I guess I should point out from the start that I’ve never been the biggest Twilight fan. I’ve not read any of the books and not enjoyed the previous instalments from the franchise thus far (except for the baseball scene in the original movie which I loved –  largely due to the fact that it had Muse’s Supermassive Black Hole over the top of it). With all that in mind, I wasn’t sure what I’d make of  The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 but read on as you may be in for a surprise…

Last night, in preperation for the finale I sat and watched the penultimate movie in the saga, Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1, and after making it through the rather lengthy wedding, honeymoon and the dreadful wolf-talking scene, I have to admit that my opinion wasn’t altered.  That said, I got a nice surprise when the last 20 minutes grabbed my interest just that little bit more to get me somewhat excited for the final instalment. Seeing Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) red eyes fill the TV screen in the final shot kickstarted some excitement and I genuinely wanted to find out how the story concludes.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is the fifth and final movie in the Twilight Saga from author Stephanie Meyer who has managed to tap into the both the hearts and minds of Twihards across the globe. It was the decision of Summit Entertainment (now Lionsgate) to break the final book into two films, at the time it seems like a pure money-making exercise but after seeing them both back to back 2 days apart, it seems to make sense that the did it as there was probably enough to fill the two movies (although that wedding scene could definitely have been shorter!).

Breaking Dawn Part 2 starts just the way that the previous movie left off with Bella’s giant red vampire eyes filling the screen. The movie is based mostly around Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella’s new baby Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) growing from newborn (with very dodgy CGI eyes) to a young girl. I mention the really awful CG eyes here because it just looked so bad. Right from her point of birth (as we saw in Breaking Dawn Part 1) up until she’s 11 (going by Foy’s real age) the horrible CG continues and I simply don’t understand why they chose to go down that route. You’ll get what I mean when you come to see it and unfortunately the bad CG doesn’t stop there with the werewolves looking as terrible as they have done in previous films.

But then this isn’t why the Twihards watch these movies is it?  As bad as that CG is, credit must be given to the Director Bill Condon who somehow manages to get Taylor Lautner (Jacob) to take his top off only 20 minutes into the movie. It really didn’t have to be there and had the audience in hysterics but it was done in a very tongue in cheek way and they knew exactly what they were doing. Playing to the gallery has never been so much fun.

As time passes, Renesmee grows up to be a young girl and while out walking with her mother and Jacob is spotted by her cousin Irina (Maggie Grace) who immediately thinks that the Cullen family have broken the law by having a vampire baby who could potentially cause havoc amongst the vampire world. Without waiting around or asking for an explanation, Irina heads off to see the Volturi (for those not in the know, you can think of them as the Vampire police) to report the ‘crime’. This is where the movie gets interesting as Alice (Ashley Greene) has a premonition of what’s to come (whilst handily carrying a vase for dramatic effect to alert her fellow players that something is wrong), we’re thrown into what could be the battle of all battles with the Cullen family (and their mates) and the Werewolves vs. the Voluri led by the awesome Michael Sheen (Aro).

I think I’ll leave it there for storyline as true Twihards will know exactly where the story goes and those have no idea will have to go and watch this one. The final battle was a complete surprise with twists and turns in directions I simply didn’t see coming. It was more violent than I thought it was going to be, many were shocked at both the on-screen developments and where the story goes. The pace of this final film is far better than the previous installment which seemed to flit about between different locations and characters and was a struggle to keep up. Breaking Dawn Part 2 is much more concise, the twists were easier to follow and it was far more obvious as to what was happening.

This is a movie much more about Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s characters and how they’ll grow when the credits roll. We already know pretty much everything we need to about them (other than Bella’s new vampire abilities) and we get to see them both in a new light. Rather than worrying about each other, their focus is now more on worrying about their new daughter and the whether or not they’ll even have a future with her. More than ever the stakes are raised. By the end we get all these answers but getting there is a rollercoaster as you’d expect from the final movie in the saga.

There were quiet a few really nice moments in this movie with the majority of the main cast around a bonfire for a last-supper before the inevitable meet with the Volturi, some interesting new characters who they pulled in from far and wide (including a rather stereotypical Irish couple which also had the audience laughing in amazement). In amongst the shots of the latest Volvo (over and over again) were some brilliant costumes (paticularaly those worn by the Volturi), some really great additions to the soundtrack and a rather pleasing closing montage as a tribute to all the fans.

To be clear the movie does have its flaws and is by no means perfect. As I mentioned above the CG is pretty shocking, some of the dialogue is diabolical and at times the acting is a little questionalble but as a book-end to this saga that we’ve spent the last five years following, it works really well. For me, all my questions had been answered and I was glad to see the movie and the whole saga go out in the way it does (avoiding spoilers here…). The way in which the screenplay differs from the original novel is very clever and will shock and surprise the Twihards who go along to see it. I can’t be more specific but I guarentee that you’re going to love it.

No one is more shocked about the rating that I have placed below than myself. I was sure that I was going to come out of the cinema telling the people that it was with just as bad as I thought it was going to be, but all I could do was talk about the good bits, what worked, what didn’t and whether vast amounts of it had been changed from the original story in the book. I still don’t have answers to that question but whether you’ve read the stories or not, this movie is going to have you on the edge of your seat for at least the last 30 minutes whilst Twihards will be lapping it up throughout!

If this movie was standalone, it probably wouldn’t get a 4* rating but as an end to the tale which has been part of our movie-going and reporting lives for such a long time now, it really did stand up to be the epic conclusion that we were all waiting and hoping for.