Back in 2008, three years after the original “Twilight” book captured the imaginations of teenage girls across the world, stars were aligning. Seventeen year old Kristen Stewart had been cast in the role of Bella Swan, whilst British actor Robert Pattinson was revealed to play Edward Cullen. On a relatively small budget of $37 million dollars, no one could have predicted the furore that would follow. Fast forward four years, and the franchise has hit the stratosphere, grossing over 3 billion dollars, with cast members featured on the front of every tabloid.
Breaking Dawn Part 2, the final instalment of the saga sees Bella now immortalised as a vampire. Along with husband Edward and the rest of the Cullens, she must gather together witnesses to prove to the Volturi that her daughter Renesmee isn’t an immortal child.
It is Bella’s newfound strength that gives the film a greater energy than its predecessor, which felt overlong and uneventful. The high octane action gives both the stunt and special effects departments room to shine, resulting in a film that looks visually impressive. The emphasis on action also detracts away from the film’s romantic element, which, apart from the pre-teen or incredibly soppy members of the audience, will leave the corners of mouths twitching in the cinema.
In terms of character, again the cast do well with the ground material they’ve been given. Working from an overlong, and largely uneventful novel, their portrayal of sleek and unflinching vampires proves accessible and watchable. It results in an ending, which, although differs from the novel, will leave fans highly satisfied.
With over 600 million dollars grossed at the box office for this film alone in the first two weeks of release, Summit Entertainment should be applauded, if only for the admirable way they have understood the needs of their target audience. Using Stephenie Meyer’s somewhat sparse source material, they have created a highly lucrative franchise and powerful ending, quenching the needs of its bloodthirsty fans, whilst making astronomical waves at the box office for themselves.