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Breaking Dawn – Part 1, commercially super-successful and critically panned, was the most anticipated of all the installments in the saga, aside form Part 2. But was it really bad? Let’s review it unbiasedly!

The Good:

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s performances:

OK, to be fair, Stewart’s performance was pitch-perfect. She didn’t overact any scene nor did she underplay the character. Every expression, every movement was what you would expect Book-Bella to do if she were real. Bella’s character is awkward and self-conscious, but in Breaking Dawn, especially Part 2, she becomes less awkward and more open which Stewart portrays well. The birth scene should well-silence her haters. (see video below, pitched to avoid removal)

By the end of the film, you truly feel that Bella has transformed emotionally and psychologically from the young woman we’ve seen in Twilight to a full grownup. Pattinson delivered a good performance too, sounding appropriately sincere in the wedding scenes and convincingly frantic in the birth scene. It would be fair to give Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter, applause this time for getting almost all of Bella and Edward’s dialogue right.

The anticipated scenes:

The anticipated scenes were the wedding, the birth and the transformation. Each of them was well-acted, well-written and well-shot. The editing, set design and cinematography were always strong and effective throughout those scenes. The wedding was touching and beautiful as it should be and the bittersweet speeches were good sources of comic relief.

The birth scene was terrifying and unforgettable; I can still remember watching it in the movie theater while sitting on the edge of my seat (until someone sneezed so loudly and the whole theater laughed, ruining the experience). The transformation was better than I expected, but has nothing on the way it’s written in the book. It was bittersweet seeing one of the characters I like and followed throughout all the movies and books broken this way, but apparently all the girls sitting behind me cared about was how good her eye shadow was.

(See clip here)

The production design and the cinematography:

Guillermo Navarro excelled at the cinematography. His imagery was beautiful and full of life, but dark and shocking when necessary. The angles from which he chose to take the close ups on the characters faces were remarkably good. The production design was the best of the Twilight films since Summit decided to finally spend money on the movies. Seeing as most of the film was shot using green screens, the sets were remarkably eye-grabbing and atmospheric, like in the wedding and honeymoon scenes.

The Bad:

Taylor Lautner’s performance:

This was the worst performance in the whole saga. Nothing’s ever been worse. Lautner was fine in New Moon and Eclipse, not perfect, but acceptable, and then he made an awful turn in this film. His acting is full of expressions, he uses the same expressions. He just does faces. He has the happy Jacob face, the sad Jacob face, the bitter Jacob face, etc. If his voice could act on its own accord, it would probably tell him to improve his phrasing and delivery, and give his larynx a good kick in the butt to drop the over-husky and nasal timbre.

The screenplay:

The screenplay has a few, effective problems. It dragged in the first hour, which could’ve been shorter. Some of Lautner’s dialogue had to be erased from the script, if not burnt to the extent that no one can ever get close to figuring out what’s written on the paper. (ex. “I always knew you would kill her” in the birth scene. Leah’s story could’ve been more fleshed out in favor of the downright stupid “This a family scene”. There were many available chances for drama concerning Jacob that were left unseized, like how he leaves the Cullen house, in the book, to try to imprint.

The montages:

Bill Condon’s problem comes here. Not every montage has to sound like a music video. Rock songs placed over dramatic montages isn’t the only effective way of doing an attention-grabbing montage. It worked well for the honeymoon and the sick-looking Bella montages, but then it got repetitive.

The Verdict:

3 out of 5 stars. The film could have been better.

What to expect:

With Breaking Dawn - Part 2 six months away, Condon has a long time to correct the mistakes in Part 1, to be sure to that the film has better pacing, dialogue and score. Personally, I expect a film better than Part 1, with better performances and screenplay.  A different and even more satisfying interpretation of vampire Bella by Stewart.

So, what are you expecting in the Twilight film finale?

This article was written by a Hypable user! Learn more and write your own right here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    I really don’t know, for me Twilight has been gone down hill ever since the 1st film.  I’m not  big Twilight fan, but i liked the movie enough to buy the special 3 disk DVD from HMV. I didn’t like New Moon as much as Twilight.  I didn’t like Eclipse at ll. And I haven’t been able to sit through Breaking Dawn part I.  

    So…I’m guessing a 7/10 rating for fans and 3.5/10 rating for critics.

  • http://twitter.com/SarahKHansen S.K.Hansen

    I had the same reaction to the film and book, total confusion. I’m just not into the whole demon/hybrid baby storyline. It felt so contrived, a plot devices to tie up all the lose ends (Jacob and the Wolves, Bella becoming a Vampire, The Volturi etc.).
    To be fair, I think the cast (especially Kristin and Rob) did a great job with the story they were given.

  • Ida

    I don’t see how they can make a two hour movie out of the material of the last part of that book. It drags.

  • Andrew_ww

    I can’t wait for people who haven’t read those books to find out the ending…haha. nothing happens! There is a huge build-up to ‘something’ and then…nothing..

  • 7Starrchasers

    I agree with this article….but I found this movie to be way better than twilight, even though Its no where near being one of the best movies I’ve seen…I think in terms of the franchise, this one was the best. Twilight was cheesy and just..errrr…

  • Oyster

    “it’s own accord”
    nope. it’s = it is. its = possessive. no offense but are there any editors on this site? it feels like every time i log on i catch an error or two.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thecoolguy4ever Ahmed Tarek Saad

      Sorry, didn’t mean it, and I know that of course.

    • http://twitter.com/ambersorensen ambersorensen

      No, there aren’t “editors,” especially not for an article like this: written and submitted by a user. No one has perfect grammar, so stop worrying about it. Did it change or ruin the meaning of the sentence? No? Then get over it.

      • Oyster

        You need to settle down.

    • Liderc

      It’s a user submitted article, I’d imagine one mistake is fairly good, all things considered. 

  • http://twitter.com/BlahJoe Joe

    ALL the Twilight films have awful CGI, appalling… the wolves always looked painfully fake and I’d say New Moon was the only film with decent effects (paper cut, Volturi fight at end).
    Overall, the films are awful adaptations of the books.

  • Lotte

    I always call Twilight my guilty pleasure and I am aware of the biggest flaws of the movies and books. Still, it bothers me to read constantly about all the hate it receives. I don’t mind criticism and fair discussions, however the mindless hate is annoying and immature.

    I think your article was fair and good. Stewart and Pattinson are actually really good actors who received a lot of praise at Cannes festival. Taylor Lautner however was really lucky for this part. He does not have a lot of range. 

    Finally, I hated BD as a book. I hated the idea and the need to include a baby. However, funnily enough it worked so well as a movie. Especially the scenes of Bella and Edward were so out of the box creepy and emotional, it was fun to watch.

    One of the biggest flaws is personally Melissa Rosenberg. She is totally ‘Team Jacob’ (I hate those terms) and seems to be not professional enough to ignore her feelings. She constantly tries to enhance Jacob, diminishes Edwards traits and the need to pimp out the ‘triangle’ was so annoying. Especially because in the books it was not obvious at all. It was always Edward, Edward, Edward. 

    Nevermind, I like your article and well done. On Hypeable there is a lot of hate against Twilight. It is nice to see every now and then to actually have a proper topic. Thank you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/thecoolguy4ever Ahmed Tarek Saad

       You’re always welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/20619T Craig Thomson

    I’m sorry to say, but the first hour cannot be any shorted. It’s fixed at 60 minutes

    • http://www.facebook.com/thecoolguy4ever Ahmed Tarek Saad

      Seriously! When I say that the first hour dragged and could have been shorter, I mean that the EVENTS that happened in the first hour could be  shortened. I know you can shorten an hour.

      • http://twitter.com/20619T Craig Thomson

        No, not seriously… obviously.

        • http://www.facebook.com/thecoolguy4ever Ahmed Tarek Saad

           It’s an exclamation.

  • Mrs_Badcrumble

    I agree with most of what you say here.

    I haven’t read the books, and thought the past movies weren’t masterpieces, but still quite enjoyable entertainment. Now this last one (Part 1) just didn’t measure up to all the hype, in my opinion. Maybe because they decided to split one book into 2 movies?  I just thought there wasn’t enough plot in this one. I felt like there wasn’t enough of an arch to make a completely enjoyable and satisfying journey.
    The movie can be described as a wedding and a pregnancy, and in the end I didn’t even understand how she came back to life (when clearly Edward was too late to turn her). I hope that with Part 2 this just makes more sense and that “Breaking Dawn” will work as one single piece, instead of two “half” movies.

  • WhatTheGrace

    I think the screenplay was what suffered most, it started of well, the wedding, the party was all cool. I just felt the honeymoon was far too long. The parts where Bella wanted more sex could have been cut out, even the rio dancing scene. If they’d cut out these parts they could have had more time for Leah’s story which was really interesting to read about in the book. 

    I was also kind of pissed that they took out the scene where Jacob’s trying to imprint, it gave his character a bit more depth – his role as continuously being the 3rd wheel is dragged out. I do agree with Lautner not really improving too much form Eclipse and New Moon compared to other two but i don’t think he’s terrible, (he was awesome in New Moon – he made me feel for Jacob 100 times more than i did in the book) i just think out of the trio he’d been given the most cheesiest and not well written dialogue, on top of having to do the weird wolf mind reading voice thing and the imprint scene, i think you should cut him some slack, i don’t think any actor would have done brilliantly in any of those scenes. 

    I still also think that Chris Weitz should have returned for the final film, New Moon (the book) was a lot slower paced and not too exciting but Weitz managed to make Twilight vamps look cool (a.k.a Victoria scenes) and the film a whole lot more interesting.
    Nevertheless i m still looking forward to Breaking Dawn Part 2!

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