Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart in ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 1′

by Eric Melin on November 18, 2011

in Reviews,Video Reviews

This review originally appeared in shorter form on KSNT-NBC, KTKA-ABC, and KTMJ-FOX, Kansas First News.

the-twilight-saga-breaking-dawn-part-1-final-posterTo put it simply, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is the fourth installment in a series of movies where a super-handsome vampire (Robert Pattinson) and a super-strong werewolf (Taylor Lautner) fight for the love of a lonely teenage girl (Kristen Stewart).

(Here are video reviews from Eclipse, New Moon, and Twilight, with clips from the films.)

The series started as an overheated metaphor for teen alienation and self-pity and worked pretty well at the beginning, but has now turned into an all-out soap opera with a wedding, a honeymoon, a baby, and two warring families.

Since that it is adapting only the first half of the Stephanie Meyer book it is based on, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is at a disadvantage because it doesn’t have a climax or an ending — but new director Bill Condon and director of photography Guillermo Navarro help make it the most cinematic Twilight movie yet with opulent art direction and beautifully composed shots.

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have matured along with their roles and the first 40 minutes or so has everyone smiling and cracking jokes, which is a nice change of pace from the usual sullen atmosphere of the other films — but then Taylor Lautner shows up to sulk and complain some more about how he can’t get over Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). I can’t tell if Taylor Lautner is playing a one-note character interpretation by design (Could shape-shifters be single-mindedly obsessed as a species?) or if he’s just a bad actor.

Pattinson-Stewart-Twilight-Saga-Breaking-Dawn-Part-1-BedRobert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart play their connection convincingly, but they are the only ones. Ultimately, this movie has more forced sincerity than a Republican presidential debate.

What really gets in the way of Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is the silly, contrived plot. Many of the choices made by the characters don’t seem organic — which is really odd considering that there isn’t really that much conflict outside the moral dilemma (made tougher because of supernatural forces) of whether Bella Swan will keep the baby or not.

There’s less cringeworthy dialogue in Breaking Dawn – Part 1 than the other films, and Bill Condon does a better job visually telling the story, but it’s hard to make a riveting two-hour film when the main conflict seems completely arbitrary.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers and regular critic for KCTV5. He’s a member of the BFCA, VP of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also the current 2013 Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paul Baker November 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Never seen such a load of drivel (well, except for the earlier films in the series). Insult to real mothers everywhere. Why do I go back? Our 13 year old son. And even he said the first half of the movie was crap.

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2 Eric Melin November 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Paul- I am curious as to why you wrote “Insult to real mothers everywhere.”

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3 Scorewere December 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Since the reviewer doesn’t say WHY the central conflict seems “arbtrary,” it is hard to evaluate the criticism. I hope we are not going to be told that werewolves and vampires don’t exist.

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4 Eric Melin December 9, 2011 at 11:39 am

No, Scorewere, I would never use that lame criticism. The whole conflict of the werewolves wanting to kill Bella and the baby even though they don’t really understand it. This truce that’s so valuable between them and the Cullen clan doesn’t seem like something worth breaking when nobody even knows the significance of the baby or even if its going to survive. The loyalties and relationships in this movie seem to shift on a dime, and that was really frustrating.

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