Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews Twilight: Breaking Dawn—Part 2


Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews the final entry in the series that made teen paranormal romance a genre unto itself, Twilight: Breaking Dawn—Part 2:

I couldn't count how many characters had their heads ripped, kicked, punched, chopped or eaten off in "Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2," but the sheer volume of gleefully horrific decapitations in the movie must be meant to signal something: Everyone involved with this film – from the dutiful filmmakers to the rabid fans to Stephenie Meyer, the author of the immensely successful young-adult books on which the movie is based – clearly has lost their minds.

The fifth film in the series, adapted from the second half of Ms. Meyer's fourth and final book, is spectacularly, stupefyingly bizarre, like some gooey, saccharine hybrid of David Cronenberg's eruptive bodily horror and Nicholas Sparks' glazed-over festivals of adolescent infatuation.

As the final entry in the series gets going, the story's central love triangle has taken a turn for the weird. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), the series' pouty hero, has chosen between her two supernatural suitors, and the rich, boring, immortal guy won.

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), her chic and ultrapowerful vampire lover, has beaten Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), a rugged young werewolf. Bella and Edward have finally married, and after an awkwardly violent, bed-destroying honeymoon romp, have had a child together – the half-human, half-vampire superchild Renesmee.

Complicating things further is that Jacob has "imprinted" on Renesmee. Which means, well – it's not entirely clear. Jacob cryptically explains that "it's a wolf thing." Whatever kind of thing it is, it's apparently not normal for it to happen between an adult male wolf and a newborn baby.

It's hard to describe how creepy this is – not in a haunted house sense, so much as a "Come here, little girl," leered the old man in the trench coat kind of way.

Read the whole review in The Washington Times.  

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  1. I dunno, I can’t think of anything that would improve these movies more than mass decapitations.

    1. you mean staking, surely

      1. you mean staking, surely

        How to decapitate sparkly vampires? Take away the sparkle by closing the local Claire’s store and you would half their revenue.

  2. That’s it, Reason. You’ve got too far. Cancel my subscription!

  3. You lost a bet didn’t you Suderman? Well, thanks for taking one for the team. This movie sounds hilarious.

    1. He was camped out for tickets since last week.

      1. Where else is he going to pick up chicks.

        1. Normally I just hang out at the Shrine of Talos.

          1. “Heard about you and your honeyed words.”

            1. gooble gobble gooble gobble!

              1. Which is the insperation (via the Ramones) for “Yo! Gabba Gabba!”

                I have a young one in the house…

  4. Really? Twilight? Really? WTF?

  5. I’m mildly curious about Breaking Dawn since it seems to be the book where they finally break the long moratorium on sex. Having her get laid, get pregnant, and get turned into a vampire in one novel sounds like a vast improvement over the long soulful stares and moping that constituted the first one.

    1. You don’t want to go there, Hazel. On that path lies only death, destruction, and heartache.

    2. Having her get laid, get pregnant, and get turned into a vampire in one novel sounds like a vast improvement over the long soulful stares and moping that constituted the first one.

      Best summary ever of Mormon influence on books.

      1. It took me a while to figure out what you meant but then I realize you mean there’s some sort of chain of causality and devine retribution involved.

        “getting laid” == “getting pregnant” == “getting turned into a vampire” == “condemned to hell for eternity as punishment from God”.

        That would actually be in keeping with the series’ theme about fear of sex.

        1. I like that interpretation but that’s actually not what I meant at all. I don’t think there’s any kind of condemnation of vampirism, at least not for the Cullen clan, who are good vampires who don’t kill people or something. I was thinking more “Mormons spend a lot of time with blue balls as teenagers and then GET MARRIED AND LAID AND PREGNANT SUPER FAST because they finally can,” and I think they are chill with any and all sexytimes within marriage or whatever, so it’s like marriage is the gateway to ALL TEH AWESOME. And in Twilight, part of that awesome is getting turned into a sparkle-vampire and having a monster-baby.

          1. I see your point now, and it sounds like a good one. Three years of “no, no, we can’t touch or kiss because I’ll lose control and won’t be able to stop myself from biting/raping you”, followed by a vampire orgy as soon as they tie the knot.

    3. A vast improvement?

      I don’t know about the movie, but in the book we get to have an argument the morning after between Bella and Edward over whether he was too rough in bed, him insisting he was, she insisting he wasn’t. Then Bella goes and has morning sickness because of the hyperacclerated pregnancy.

  6. I can’t wait for Rifftrax to get this one done. I need to know what happens to the vampire baby!

    1. Is it like on Soap when the baby was possessed?

      1. No, she is a hybrid, she ages incredibly fast (like going from infant to 10 year old in about 3 months) but then apparently when she reaches adulthood her aging will stop (or at least slow massively). She can feed on either blood or normal food and has supernatural mental powers.

        1. You know how I know you’re gay?

          Unless you just made that up, which is entirely possible (though somewhat pointless?).

          1. What can I say, my wife made me read the books, along with most of the Sookie Stackhouse series.

            I figured I had no choice after making her read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land, and Job: A Comedy of Justice.

            Still working on getting her to watch Star Wars (she’s never seen the original trilogy, only episode 1 and now refuses to watch any of them) and Babylon 5 with me.

            1. Maybe marrying a 12 year old was a bad idea?

      2. Now that would be a movie worth seeing.

      3. I was sort of hoping that the walking dead would end with either Lori dying in childbirth and eating her baby’s brain or get baby being still born and eating her face off at birth.

        I suppose dead-baby-zombie face eating is still a possibility.

        1. Well the first part of Breaking Dawn is almost that good, what with Edward having to bite the baby out of Bella’s stomach and all, but I just checked with a friend and while that scene is in the first movie, they totally don’t show anything and it’s totally lame.

          Crappy video here, happens around 1 min mark.

          1. I can’t watch the video, but they don’t have knives or something in vampiretopia?

            1. Let’s just say that was the worst C-section I’ve ever seen. Warty’s technique is much better.

              1. You just have to stop him before he eats the baby I guess.

                1. I assume your talking about Warty?

            2. There are scalpels involved, but it seems they are ineffective. “Vampire teeth [are] a surefire way to cut through vampire skin.” Who knew?

              1. Aha, the old “Only Superman is Strong Enough to Shave Superman’s Beard” dilemma.

                1. * Yes, I am aware that Monarch, Moleculad, Green Lantern, Metallo and Earth-3 Lex Luthor could all probably shave Superman, but still.

        2. Me too! My wife thought I was being insensitive but that would have been so much better. Yeah, how are they going to feed this baby with two cans of formula?

  7. This reminds me of the vicious review of Guy Fieri’s new restaurant that’s making the rounds.

    If you want a good vampire story, read Fred Saberhagen’s The Dracula Tape. I highly recommend it.

    1. I think Guy is annoying as hell most of the time but the NYT critic sounds like a tool. I like how that old lady that reviewed Olive Garden defended Guy though, if you are too miserable to enjoy it then what’s the point?

      1. Which is kind of the point with movies as well as restaurants isn’t it? No one is going to Guy Fieri’s restaurant for 4-star, the ghost of Julia Child is beaming on the chef, haute French cuisine, and no one is going to Twilight for anything more than romance and at least in this movie, action. It ain’t Ingmar Bergman, but who cares?

        If you enjoy the meal, or the movie, isn’t that enough?

        1. I don’t have to suffer through previews of Guy’s Greasy Garlic Gnots when I go eat at a decent place.

      2. I think the review was solely to get national attention for going totally apeshit on a celebrity chef. I doubt the restaurant was that bad. You’d think they served rape for dessert the way the reviewer went on.

        Fieri annoys me, but I kind of like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. More for the places he goes to than for him. It’s not Good Eats; then again, what is?

        Speaking of that, Alton Brown is on Mythbusters this Sunday. Cooking Thanksgiving under the hood of a car.

        1. I like Triple D because it gives the wife and I something to do on our long road trips. Ohhh, I will have to watch AB on Mythbusters.

          1. We have a few local ones that were covered–pretty good.

            One of my favorites was a diner in Vancouver that served pulled-pork pancakes with Jack Daniels syrup.

  8. Thanks, Suderman, for watching this crap so that the rest of us don’t have to. As Bart Simpson might say, “vampires were cool until girls got a hold of them.”

    This movie is surely worse than Suckerpunch and Drive Angry combined.

    1. Paging SugarFree.

    2. Next step – vampire fairies.
      I’m surprised nobody has thought of it before.

  9. The abyss hath gazed into you, Suderman, and yes, I’m talking about Bella’s vagina.

    1. Stop it! The horror! The horror!

  10. Ok, if they give awards for the best movie review then this line alone ought to guarantee you one for thie year…

    “with an emphasis on elegant home furnishings that appear to have come straight out of Bram Stoker’s Crate and Barrel.”

    I loled

  11. Are you fucking serious?!? Look, I am down with just about anything, but dignifying Twilight with a review is like dignifying Red Dawn with a viewing, which is exactly what I’m going to be doing next week…I should shut up now.

    1. I saw a preview screening of Red Dawn too. It wasn’t good.

      1. Were you drugged up? I’m hoping that will improve the experience for me.

        1. Odd. Jimbo was lamenting the same thing. Oh, you meant the movie

        2. “It wasn’t good.”
          Now that’s a review!

    2. I will confess to being morbidly curious about the Red Dawn re-make. In a “Oh God why can’t I just look away like a rational person should do” kind of way.

      1. After the Conan re-boot, I think I can safely ignore this.

        John Milius’ corpse must be spinning in its grave. And he’s not even dead.

  12. So two of the highest grossing franchises ever are total crap (this and Bayformers). Ug. Sounds like a good weekend to watch Predator for the 47th time.

    1. “If it bleeds, ve can drink it”


        1. “This stuuff makes you a sexual triceratops.”

          1. You ahr one ugly muddafukah.

  13. Are they acting badly or badly acting?

    I can’t tell.

  14. OT: I don’t know if you guys heard about this yet, Hostess is closing shop.

    1. NNNOOOOOO!!!!!!

      “Contrary to popular belief, Twinkies have an expiration date, and pretty soon life’s little twinky gage is going to empty.”

      1. Time to nut up or shut up!

    2. Asked if the shutdown decision could be reversed if the Bakers’ union agreed to immediately return to work, he responded, “Too late.”

      Ooh, that’s gotta sting.

      1. Never heard of this guy before, but he’s my new hero

  15. the series’ pouty hero, has chosen between her two supernatural suitors, and the rich, boring, immortal guy won.

    Spoilers!!! Gaaaa!

    Just fucking with you, buddy. Don’t even know what her other choices were. Going lesbian?

    1. the rich, boring, immortal guy won.

      Well, it is a fantasy, because in the real world, the rich, boring guy loses by 3%.

      1. Yeah, thanks to that horde of libertarian zombies who refuse to show werewolf solidarity!

        1. Like it’s our fault he has an insane immigration policy.

    2. I think the key adjective there is “rich”. Proving once again what women really look for in a man.

      1. That’s a load of crap. I’m rich.

  16. To think they’ve more of these movies than Stewart has expressions…

    1. That would only require one sequel.

  17. The photo’s alt-text made me think of the title, “Young Mantises in Love.”

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