Review – Breaking Dawn: Part 1

Before taking a look at the new ‘Twilight’ film, ‘Breaking Dawn: Part One’, I thought I’d lay down a few ground rules:

1. I will only judge the film based on its own merits, I’m not here to critique the phenomenon.
2. I’m not here to berate ‘Twilight’ fans. I think you deserve to be just as passionate about your series as ‘Star Wars’ fans or any other rabid pop culture fan base is of theirs.

3. Kristen Stewart is a terrible, terrible actress.

The wedding day has arrived for Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire groom, Edward (Robert Pattinson). During their honeymoon, Edward begins to realise that, in order for their marriage to succeed, he’ll need to turn Bella into a vampire. His fears become a reality when Bella becomes ill and their future together is put in doubt.

‘Breaking Dawn: Part One’ starts strong, with director Bill Condon nailing the fantasy wedding and drawing upon the theme of marriage as a symbol for new beginnings. It’s especially poignant considering the prospect of Bella becoming a vampire hangs over the nuptials. Once the rings are exchanged, however, the movie goes dramatically downhill.

This is the beginning of the end of the ‘Twilight Saga’. Stephanie Meyer’s book series ends with ‘Breaking Dawn’ but the film version has been split into two parts – also known as chucking a ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’. The difference with ‘Breaking Dawn: Part One’ is that it didn’t need to be split and could survive easily as one film with fine editing. The movie features some serious plot-padding that draws out the story, taking advantage of fans so the studio can maximise profits.

Of horrible note, a scene featuring a group of computer generated wolves having a family meeting is one of the worst scenes I have ever seen in a film. The human actors aren’t that much better, with the exception of Anna Kendrick and Billy Burke, who shine in microscopic roles – as they have throughout the series.

Having read the book, ‘Breaking Dawn: Part One’ is very faithful to the source material, but the material is very flawed and not much translates well onto the screen. Without giving anything away, there is a scene with Taylor “the human abdominal muscle” Lautner and a family member that may produce a few unintentional laughs. I feel sorry for hardcore fans of the series that have to endure sarcastic laugher during screenings.

I have no doubt that fans of the ‘Twilight Saga’ will lap up ‘Breaking Dawn: Part One’, and why not? The film is made for fans and doesn’t try to impress anyone else, so if you don’t know if you’re Team Jacob or Team Edward, stay away.


‘Breaking Dawn: Part 1’ is now showing in cinemas.

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The Popcorn Junkie