Don't say you didn't hear warnings from this critic. In the first four reviews of the films of what is now known as The Twilight Saga, I mentioned -- in various and oh-so-clever ways -- that they are brain death or at least will lead to brain death.
Even I'm surprised at this one. Brain death seems to have really happened.
How do I know? Four reviews of the first four Twilight flicks from this critic got me skewered by foaming-at-the-mouth fans deeply in love with Bella, Edward and Jacob. How dare I -- or anyone -- rain on their parade! The criticism of my criticism was scathing. X-rated epithets were deleted, of course, but the hints were there.
Hating Twilight got me roundly hated. Other critics got the same treatment.
But not this time. Not with Breaking Wind -- Part 2. Please note, the "Breaking Wind" is deliberate. My last chance to put down a series that -- indeed -- did lead to the brain death of its millions of fans.
Here's my concern. This is what I wrote about the series' last film:
"No rocket's red glare or bombs bursting in air for this Twilight's last gleaming."
Clever line, I thought. But it did not, disappointingly, elicit a single snarky comment like in the first two films when I called the more than century-old Edward a pedophile. And he is. What does a 100-year old guy possibly have in common with someone 17? And, geez, who the hell stays in high school for more than 40 years. Now that's brain death!
Critics close to home didn't like the finale much either. My friend Kimberly Gadette of the website Doddle -- and who posted a wonderful series of reviews of Cannes Film Festival films on Atomictown a couple of years ago -- wrote "Other than the Bram Stoker meets "Braveheart" battle, this vessel offers very little to make our collective blood race."
Also close to home. Seattle Times critic Moira MacDonald said: "Full of pauses and intense looks and vague standing around ..."
My friend and Oregonian critic Mike Russell is the only critic I know who gave the film a positive review. He said, "Bella's still a bit of a blank, but at least now she's a bit of a blank with superpowers."
McClatchy owns the Tri-City Herald. Roger Moore of McClatchy-Tribune News Service wrote, "The finale is a doozy, almost certain to be satisfying to fans and impressive even to the casual "Twilight" viewer. But so much of what comes before that payoff... is mundane, dull, all talk and no action."
Here are what some of the nation's most popular critics had to say:
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: "I must admit if you're going to bring the series to a close, Part 2 does it about as well as it can be done."
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "You're going to hear a lot about Breaking Dawn Part 2 being the best of the Twilight movies. That's like saying a simple head cold is preferable to swine flu."
Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin's Picks: "The opening section of the movie has the air of a 1980s shampoo commercial as the two newlyweds... make passionate love to a nonstop music track."
Dana Stevens, Slate: "The very title Breaking Dawn, Part 2 hints at what the movie, sadly, reveals to be the case: The Twilight franchise has overstayed its welcome."
Peter Vonder Haar, Houston Press: "If you removed the endless soulful gazes, this whole series could've been delivered as a two-night SyFy Channel exclusive and wrapped up before the next airing of Sharktopus."
And my favorite is from Rob Vaux, Mania.com: "Whew! That was close: something almost happened there for a minute."
Here's my point. With the first four flicks, each of those negative reviews would have generated anywhere from a dozen to 50 negative hits from rabid fans incensed that a critic dared to slam their sacred series.
Breaking Dawn -- Part 2 generated zero.
It must be the dreaded brain death. It's the only possible answer.