I’ve said this on Twitter, but it bears repeating: the best part of this movie was me leaving.
We have a hard and fast rule here at HDJM to spread love, but since I honestly believe Twilight is hazardous to your health, I feel like I’m doing a public service here in exposing it for the painful dreck that it is.
If that doesn’t tell you that I’m not a Twi-fan, then I have no idea what will. [And all Twilight-Defenders will be heartily laughed at. You have EVERYWHERE ELSE in the world to have your joy. This is our time. Our time, down here. [/Goonies reference.] You have been warned, Twi-hards.
Just as with the first half of Breaking Dawn, I will again state: this did not need to be two damn movies. Most of the running time literally consists of the opening and closing credits. My watch might have been wrong, but I’m pretty sure the opening credits where everything flashed from red to white and back again went on for a solid 48 minutes. I’m pretty sure that’s accurate.
The opening credits run for approximately 28 minutes, showing mountains, now red, then with frost forming! There are fractals in the treelines! Wolves are howling! And finally, a rose, covered in thick, hoary frost.
It is our Bella, newly turned diamonelle – hard and frozen, vampire blood coursing through her veins. She is now one of them. She is: Sparklepire. Uh, that’s Lady Sparklepire, I thank you. Her eye fills with blood and now she can see everything clearly, Edward in particular. She has never seen him so clearly before! It takes her 19 minutes and 14 seconds to slowly take his hand, slowly caress it, and slowly bring it to her face. She can actually feel him now. And why, he isn’t cold! He is hot – for her.
I want to point out that RPatz does not look like he wants to poop at any point in this movie, so good job, buddy! You’ve grown as an actor!
Bella sees herself, and she’s all dressed and make-up’d and hair did in a pretty blue frock and good god, she is beautiful. She cries out, “EVERYONE! COME SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL I AM.” For the space of 12 minutes and 9 seconds, we are reminded that she is powerful and strong and ZZZZZZZZZZ, we get it. Sparklepires are better than people! Ahd and Edward finally kiss, and then she remembers that she gave birth. Right! Oh, yeah. So where’s the kid? Baby? …monster?
Um, Bella? You’ll probably kill it, so let’s go get you a nibble, then you can see the baby. She sags into Edward’s arm, ME SO HUNGEE! and takes off running at breakneck speed. There’s a 17 minute scene of them running at full speed, then 5 solid minutes of running in slow mo, the two making moon eyes as they race through the woods looking for food.
She’s all, “Damn, Son! HD eyes is the bomb!” as they continue looking for an animal to nom on. A deer! Careful, Bella – don’t spook it!
Instead, she moans with want and looks over her shoulder. Some rock climber is up some 2000 ft. cliff WITHOUT A ROPE, just all tra la la, “I could die because the writers of this movie literally have no idea how things work anywhere.” Bella smiles because yes. You shall die, Rock Climber. Proper vampire behavior, hooray! She takes off in her heels and cocktail dress, throws herself at the cliff and scrambles up to him quick as two shakes. It’s hilarious.
She’s just starving, it seems, but Edward is able to talk her away from the guy and she jumps down to land in the typical one knee, fist pound, look up superhero thing that I’m totally over. And… flings herself at a cougar, instead.
Fun fact: the Cougar is the mascot of BYU, Smeyer’s alma mater. Hurr.
Back at the house she finds Jacob protecting the baby. Um…why? So let me remind everyone: the Quileute Indians “imprint” on each other, their lives dedicated to loving that person. They become soul mates, lovers, all of that. And Jacob has done that with a newborn, and no, that isn’t the creepiest fucking thing ever.
(Yes, it is. THAT IS THE CREEPIEST THING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF EVER.)
Jacob commands her to smell him, showing her his butt as is the custom of his wolf people, and then nervously side steps to let Bella into the Cullens’ house where everyone is worshipping the She Demon Child Bride. And the baby already looks like she’s about to start walking. Also, they have CGI’d a face onto the baby and it is the creepiest looking thing. It’s all benign and smiling blandly and that’s how they get you, Bella: that’s how the demons get your defenses down.
Instead of the Evil Baby Thing ripping off Bella’s head and supping on Mummy’s blood, she pat-a-cakes Bella’s cheek; Bella sees the baby’s first memories, which are of her mother dying. How sweet! It’s the baby’s gift, the sharing of thoughts through touch. All vampires have one, and this is hers. She tells stories through high-fives!
And then Bella learns about the imprinting, which the Cullens all find hilarious and adorable because everything in this movie is terrible. Well, not everything. Bella rightfully freaks the hell out because no one is going to diddle her creepy newborn with accelerated growth and Story Pats, JACOB! And it looks like Bella’s weirdly protective love of Jacob is gone. Why? Because Jacob was in love with her ovum and Bella intrinsically knew this, protecting him, and now that the baby is out of her, that’s all gone.
WHAT THE FRESH HELL. Seriously. He was in love. With an egg. In her ovary. And now he’s in love with a baby. Why in the world is this a popular love story, you guys? SHAME ON YOU. I know the site is literally called, “Hey, don’t judge me,” but you deserve judgment. YOU DO.
Bella learns the baby has been named after the two mothers, Renee and Esme, because I guess Bella couldn’t be fucking bothered to chime in on that stuff? The baby now has the worst name in literary history: Renesmee. And Jacob calls her “Nessie.” I hate everyone and everything right now. He says that he just wants her to be safe, and stops himself before he says “And I can’t wait to help change diapers, eyebrow waggle!”
Bella smiles at him, and he at her. And she smiles at Edward who smiles at the two of them, and they all are laughing and smiling and happy and joyous and another 14 minutes is gone, filled up with banal orchestral music and smiling.
All the vampire couples have a quick bout of sex (we see them all coming back in the woods zipping their pants and smoothing their hair) for they all need to Come To The Baby, For The Baby Calls Them. HOW IS THIS A THING THAT MONEY WAS SPENT ON. HOW. Everyone is like seriously into this baby and I wish they would have changed her name to The Golden Calf. Alice smirks at the newly parented couple before sending Bella and Edward off for a birthday boning. No, really. This shit is so Mormon, I can’t even.
Ed leads her to a cottage in the woods that is seriously awesome, I have to say. (All of the houses in this movie series have been cool.) There is weird music barely audible in the background. It’s weird because it’s disjointed and low enough that you can’t make out the lyrics, so it’s like walking past a Free People store while trying to figure out what Tori Amos song was playing on their speakers.
They pass their eyeballs over the main rooms and then quickly get to the bedroom. Bella, silly, virginal, Mormon Bella says innocently, “But vampires don’t sleep, why do we need a bed?”
And Edward takes her hand, leads her onto its downy softness and croons, “For our sexual congress, m’lady.” The music turns up a bit as they undress one another and the camera cuts so we can’t see anything. God dammit, if I have to sit through this you could at least give me some backlit boning, you know? Oh wait! Bella is – I guess – about to climax, as her face looks less stern and more confused, and she throws her head up, her hair floating in the air like a brown cloud, and then it all lights up and sparkles, and I am not making that up.
The diamond shimmers of true love and orgasm!
She snuggles into him (we don’t need to let him get his rocks off? Okay, then! Nice modern twist, I suppose.) and says that goodness, he really held back back on their honeymoon when he broke the bed into pieces and bruised her up good. You know what would have made me believe this? Actually seeing some rough sex. Throw her against the wall! Fling her around and fling yourself on her! Do it bald eagle style, leaping from a height of 2 miles and not pulling up until you both come. Trombone “wah waaah” noise.
Rosalie sits outside in the sun (I hate these vampires, oh my god) with the baby, singing Gregorian chants unto it until her lover Emmett shows up and takes her away for sexings. We learn that Bella’s dad, Charlie, has been told that Bella didn’t make it, and he’s grieving. After Jacob hears this – because he was hanging around waiting for Rosalie to get her hands off of his future lover GROOOOOOOOSS – he takes it upon himself to go tell Charlie the truth. Because it’s his job to?
He tells Charlie that Bella isn’t dead, she’s just “changed some.” And then he proceeds to take his shirt off and pull his pants down so that he’s standing in his Y-fronts. The audience had a collective orgasm and I was so embarrassed for all of them. I’m not kidding, the audience was shrieking and howling, and it is a chest. God knows how they’d react if they saw some wolf peen.
Jacob turns into a wolf, freaking Charlie out. Which is a normal reaction to a giant CGI wolf appearing where a kid you’ve known for years was just standing.
So now Bella has to pretend to be human for Charlie to visit, complete with brown contacts and a reminder to not use her vampire speed. Charlie shows up, and it’s actually nice to see their relationship because Billy Burke is a great character actor. She assures him that she’s fine, he “doesn’t want to know” why she’s okay, and hey, look at our 14 month old adopted child who is betrothed to your best friend’s son and is currently hoping to potty train the baby? [hoooark]
He leaves, and I can’t help but think that was really easy. Oh, but this took up 18 minutes of screen time, so it’s a win.
Time to prove Bella’s physically strong like a vampire! Emmett walks over a boulder and they arm wrestle. Of course she wins. Emmett’s all “But I are the strongest?” Not anymore, Stiffler. Something catches Bella’s eye: the sun. She steps into it, and we’re supposed to think she’s sparkling in the sunlight, but it looks like a little body glitter lotion from two days before. I will never get over the anger of being denied disco-ball sparkles, you guys.
“I was born to be a vampire,” she exhales. Everything is coming up frosted roses, you guys. Jacob makes friends with the other wolf pack, the Volturri/Catholic Vampire Council sends a ginormous diamond necklace in congratulations, and Renesmee is growing like a weed (she now looks about 7, and Jacob is looking like he wants this to go faster). Bella takes her daughter and her daughter’s future lover to play in the snow, and some randomly passing-by vampire spots them and freaks out. Huh, that’s weird. Maybe it was because of the imprinting thing, because god knows that’s still freaking me out.
That random vampire shows up in the Volturri’s headquarters to tell the Vampire Pope that the Cullens are doing Bad Things. He touches her hand to read her thoughts and delivers a George Takaii, “Oh, myyy!”
Back at the Cullens’, Alice the psychic freaks, drops a vase (You couldn’t foresee that you would drop that??) and tells the family that the Volturri are coming for them all. THEY ARE COMING! And they’re bringing… the Dress Cloaks.
But why? Because they believe Bella turned a child. Whenever they have real vampire stuff in the movie, it makes it infinitely more interesting. We learn about Vampire Children, who exist because some lady vamps just really need babies (all women need babies, never forget. You’re not complete without one!) but the vampire babies bite indiscriminately and ruin whole villages with their toddler brains, because they can never grow mentally.
Okay, I would love a vampire movie about THAT. That’s actually interesting and awful, as befits a horror trope like VAMPIRES, not this vegan vampire morality horseshit.
There are some awesome shots of an old medieval village burning to the ground as a widdle man no bigger than this many (three) has gummy blood on his mouf, Momma. Uh oh! The Volturri then had to kill everyone involved, and that was pretty awesome to watch. Beheadings! Burnings! Bloodless screaming! Oh, well, enough interesting stuff, folks. Don’t get too into things, we have to get back to the Vegans. Er, Cullenses.
(And they keep making it look as easy as snapping off a Ken doll head to behead a vampire, and they’re supposed to be Superior Beings. Harumph.)
Alice and Jasper make like trees and get the hell out of Dodge, leaving a note for Bella on a piece of paper from a copy of the Merchant of Venice.
Fun fact: Smeyers believed she modeled this story after Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice! They’re totally the same, right? …right?
The Cullenses disband to find friends to “bear witness.” (This is so Mormon Church, I can’t even.) And what does that even mean? It means they’re going to find “friends” that will come, look upon the Golden Plates, I mean, upon Renesmee and see that she is truly not a turned child. They’re going to have to stand up to the Volturri while they’re at it, so good luck finding anyone to do that.
They go on their missions [cough] and find:
- Swedish Vamps in Alaska that Renesmee face-fives into belief.
- Moroccan Vamp family that are coerced by their willful and disobedient vampire teenager son.
- Two Amazon lady vamps with intense Tyra Banks eyes. Bloody smizing is a thing!
- American vamp in England (Lee Pace–no I crushed on you!) who hates the Beatles who comes because he’s curious
- A family of Irish vamps who look like they’re still living off coal and potatoes
- and others who don’t matter until the closing credits, with an actual running time of 41 minutes and 17 seconds.
We’re told that it comes to about 18 vampires on the Cullens’ side total at this point. And this means that more “Indian” kids are becoming werewolves to match the growing number of vampires in the area. Renesmee face-fives everyone, and they all fall to their knees. WE LOVE BABY. WE DIE FOR BABY. Please, oh please let this be a ruse where they actually make the baby evil, and she sucks their souls, or something.
Two vampires turn up uninvited. They are…Russian? Czech? Romanian? Their accents are all over the place, but they want to see heads literally roll. They hate the Volturri and want to fight. But the Cullenses are lovers, not fighters, so stick around for a lot of nothing, new dudes! The Volturri don’t really care about the baby anyway, they just want an excuse to kill them all so they can absorb Alice into their fold. They want a Seer on staff, and they’ll do anything to get one. That’s why Alice left. Thanks, Alice.
All of the vamps coo at Renesmee and say they’ll stand with the Cullenses instead of fighting. BOR-ING.
Whoa, we find out that Bella has a gift, too! She can make a shield with her mind. That’s why Edward couldn’t read her thoughts. Maybe she could learn to use it and throw that shield over other people? She thinks blurry lines out of her face as one of the vamps with electricity fingers tortures Edward over and over until she figures it out. Awesome.
Later there’s a lame series of scenes of Bella finding a “clue” from Alice that turns into a passport and birth certificate for Nessie so they can flee the country. Trombone noise. I’m not joking, this ACTUALLY took up 17 minutes of screen time. Hey, Alice? Some magic or secret weapon would have been much more helpful, okay?
They have Christmas with Charlie, and Jacob is there with Nessie (not on his knee, thank goodness). Charlie is sent away on a trip for his present, and Jacob gives Renesmee a beaded promise bracelet that he made in sleepaway art camp.
Another great vampire moment gets started where they all sit around the campfire sharing stories of war throughout the ages, but that’s too interesting so that ends pretty damn fast. GOD DAMMIT. So instead we see Edward telling Carlisle how grateful he is for “this extraordinary life.” The one where you go to high school for 107 years and take up knitting lumpy sweaters and playing “Heart and Soul” on the piano? Yeah. Awesome.
The Battle of Epicness is about to happen! The Good Guys pour out onto a snowy expanse of land, all…twenty three of them. And out of the snowy fog come the Volturri! A huge line of cloaked bad guys in single formation march steadily towards our Good Vampires For Truth And Babies. There’s like…forty-two, so. You know. This is a huge, epic war we’re about to watch?!??
Edward is called forth to explain himself to Aro, the Vampire Pope. (Bella thinks her blurry lines of protection his way, but they snap back because Bella is the worst.) The Pope reads his mind and demands to see the child. Bella, Renesmee, Emmett and Jacob all come forth. When the Pope sees the baby, he gives the weirdest, creepiest laugh – like, I’m embarrassed for the actor weird, not “ooh, that gave me the shivers!” weird – and claps his little hands together with delight.Renessmeeeeeeme face-fives the Pope to “show him” the truth, and he exhales fervently, “Magnifico!” I wish I was making this up. The other members of the Vatican Vamps are all, “Impos-see-blay! Zis cannot be!” Pope calls over the accuser, she admits that she made a mistake, so he rips her head off and burns her body. WOW! That’s awesome!?? THIS IS WHAT I CAME FOR, VAMPIRE BATTLES.
The Swiss Alaskan Vamps freak the hell out and come running, loaded with bear blood (they’re vegetarian, too – OH. IN TWILIGHT LAND, VEGETARIAN MEANS ANIMALS ARE EATEN. I hate them all. All of them. Fervently.)
The Amazon Vamps stop them; they know the Vatican Vamps are spoiling for a fight. Bella gets her wavy think lines of blocking around Edward so he’s not hurt by Dakota Fanning-Vamp. Pope is all, “Gosh, no laws have been broken…yet. I just don’t trust that Bella won’t make her bendy think lines into some kind of weapon, not to mention that we don’t know what Nessie will become…”
Alice and Jasper show up then; the Pope gives another creepy Voldemort-esque cackle of glee. Alice has “proof” in her mind that Nessie won’t be a risk. He takes her hand to “see” what the hell she’s talking about. She realizes the Pope won’t change his mind and mouths “Now!” to Bella, who sends Nessie and Jacob (as a wolf) away.
THE BATTLE BEGINS! ACTUAL BATTLE!!
Jasper kicks the Pope to the curb, and the curb is about two hundred yards away. Alice is grabbed while everyone stands around doing nothing because they are the worst excuses for vampires in the history of the trope. Eventually Carlisle comes running, but is caught, flipped, and holyfuckingshit they rip his head off and he burns up!?? WHAT? This wasn’t in the book! BAD. ASS.
All the Cullenses freak out and run in, ready to fight now. It’s O Fortuna time, y’all! Seriously: They play O Fortuna. Bella thinks bendy lines at anyone she can but gets distracted by Smoke-Hands Vamp. Someone rips off Jasper’s head, what is this awesome madness?? Emmett goes bananas, because he read the book, and rips the head off of another vamp. Gosh, they tear like paper dolls for diamond-skinned killers…
Seth the wolf is killed by Dakota Fanning-Vamp, and Lea (another wolf, and believe me I hate that I know who they are, too) howls at the sky. (Two other wolves standing in different directions join in, as is the custom of their people.) Jacob kills some evil vamp chasing him and Renesmee. Earth Bender Naughty Teen Vamp smashes his fist into the ground, making it split into a deep crevasse so that Vatican Vamps can’t help but fall in.
(Um, we saw Bella scramble up a cliff, so this doesn’t have the dread the director intended unless Teen Vamp can do a dramatic handwave and make the earth crash back together, smooshing Vatican Vamps like doodle bugs under a shoe.)
Bella almost falls in, and we see that there’s hot lava down there. Oh, okay. Edward falls in with some dude stuck on his back, but Lea sacrifices herself to the lava chasm to get the bad vamp off. BUT WHY WOULD SHE? Ugh. Edward miraculously leaps into the air and beheads another Vatican Vamp, so I guess he didn’t spend the last 107 years just attending high school over and over, but maybe too a Taekwondo class or three. Bella saves Alice, who throws Dakota Fanning-Vamp to a wolf, who bites her head off with a puppy head shake. Ahahahaha.
The Volturri are all sad facing over Dakota Fanning-Vamp dying, because she was so pretty and evil!
There’s a proper vampire killing where one of the Swiss Alaskan Vamps pushes up on the top teeth of a Vatican Vamp and splits the top of his face off like opening a clementine, and I am cheering because wow, did I not expect all of this death! The Russian-Czech-Romanian Vamps kill a Vatican Vamp and are all happy about it, while the Pope bitch-slaps Bella across the ice. She and Edward team up to pop the Pope’s head off like a champagne cork and hooray! They did it!
And then the BIGGEST “FUCK YOU” IN CINEMA HISTORY HAPPENS. The Pope rears back from holding Alice’s hand, and that was what she was showing him in his mind. None of that happened. None of that proper vampire violence happened and I want to stomp around and gnash my teeth!! The whole audience groaned and moaned, then started laughing in relief, because Jasper! Carlisle! Whew, close one! We almost had to have something interesting actually happen!
Ugh, people with your stupid “caring.” I don’t care; it was awesome to see people killed unexpectedly.
But Twilight means never having to say you’re kidding, and Twilight has no conflict ever, so the Vatican Vamps all harumph when a Brazilian Vamp (I assume he’s hairless downstairs) is trotted out. He apparently is just like Renesmee: half mortal, half vampire. He’s 150 years old, so Jacob? Sucks to be you! Your child-bride is going to Highlander you, I hope.
This hybrid bro can live on blood or human food, whichever. And the Pope nods his pissy little nod and laughs his pissy little laugh and calls his friends “Dear Ones” and they all whisk themselves back into the fog and out of sight forever. We also learn that the Brazilian vamp reached maturity after seven years, so Jacob is all making with the mental calendar of when he can bone the little girl holding his hand and I HATE THIS STORY SO MUCH WHY IS THIS ACCEPTABLE ENTERTAINMENT OH MY GOD.
Everyone else filters away to their vampire unlives, and the Free People store turns up their sound speakers a little more so we can kind of hear some soft emo crooning in the background. Jacob asks Edward if he can start calling him “Dad,” I am not making that up, and Edward laughs, and the audience laughs and I pulled my arm rest off my theater seat, and Alice looks into the future to see a pretty teenage girl with Jacob as they visit the parentals on the beach and life is going to be happily ever after, puuuuke.
Flash to Edward and Bella in a literal field of flowers kissing and cooing. Bella makes a stern face and lets Edward into her mind to read her thoughts. Aww, back when she was a puny human with no makeup on and when she fell in love with him, and the audience is sighing and shifting in their seats (you know why, gross) and Bella and Edward are all “Pukey love you blah blah love you more blah fluff no you hang up!” and kiss as the pages of a book flash. They turn to the last page of the actual novel that reads:
“And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.”
Oh my god NO IT ISN’T THE END because the universe hates me, and it hates you, and given the opportunity would kill everyone you’ve ever loved without blinking an eye. They then have a 38 minute segment of “Blah Blah as Porkenheimer Vamp” and “Beepity Bleh as Whiny Emo Wolf” for all five movies. Some of these people we haven’t seen since the first movie, but they’re treated as if they are Hollywood legends in this closing sequence. (One of two closing credits. NO, REALLY.
NO. REALLY. I AM NOT MAKING THAT UP.)
They show Jacob and Edward, and the audience STOOD AND APPLAUDED, some of them WHISTLING through their fingers and the last, clinging tatter of my soul died in that moment.
And that’s when I left. And a man walking out behind me with his girlfriend/wife mumbled, “The best thing is that now this shit is over for good,” and I turned and laughed, wanting to high-five him, but his lady friend was looking daggers at him so I didn’t.
I should have face-fived her.
GUYS. It is over. It is over and we did it, we made it out alive. If you need me to write you a note to enable you to drink copious amounts of alcohol to take the pain away, I can totally do that for you. Just say the word.
Somebody bust out the Team It’s Over! shirts!!