*1/2 (out of four)
It’s a miracle! Not one of those happy miracles, though. More like, “Sorry, Bella, there’s now a vampire growing inside you.”
That’s because 18-year-old Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her new, much-older-than-that vampire husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) didn’t think she could get pregnant. Their error puts a major damper on a Brazilian honeymoon that cools off after Edward decides any more sex will make him murder his wife.
So after just a few days of bliss following a rushed, one-minute marriage ceremony—half of which is kissing—the newlyweds return to the state of mopiness. Er, the state of Washington, where werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) continues to stew over just how mad Edward makes him. Edward does a Yahoo search for “immortalicum,” which is either the occurrence of vampire pregnancy in humans or some kind of over-the-counter powder he needs to keep his skin looking so wonderfully pale.
The last “Twilight” installment, “Eclipse,” converted the previous two mediocre movies’ labored pouting into swift action and difficult, passionate decisions.
New director Bill Condon and “Breaking Dawn—Part 1” plummet Stephenie Meyer’s hugely popular series back to its unintentionally funny, melodramatic roots, until watching the movie feels not unlike drinking dish soap. Shouldn’t someone smack Jacob when he tells Bella mid-labor that she just needs to “keep her heart beating”? Must monsters really abide so strictly by their own laws, no matter how extreme the situation? And why does Jacob sprint to a meeting only so he can tell everyone he’s leaving and storm off?
“Breaking Dawn” makes these questions unavoidable as its drawn-out story seems to kill time until “Part 2.” If anyone had thought through this story, the Cullens would feed the increasingly weak Bella instead of standing around for a few scenes before Esme (Elizabeth Reaser) cries out, “We need to find a way to get some food into her system!”
Stewart again delivers the best performance by someone not named Michael Sheen (whose Volturi leader will do more in Part 2), and early scenes of wedding anticipation and lingerie-related honeymoon stress keep alive the humanity in a franchise that often grows cold.
Lautner, who lasts approximately 8 seconds before tearing off his shirt, suggests more than ever that the casting director mistakenly told him he would be playing a robot. The guy can’t walk two steps without looking unnatural. He’s highly representative of "Breaking Dawn," which usually becomes lame when it tries to be funny and funny when it tries to be serious.
And by the way: When you perform a C-section, you have to close the wound. That type of blood loss harms a new mom just as much as giving birth to a demon.
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