'Twilight' Spoiler Talk: 9 Things ‘Breaking Dawn’ Gets Right
With The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part II finally in theaters, it’s time to get to spoiler-talkin’ — did Bill Condon & Co. blow minds with the Big Crazy Twist in their big-screen adaptation? How much sexy time do newborn vampires have? Is imprinting totally not creepy when the power of Taylor Lautner’s abs is compelling you?
Five films and a few billion dollars into Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight franchise, the Breaking Dawn crew have put together arguably the best film in the series. Whether you’re a Twi-hard or staunchly unconverted to the sparkly cause, sound off below on all the over-the-top vampire theatrics of the franchise finale, starting with these nine key moments, scenes, and changes from the book:
The Battle Sequence
Let’s shove the elephant in the room out of the way first: How about that battle scene?
The X-Men-style mutant power stand-off that closes Meyer’s novel series was always going to be the film’s biggest technical challenge, with invisible vampire powers surging across the battlefield left and right. Harder still, in the books the battle was anti-climactic, a non-starter that never actually takes place on the page. I repeat: Nobody dies. No heads roll. Literally nothing happens.
Enter screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and Meyer’s big cinematic fix. We now see what Alice sees, the future possibility of a Cullen-Volturi massacre that ends with Aro’s death, not to mention the certain doom of many beloved Twilight characters. The fake-out ending allows for the best action of the franchise, not to mention a key element seldom seen throughout the faithful films to date — surprise.
Critics, feminists, and non-fans of the books have long complained about Bella’s passivity, with good reason; for the majority of the series she’s fragile, self-doubting, and almost always in need of protection by the men in her life.
Where Breaking Dawn is most satisfying, then, is in Bella’s emotional and physical transformation. She’s strong. She can arm-wrestle and eat mountain lions. She has a temper. She has an appetite for blood, and for sex. After four years of watching Bella mope around Forks, she finally grows a pair — and while that is a reversal of the average-girl fantasy that made Twilight popular to begin with, and despite the fact that her superpower is a maternal and protective “shielding” talent instead of something more, y’know, awesome, it’s so much better to see Bella Swan strong than not.
They’re real, and they’re fabulous. They’re also, hilariously enough, integral to the scene at hand: Jacob strips down in front of Charlie to morph into wolfy form in order to keep the Cullens from leaving town. The exchange between Taylor Lautner and Billy Burke also injects a much-needed dose of levity to the franchise, which brings me to…
Finally, the Twilight franchise has a sense of humor. That sidelong glance between Edward and Jacob before Bella learns her bestie has eyes for her new baby; the way newborn Bella hungrily grabs her man, ready to do it for forever now that she no longer has to worry about getting pregnant and being crushed to death/being eaten in the heat of the moment. And while we’re on the subject…
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