Critics get skewed for taking things too seriously.
I agree. My New Year's resolution for 2011 was to lighten up a bit on movies. So far I’ve been successful. I’ve enjoyed films like I used to when I first started this career more than 20 years ago.
Well, most films.
I’ve developed a sense of humor about movies. Here’s an example of my new life change. For weeks, I’ve been kidding around with family and friends. Many are fans of The Twilight Saga. Jokingly, I started calling the series' latest installment, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 breaking wind.
It turns out to be rather prophetic.
The first 45 minutes is all hot air. Beautifully done, yes, but hot air nonetheless. Kristen Stewart's heroine and non-vampire Bella marries Robert Pattinson’s Hollywood heartthrob, and vampire, the sullen Edward Cullen. Ab exercise machine poster boy Taylor Lautner is werewolf Jacob, the square peg in the love triangle’s round hole.
If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave Oscars for sulking, pouting and sour looks, this cast would sweep the category. So much angst. So little time.
This installment is two hours on the dot. That leads us back to the first 45 minutes.
Bella and Edward do a long, slow kiss to a rock ballad. They tie the knot. We get another long, slow kiss and another passionate song. After a tense and terse encounter with jealous Jacob, they head out for the honeymoon and to consummate the heretofore unconsummated physical relationship. This is also packed with kisses and a violent consummation scene.
On it goes uninterrupted — except for one Edward sulk scene — for about 45 minutes. Nothing — absolutely nothing — happens. I suppose you could call the wedding and honeymoon a story. However, it goes nowhere. A couple of quick kisses and a fast, tastefully edited honeymoon scene or two would have been plenty.
Is this really what Twilight fans want? Two characters drooling over and on each other for half the movie? It may have been a turn-on and the details scintillating in Stephenie Meyer’s novel. On the screen, it translates to zero.
Absolutely zero — or to go back to my original point — Breaking Dawn breaks wind. What “passes” for a plot stinks.
I also know this film was not made for me, and fans of the series will eat this up. Those I heard at the screening of Breaking Dawn — Part 1 say it's the best of the now four-film series.
While none of the films have been particularly good, this one — in my opinion — is the worst of the bunch.
Caution. From here there may be spoilers. Proceed at your own risk. Most fans have read the books and know that Bella gets pregnant. Vampires supposedly can’t get anyone pregnant, but Edward manages. It sets off a whole series of new sulking and angst possibilities, but I’ll spare you.
Bella refuses to get rid of the child — a child that will likely kill her. The werewolves, worrying that the child will destroy the human race, want to kill the unborn baby and are ready to go to war with the vampires to get to Bella and the kid.
Jacob is faced with a dilemma. Kill the woman he still loves or — what?
The series has a new director but the same screenwriter. Bill Condon — who wrote Chicago and wrote and directed the outstanding Dreamgirls and Gods and Monsters — is the series' newest victim. A critic friend complained to me that a director of his skill level ought to be able to do a better movie than this one.
My answer? God could have directed this and it would still stuck. Meyer’s tragic novel is tragically bad and — I’m sorry — it’s so very, very high school. So much angst. So little substance. And then you have screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg who has written all of the screenplays.
She can’t write. I had to ask my niece and granddaughter who had read the books about many of the plot details. It's not clearly explained why the baby is a threat, and we don't get details as to why the werewolves want to kill the baby. If we did get them, they went by so fast they were hard to catch.
In the middle of all that is dialogue so bad it's laughable. And none of the players — except for Billy Burke, who does Bella’s dad — can act.
Want to see tragedy? That’s tragic. Lame — almost non-existent plot, bad acting and a cliffhanger. Fans of this crap now must wait an entire year to see part two of Breaking Win — er — Dawn
Those clicking in the comment box ready to skew me for my views, don’t bother. I know, I’m an insensitive cretin. I know I don’t understand. Worse, I have no soul, no heart. I know all that and can prove it. Just ask my ex-wife.
Not that it matters. The bottom-line: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 sucks, but not like a vampire movie should.
Mr. Movie rating: 1 star
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, sex, violence. It opened early today at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Walla Walla Grand Cinemas
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.