that Edward is an extremely abusive spouse, who leaves his new bride covered in bruises. But he didn’t mean to do it, and he’s really sorry, and feels really guilty, so that makes it ok. He even promises never to do it again! So then we get to see Bella the 18-year-old try to seduce her 107-year-old husband. When sex appeal doesn’t work, she tries beating him at chess, and when her intellectualism doesn’t do it for him, she resorts to crying and begging. Also, there are Brazilian housekeepers who have an in-depth knowledge, and a healthy fear, of the Cullen family, but somehow manage to not carry crosses and holy water around with them.

Their knowledge comes in handy however, when the plot finally gets moving and we find out that Bella is going to have a demon baby! So naturally, instead of relying on the experience (and advice based in both science and reality) of Doctor Daddy Cullen (Peter Facinelli), Edward insists that the woman who believes he is an evil murderer and gets her ideas from unproven legends is a great source of wisdom.

Despite the patriarchal attempts to control her body and make her decisions for her, Bella decides to skim through some pro-life literature and let the FX guys go to town on her already skinny frame. As she gets weaker and weaker, no one can figure out why her half-vampire baby isn’t thriving in her human body. The Cullen Brain Trust finally gets a clue and realizes what the rest of the audience knew as soon her pregnancy test produced a pink plus sign … Bella is going to need some blood smoothies to nurture her little miracle.

Meanwhile, there is some werewolf stuff going on, which culminates in the big vampire/werewolf fight during “slightly-toned-down-from-the-book birth of the demon baby with a stupid name” scene. Of course, Jacob’s “imprinting” on baby Renesmee is a key scene, but that is an entire thesis all by itself, so please make your own inappropriate relationship jokes here.

Overall, fans will love it, it will make a ton of money, and we can all do this again next year when Part II comes out!

Now showing at Wynnsong 7, Carmike 12 and Carmike Market Fair 15.

 

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