Breaking Dawn crosses borders in mediocrity

Ellen Gustavson/Editor-in-Chief

It’s your typical love story: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy impregnates girl, unborn fetus almost kills girl, boy turns girl into vampire and they all live happily ever after.

Wait, what?

Last Friday at midnight, theaters released the first part of of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.

Following in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Summit Entertainment decided to split the final installment of the series in two parts, so they could please their fans — ahem, make more money, ahem — by including every necessary detail from the 756-page book.

The movie follows Edward and Bella’s story as they get married and go on their honeymoon, only to soon find out that Bella has somehow ended up pregnant with some sort of half-vampire.

Because the fetus is incompatible with Bella’s body, she wastes away to keep her child alive; ultimately, her beloved Edward must transform her into a vampire after the baby is delivered to ensure her own survival.

The movie begins with an extremely lighthearted tone that differs greatly from the previous movies in the series.

Though still as awkward as ever, Kristen Stewart (Bella) manages to pull off a charming smile or two, and even, unless my ears deceived me, a giggle.

Yes, you read that right.

Kristen Stewart, infamous for her monotonous voice and constant blank-faced expression, pulled it together and actually acted convincingly in this movie, a pleasant surprise for anyone who walked in with their expectations as low as the sticky theater floor beneath their feet (i.e., me).

The happiness of Edward and Bella’s wedding then takes a turn down Awkward Street as they head for their honeymoon.

Parts of this that were intended to be serious were met with ringing laughter in the theater, while the parts meant to be humorous faced stony silence, punctured by bouts of quickly stifled coughing.

To its credit, the sex scene was quite brief, saving the audience any more awkwardness than necessary, and saving any younger members of the audience from having their innocent eyes corrupted.

Things go from bad to worse when Bella gets pregnant.

This part of the movie was dragged out for an almost unbearably long time; the only thing that kept me awake was being grossed out by Bella’s corpse-like appearance, and the fact that she had to drink blood from a Styrofoam cup and a straw.

(I know. Styrofoam? Really? Why aren’t the Cullens more environmentally conscious?)

Also interspersed between the stretch of Bella’s disturbing pregnancy is drama among telepathic werewolves and an excessive amount of musical montages.

The big payoff for all this is a gruesome, bloody birth scene and a rather condensed fight between the vampires and werewolves.

The movie wraps up with the end of Bella’s transformation to a vampire and a giant cliff hanger (SPOILER ALERT): Bella opening her red vampire eyes.



Of course, some credit should be given to the movie for coping with much more mature material.

The much talked about first-night-of-the-honeymoon scene, for example, actually had to be re-filmed, as it earned the movie an ‘R’ rating during its first screening.

The movie also touches on the issue of abortion, giving it more of an adult twist than the love-triangle tween issues of the previous movies in the series.

Nevertheless, the movie leaves off with good news for both Twi-hards and Twi-haters alike.

For the former, there’s another year to revel in Twilight-mania before it all ends with Part 2; for the latter, at least there’s only one more to go.

Class of 2014

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