‘Twi’ Baby

film twilightFive things to be grateful for in the fifth and final ‘Twilight’ film

Death becomes Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (★★1/2 out of four). Never before has the typically stoic actress demonstrated so much life. And so it goes in the fifth and final chapter of The Twilight Saga, in which newly christened vamp, Bella (Stewart) and hubby Edward (Robert Pattinson) fight fate after the birth of their half-human/half vampire daughter. The film is loaded with costars and a surprisingly well executed ending that should do the film franchise justice. A winner at the box office last weekend, no doubt the film has enough legs to last through the holiday season. That said, here are a few things to be grateful for as the film series (finally) wraps up:

It’s Over  Sometimes, mediocre things do come to end. Oh … tweens and Twihards will vehemently disagree with me here, but here’s the thing: I’m older, I get paid to write to you, and I don’t care. Well, I do care. But let’s steer away from my typical diatribe that we all need to increase our connection with one another—and hug more puppies to boot. The bottom line: How bad can this film series really be for young adults? At the very least, it has offered more than 10 hours of time outside of the house and gave young adults—that’s YAs to you and me—ample time to socialize, some while Tweeting in long lines to see the movie—A+ to you lovelies that took the extra effort to look away from your SmartPhones, give your thumbs a rest and actually connect eye to eye with your peers. These movies are supposed to be pure fun, right? And. As far as endings go, this one pretty much rocked.

The Ending Pretty Much Rocked It took three Twilight films for me to accept the universal allure of the series, and by that point, the filmmakers that gave birth to Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling book series were already planning to wrap it up. Still, for all my kvetching about Kristin Stewart’s wooden performances and Robert Pattinson’s desperately held look of constipation and irregularity, the combination of Bill Condon’s (Dreamgirls) effective direction and Melissa Rosenberg’s tight—and downright clever—writing in the film’s final 30 minutes elevate this one particular Twilight film. It may likely go down as one of the best in the franchise. Watch for how well both director and screenwriter weave together a suspenseful, action-packed opus and a surprise twist at the end you never would have expected from the franchise. If only the other films had shown that level of creativity. But that was then, and this, well, is the end.

Sheen is a Dream In previous films, fans may have appreciated the sardonic wit of Michael Sheen’s Aro, the Cullen’s vampire nemesis. As head of the Volturi here, Aro can’t wait to sink his manipulative fangs into the Cullen’s safe, little nirvana. Sheen creates one of the year’s best, well-executed screen villains.

Baby Makes Three At the heart of this tale is, of course, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), the half-human/half-vampire offspring of Bella and Edward. After a fellow vamp spies the young girl—who ages quickly yet gracefully in months—she reports the news to the Volturi, who, in turn, want to destroy the child. The lingering threat forces the Cullen clan to assemble a posse of vampire peers to assist them, just in case a bloody battle ensues. What the Volturi do not yet understand, is that, unlike the vampire babies of yore, Renesmee is quite the magical little hybrid. The character (and the actress) give the film some heart.

Ab Fab Rest assured: teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner, who plays Bella’s forelorn yet devoted werewolf pal, Jason, drops trou and goes shirtless, much to the delight of the young girls in the audience. To which I think: what will happen 20 years from now, when, say, these same females continue to hold onto an unrealistic sense of body image and have trouble accepting the slightly protruding tummies of their now middle-aged hubbies? It’s best not to go there. After all, women have been objectified in films for decades. So, for the sake of universal balance and evening out the cosmos, we must express gratitude to Mr. Lautner. (Keep up the crunches; the world thanks you.)

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