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November 17, 2008. Prior to that date, no one knew just how big the Twilight Saga was going to be. Was it the next Harry Potter or was it the next Golden Compass?

From every second after that date, we knew it as a global phenomenon.

Four years later we stand here with five Twilight films, all but two being helmed by a different director. Twilight was unique in that it had an indie feel with a pretty unknown cast. New Moon was special because we knew going in how large of a base the fandom had. Eclipse stood out for its darker and more serious tone brought by director David Slade. And Breaking Dawn – Part 1 stood out for its climatic moments in which Edward and Bella finally tie the knot and transition into a life together, literally, forever.

That leaves to find what Breaking Dawn – Part 2, opening Friday in theaters worldwide, will bring to the franchise. The answer? A perfect and exciting close which will not leave fans disappointed in the slightest.

The film begins exactly where Breaking Dawn – Part 1 left off: Bella opens her eyes and we see her as a vampire for the first time. She then adjusts to life as someone who will live forever: Going on her first hunt, learning to act like a human (for Charlie’s sake), and discovering her and Renesmee’s unique abilities.

We then learn that the Volturi isn’t pleased with what Bella and Edward created, so the center of the film focuses upon the Cullens’ and wolves’ mission to round up covens who can stand by what Renesmee is. The antagonists travel across the world and the film moves at a pleasant pace as we’re introduced to new characters like Tanya (MyAnna Buring), Kate (Casey LaBow), Benjamin (Rami Malek), Vladimir (Noel Fisher) and Eleazar (Christian Camargo). The Volturi return too, and Michael Sheen’s Aro is absolutely wicked for his final performance as the vampire governing leader.

Then there’s the epic ending. Highlight the text below for *very light* spoilers and our thoughts on it. We do not give away what happens at the end.

—>As you can tell from the trailer, there is indeed a fight between the Cullens and Volturi. The idea was dreamed up by author Stephenie Meyer and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg one night at dinner. It is a true shocker that will leave you gasping until the very end. We loved this scene because it was a true surprise and kept the audience captivated.

Despite having to travel to many locations to pick up the various coven members, the film moves at a perfect pace. Between the rounding up of vampires, the Cullens discovering their new life together as a full vampire family, and the epic ending, director Bill Condon was able to keep the story fresh and intriguing through out. At no point in Breaking Dawn – Part 2 did we find ourselves in a slow moment, which is something Part 1 suffered numerous times.

The acting performances don’t differ much here from Breaking Dawn – Part 1 because they were filmed at the same time. The biggest character change you’ll see is from Kristen Stewart who is now a vampire. She gets her new vampire looks, which work great for the actress, but her vampire portrayal is comparable in quality to her human-Bella character. Nonetheless, it’s refreshing and fun to see her new life as a blood-thirsty creature. Newcomer Mackenize Foy’s Renesmee is as sweet as you could’ve hoped, and it’s clear her quick growth spurt during the story was designed carefully.

In hindsight, we have a hard time imagining the Breaking Dawn story being wrapped up in one film. Despite the slowness of Part 1, the pace of Part 2 makes up for the splitting decision. Our one qualm with the pace of Part 2 was the lengthy opening credits sequence. On one hand, since this is the final film it is nice to have this traditional opening. On the other, it takes up several minutes and it felt like it loses the audience who just want to jump straight into the action.

As are all of the Twilight films, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 caters to the fans and delivers. You get shirtless Jacob, you get plenty of intimacy between Edward and Bella, and you also get some fun scenes with the Cullens and Charlie. We believe that Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is the best of the series and will leave the audience holding back tears until the very last scene.

The memories of this Saga will indeed live on forever because Condon, Rosenberg, and Meyer worked up a great multi-part ending. Congratulations to the studio, the actors, the crew, and the fans for a successful four year, five-film run.

Grade: A-

Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity)

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opens in theaters on November 15, 2012 (10 PM local time).

  • hpatdh33

    I was really planning on not seeing this one because I thought Part 1 was the worst of the franchise. But with this new climax I’m actually quite interested.

  • kate

    percy jackson might have been a bad movie, but it was still a great book. (100x better than twilight)

    • Janine

      Percy Jackson is freaking amazing!

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Andrew Sims

      Ya know, I wrote PJ but didn’t mean it. I mean, it’s kind of what I meant. But I changed it from PJ to Golden Compass – that was more of the film I was thinking of.

      • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

        Thinking of The Golden Compass still makes me cringe. I love ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘His Dark Materials’ so much and I hated the film so badly!

  • Jael

    First off, I’m not surprised that Andrew Sims is reviewing. He is our resident Twilight guy after all.

    And second of all, screw what everyone else says. I can’t wait to see Breaking Dawn this Friday and I am going to like it damnit! The fact they actually added a fight scene makes me want to watch it even more.

    • Allison L.

      love me some Andrew Sims : )

  • Gary65

    What about Mackenzie Foy? What was Renesmee like?

    • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

      She was cute and nice and she really looks like Bella

  • http://twitter.com/AntaraC Antara Chowdhury

    I’m going to see the movie on Wednesday. Thank goodness they have a surprise ending, it would be so anticlimactic if it ended the same way the book did.

  • Tomas

    @Kate Percy Jackson sucks 1000x more as Twilight. Twilight is amazing, books are WAY better

  • KimHana

    The fighting part really surprised me because I have read the books again and again but I really didn’t read any fighting scenes in breaking dawn… as far as I know, they only talked, and the volturi is not that many…. I believe that the Cullens is supposed to have the larger population because of their unity with other covens but the book shows nothing near the movie… haha

    I’m really excited to watch the fight scene!! I wanna watch how Bella fights with Edward. The trailer is SUPER AWESOME~!!!

  • Sminett

    I am so EXCITED to see it on Friday!

  • Zack

    Andrew, I really, REALLY need this answered.
    SPOILERS! I read that Alice has a vision of Renesmee and Jacob living happily. How can this be? Alice CAN’T see Renesmee OR Jacob in the future!

    Please clarify this! Its been bugging myself and many other fans!

    • http://twitter.com/FailGloriously Katherine Fitzgerald

      They never state in the films that Alice can’t see visions of the werewolves. Films are about showing, books are about telling, so it kinda makes sense that they omitted this canon.

      • AngehLala

        In New Moon she actually states that she can’t see past Jacob and his ‘pack of mutts’

        • http://twitter.com/FailGloriously Katherine Fitzgerald

          Whoops! Thanks for correcting me!

    • Suzanne

      Consider it creative license for visual rather than canon. It really does add to the overall picture and is a tiny thing easily overlooked.

      • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

        It also makes all the imprinting thing slightly less creepy

    • ZofTheTwiHard

      I’d call it a ‘rare moment of insight’, rather than questioning it. I still admire the talent that went into the Saga, and I absolutely loved the climax.

  • http://twitter.com/Merina2 Merina

    As long as Michael Sheen is around to steal the show again…I’m happy :D

    In all seriousness, I never thought I’d get so excited about another Twilight movie. But it’s happened. I don’t claim that they’re quality cinema pieces, but I enjoy them immensely. Can’t wait for Friday!

    • SonickedYou

      He did, and he did so brilliantly!

  • Jill

    I loved that review, it has me even more excited now to see it on the big screen. I’m not quite as sad as when Potter ended because this is very different…..I’m full of excitement.

  • 7Starrchasers

    Hmmm I loved Breaking Dawn pt 1. But honestly, apart from the confrontation scene and Bella’s reaction to the imprinting, the film was way too cheesy for me which is sad considering I really thought that Bill Condon could save this half of the book. Lee Pace was my favourite!!! He did such a good job but man, the graphics in this film were a little unbearable to watch. I do agree with Andrew that the pacing was good, I wasn’t bored at all. And before anyone says anything about how I’m trolling or lying, I’m in Australia and I literally got back from the midnight screening. Its 2:44 am and for those in the US, you can just do the math.

    • Suzanne

      I agree with some of the graphic comments though I am thinking of certain scenes and not the overall film. I still loved it though and agree too that Lee Pace was really good.

    • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

      The end of the “confrontation scene” was terrible. There was general laughter when I watched it…

  • redandy

    I saw the movie last night in Belgium, midnight screening. It was awesome. The pace was very good, the music also and the ending was epic. For me it was the best movie of this series. I wish you all the same experience.

  • lovinggrandmother

    I was there and this will blow your socks off!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/FailGloriously Katherine Fitzgerald

    I went to a midnight screening last night and loved it! Us Aussie fans were going crazy in theatre (mainly just being together and what not). There was never a dull moment and the movie definitely catered to fans – everything we missed in the book was in the movie! Yay! I think BDpt2 will be more appealing to non-Twilight fans than the other films. Loved it!

  • http://twitter.com/alexacadia alex

    IT WAS AMAZING. had to come and read the review after i saw it… i agree completely. i loved it though, and the twist… omg

  • http://twitter.com/dreamfall31 Kevin Slechta

    The Twilight Saga in a sense was similar to the Golden Compass. The Twilight films, much like The Golden Compass, are terrible poor excuses for films. The only difference is that the awful Twilight movies became immensley popular and were allowed to fund the rest of the crappy series.

    • Suzanne

      I agree that the first film was not good at all but considering the $50 million budget and an indie type film director, that is no surprise. However, I think some of the fail of these films lies with Melissa Rosenberg. That said, am still a huge fan of the books and the movies and will continue to enjoy them for many years as I do with HP.

    • Tomas

      GC was crappy, the twilight saga is amazing
      While YOU may think it’s crap, I think
      the saga is one of the best film series of the past decade

  • Suzanne

    Oh, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you will not be disappointed in the least. It moves very fast and has several hold your breath moments culminating in the epic ending. I went to the marathon and saw the 10:00 pm showing. Everyone in the audience was so engaged on what was happening on the screen. It was an amazing experience. Thanks Stephenie Meyer for these characters and to the actors and directors for bringing them to life.

  • http://twitter.com/reallygenevieve Genevieve

    Will you be discussing it on Vampire Hype, now that Imprint is no longer? I can’t even find the old episodes. :( I loved it! I gasped!

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