Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Breaking Dawn is truly one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen.

It is.
I originally agreed to accompany Alice to a screening of Breaking Dawn on the condition that she be aware from the get-go that I would be heckling the screen and laughing the entire time. Just days before I had been at Brian & Fish's abode, swigging a cider and screeching in uproarious and disgusted laughter at the last few scenes of Eclipse. No doubt this beginning-half-of-the-last-bit-of-the-franchise (is that a thing now? Splitting the final part into two halves and giving it an absurdly long name like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One?) would provide even more hearty lulz and vomit-inducing schmaltz.

Little did I know exactly what I was getting myself into.

In a last minute decision to leave a vessel of sangria in the capable hands of a few pals, we sped over to the Jam Factory to get some vampire-lovin' into our eyes. I repeat, LITTLE DID WE KNOW WHAT WE WERE GETTING INTO.

Have you read the books?
I have read the books.
I don't know what possessed me to read the books, or why on earth I was able to borrow ALL of them from Michelle, whose projected image of being quite an intelligent person must be some sort of act, an elaborate ruse. I'm sure this has been discussed at length in all possible internet locations, but for those who haven't had the questionable joy and definite torture of reading Stephanie Meyers' best-selling tween pron ... Breaking Dawn is by far the most bizarre. It has all the over-the-top romance and teen angst and dull characters you would expect, but with the added bonus of the following:
  • Vampire sex
  • Half-human, half-vampire spawn. 
  • Said spawn communicating with its parents from inside the womb. 
  • Edward eating the vampire spawn out from inside Bella. 
  • A teen wolf falling in love at first sight with a new-born baby. 
  • Werewolf inter-gang politics. 
I'm not kidding. 

Story-wise, this particular chapter of Dull Girl Loves Old Vampire IMMEDIATELY jumps right into the  thick of it. It assumes we've all seen the film's predecessors, and that as such exposition is unnecessary.  Wedding. Done. Off to Rio for a honeymoon. Bella is nervous about secks. They finally shag. They destroy their bedroom. Hurr hurr. Bella is pregnant. Jacob is sad. Jacob is angry. Edward is full of angst. Bella is being killed by baby. Baby communicates with parents. Edward is happy. Jacob helps out Bella by keeping her safe from his werewolf brethren. He's full of angst. Bella almost dies in child birth. Edward eats baby out of Bella. Baby is fine. Jacob goes to kill baby but decides he's in love with her instead. Half-human half-vampire baby is given a name that is half stupid and half idiotic. Bella is turned into a vampire. It all whips by at break-neck speed ... yet why does it feel excruciatingly long?

I went in expecting a laugh a minute as a result of the sheer absurdity of it all. And yes, I did laugh. I snorted in laughter at Kristen Stewart's facial expressions, which ranged from confused to slightly pained. I laughed at (not with) the feeble attempts at humour during the wedding sequence, which sadly only achieved an uncomfortable "awkward". I giggled at the sound of the werewolf voices, the booming and lowered versions of the actors' regular tones. I laughed at the straight-faced seriousness of EVERYTHING that went on. And everyone laughed when Bella uttered the baby's name, Renesmee. 

While I did get a great deal of amusement and barely stifled giggles out of the goings-on, the overwhelming feeling I had as the credits rolled was not the one of extreme hilarity that I had expected. No, I felt my entire being crying out, "the fuck was that???"

Firstly, Kristen Stewart. She might be okay. I thought she was alright in Adventureland. But here... maybe it's the insipid character she's portraying, maybe it's the direction, maybe she's mediocre at best but ... no. Just, no. Her facial expressions never change, she mumbles her way through her lines, she displays no charisma in the slightest. I know Bella's supposed to be a somewhat awkward girl, but the scenes in which she attempts to seduce Edward are just uncomfortable. They're awkward, cringe-inducing, they're So Bad. Ditto most instances in which she's required to display an emotion, but those particular scenes especially are cringe-inducing.

Not that cringe-inducing is necessarily a bad thing. Could be a good thing. Thing is, I can't for the life of me find Bella and Edward likeable. I just can't muster up a shit to give about them. Bella is the absolute epitome of dull. Edward isn't much better. Bella is so incredibly, frustratingly dependant on Edward, I found myself wondering in mild shock how on earth anyone could think that these are good moviefilms for impressionable tween girls to become fixated on. Bella's entire existence seems to be validated by Edward's love and stalker-like tendencies. Sure romance is nice, but when Bella appears to think that her vampire beau doesn't want her, blankface's world seems to completely and utterly shut down. During their honeymoon Bella actually pleads with Edward to have sex with her, in a scene so goddamn pathetic I couldn't even find an iota of laughter to be had. Why both Jacob AND Edward are enamoured of Bella is beyond me. And I sure as shit lament the predicament this leaves the young tweenage boys of today; they've got a vampire to live up to, and that ain't going to result in ridiculous expectations at all ...

There's this one scene, where Bella's walking down the aisle. She looks like she's about to chunder, or have a heart attack. Then she sees Edward's "perfect face" (that phrase, I'll have you know, is used a truly disgusting amount of times within the books), and she's able to keep on walking. I'm sure that if that sort of thing went down in another film I wouldn't have felt myself cringing in disgust and discomfort, but in this instance it was just so goddamn awfully HEAVY-HANDED. Which is another problem with Breaking Dawn (and the Twilight Saga in general) - every point made is beat into the audience like a pistol to the face until it's not made, but also lodged in the squidgy inside of your brain.

Chess game as battle of sexes while Bella seduces Edward!
I almost want to procreate, if only in order to send one less young girl into the world who doesn't think that a controlling, obsessive, stalker boyfriend who sparkles in the sunshine and swoons at their very breath is the height of romance. And that she must be completely dependent on the relationship (yet all the while stringing along a faithful friend who's similarly obsessed) in order to have meaning in her life/existence (even after being transformed into a vampire). And don't even get me started on the anti-abortion undertones I couldn't help but get from the film...

Christ, that got a bit more ranty and rambly than I had originally intended. This started out as "Reasons Why Breaking Dawn is Fucking Bizarre", not "I HATE TWILIGHT".

Basically, before I had time to ponder the goings-on and subsequently fly into a murderous rage, I was in the cinema. Sitting in the cinema, I was puzzled. I was puzzled at the complete off-the-wall-ness of the film. The strange visual effects used while Jacob was raging through the woods as a wolf, the violent animations during Bella's transformation (is this a teen filim?), the vampire baby killing Bella, the pathetic leads, the over-the-top love story, the werewolf voices, the dumb battle between vampire family and wolf pack, the VERY LOUD DRUMMING that played whenever the werewolves were onscreen.

And this may be because I was talking to a friend about John Waters films before Alice and I headed to the cinema, but I just kept thinking about what I was seeing onscreen from the point of view of someone who'd just spent dinner talking about John Waters. The film ends with Bella's eyes opening and WOAH surprise they're red. Maybe, just maybe, she had spent all of that time lulling everyone into a false sense of security, convincing them al that she's dull and occasionally pathetic only to KILL EVERYONE IN THE NEXT FILM. Maybe.

Or maybe it'll be even worse than this one.

At any rate, this has been the reaction of most people I tell what the last film I watched happened to be.


  1. SUP REBATRON. I love that gif. I seriously love that thing to the core. I'm curious to know your thoughts on all the gauntness and biting and BLOOD. My housemate's friend gagged and almost vomited apparently. I was quite disgusted. Blooooooooooooooooood. Blood. Thoughts?

  2. I was surprised by the amount of blood to be honest. Namely, I was very surprised that Rosalie hacked into Bella's stomach with a scalpel, especially given the amount of young teens that were in the audience and will no doubt make up the vast majority of ticket-buyers. It's pretty gnarly. A lot of blood. Blood doesn't usually bother me, but I was a little grossed out by the entire ordeal. Probably because I wasn't really expecting it.

    I think that's why I was so confused as I left the cinema; because it had all these creepy horror film elements (the gauntness, the blood, the strange baby killing its host). I just kept picturing different the tone could have been, and how far-out a horror film the material could have yielded - it could have been fucking out there.

    BLOOD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXBBGjUjy2c

  3. Surely the first problem with Breaking Dawn should be Bella's boob in the above poster... Talk about out of proportion... Weirdest boob angle ever...