Well the Twilight Saga has finally reached its ebb with the first half of Breaking Dawn that opens this weekend in theaters around the world. Certainly expected to be earth shaking due to millions of young girls and twenty-something’s rushing to the box-office to get a look at semi-nude Robert Pattenson making love to his comely co-star Kristin Stewart. It’s all about the look and feel of the film that makes this one a winner.
Bella and Edward have a stunningly beautiful wedding, one that could easily overshadow even some of the top weddings ever on film. Following the wedding Edward whisks his bride off to a secluded island for their honeymoon. When they return home with Bella in pain it incites the Blacks to become vicious.
Taking a crack at the ongoing series director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) gets a little edgy with an intense sexually charged wedding night on a private island with his two central stars. Biding his time with the camera close ups and leaning into the special moment, Condon brings his audience within a hair of the actual act. But, his reveal the following day provides enough evidence of a very bruising passionate union making the first half of the fourth installment a vampire’s saga.
The acting here has developed to a higher level since first we met Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Time to grow up and practice with roles in films like The Runnaways and Welcome to the Rileys have made Stewart into a viable star quality actress. Taking Bella through several almost mystical scenes, dramatic moments and a near death occurrence, Stewart shows she can act.
Pattenson has developed extremely well himself using his seasoned ability from such films as Water for Elephants and Little Ashes to make his Edward character very palatable. Together with Stewart they blaze Breaking Dawn in a hot screen appearance together. His dramatic appeal continues beyond Twilight with Cosmopolis and Bel Ami looking for release dates.
But, for the guys Breaking Dawn has dragging issues, especially the long-winded honeymoon that rolls out slowly with too much lovey-dovey before it becomes intimate enough to attract a macho audience. Even Bella’s ‘growing’ entity within her seems to be drawn out with each of the Cullen women getting into the act, but here there’s forgiveness because Condon needed the time to split the film into two parts. On the plus side the werewolves vs. vampires attack is very cool.
Breaking Dawn is rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality/partial nudity and some thematic elements. Be extremely cautious when deciding to bring immature pre-teenagers. The 1 hour and 48 minute film is part one of the final book of the Twilight Saga with part two being released in November of 2012.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A hot beginning to an expected violent ending. (B)