Final ‘Twilight’ installment step above the others

December 7, 2012 Review Print Print

Well, it’s over now. The teen craze of the decade, the founder of more meme wars than I care to think about. Love it or hate it — there’s no more “Twilight” coming. “Breaking Dawn, Part 2” hit theaters Nov. 16 with a massive bang.

As a film series, “Twilight” has had its problems. Kristen Stewart, who plays Isabella “Bella” Swan, has a remarkably limited range of facial expressions for a highly paid actress, for example. But setting those problems aside, “Part 2” was fabulous.

My husband and I have been waiting for this for two simple reasons — Bella as a vampire and a massive fantasy battle. We got both. The SFX for the film — and it’s been no slouch in previous films — stepped up hard for this last installment. Every effect previously seen was included seamlessly, and with greater effect and realism than we’ve seen before. The wolves look more like wolves than CGI creatures, and when the vamps move, it looks like someone moving at super speed. Plus a whole slew of effects that hadn’t been in previous movies were rolled out and those also were incredible.

The acting, never the series strongest part, focused on the interactions of the characters for once as opposed to highlighting Bella’s weirdly calm reaction to all the crazy stuff that happens around her. That choice made a huge difference, bringing more depth and dimension to the characters.

A special shout out must go to the wildly talented Mackenzie Foy, who plays Renesmee, Bella and Edward’s daughter. That little girl brought an ethereal quality, and a quiet calm and intelligence to her role that made the performance not only believable but possibly one of the three best performances in the whole series. The other two, in my opinion, have to be Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, and Billy Burke as Charlie Swan.

And while, with typical Hollywood grace, the last movie stepped out of the scope and story of the books, for once all the changes were actually sensible. There wasn’t one difference I saw that made me go, “wait … why?” “Breaking Dawn: Part 2” is a wonderful grace note for the Twilight series to go out on. And it’s definitely worth taking the time and money to see in theaters.

Rating: A

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