The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Parts 1 and 2' DVD features Two-Hour Making-Of Documentary
After five movies and billions of dollars earned at the box office, Stephenie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga has officially come to a close with simultaneous DVD releases of Breaking Dawn: Part 1 (Extended Edition) and Breaking Dawn: Part 2.
The final films detail Bella Swan’s (Kristen Stewart) transition from clumsy love-struck teen bride into badass vampire mother. Part 1 of Breaking Dawn sees Bella and her vampire lover Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) through their long-awaited wedding at home and subsequent honeymoon on a romantic, deserted island in Brazil. After a violent consummation of their marriage ends in torn pillows, a broken bed, and bruises on Bella, Edward vows never to touch her again. That doesn’t sit too well with Bella, who awkwardly seduces him with frilly nighties and half-hearted pleas. The honeymoon doesn’t last very long, however, as Bella discovers she’s pregnant with a rapidly-growing fetus. But vampires can’t have babies, can they? Apparently in Meyer’s universe, undead males retain the ability to procreate.
Back in Forks, Bella’s best friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) finds her in bad shape – Bella is slowly dying as a result of her unborn child. The Cullens suggest abortion, but Bella is staunchly pro-life and will hold on for as long as she can. Jacob’s wolf-pack deems Bella and her baby a threat and wants to kill them. After voicing his dissent, Jacob forms his own pack to protect Bella with friends Leah (Julia Jones) and Seth (Booboo Stewart). In a cringe-worthy climax, Bella goes into labor and Edward performs an emergency C-section using only his teeth. He delivers a healthy, CGI-looking hybrid daughter they name Renesmee, just before Bella flat-lines. Edward rushes to pump vampire venom into her system as Jacob hunts the baby and immediately imprints on her. That’s werewolf code for finding his soulmate. Thankfully, Edward saves Bella just in time. The ending shot, in Avatar-like fashion, closes in on her vampire-red eyes snapping open.
Breaking Dawn: Part 2 follows Bella’s new life as a vampire and the final showdown between the Cullens and the Volturi. Bella is more confident and headstrong in her abilities, nearly tearing Jacob apart when he reveals he imprinted on Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), who still grows at an alarming rate and becomes toddler-sized in a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, the Volturi are misinformed that the Cullens have created an immortal child and seek to restore balance in the undead world. Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) has a vision of the Volturi’s visit and disappears for unknown reasons, leaving a note for Bella and Edward to recruit witnesses. The two amass their army in preparation for the Volturi’s arrival, traveling worldwide in search of vampire cousins and training for the impending battle for their daughter’s life.
The extended edition of Breaking Dawn: Part 1 boasts eight minutes of footage not seen in theaters…and little else. The added director’s commentary isn’t very eye-opening and neither are the deleted scenes, which are taken directly from the book. The two noticeable additions are a honeymoon scene between Edward and Bella in which they discuss the joys of lovemaking and another scene, which includes a low-grade fight between Jacob and Rosalie (Nikki Reed). They do not add any substance apart from somewhat humorous exchanges that would have made the theatrical version more enjoyable.
Breaking Dawn: Part 2 is a vast improvement because Kristen Stewart plays someone other than herself. In the four movies it took to get to this point, Stewart fumbled and scoffed her way in human Bella’s shoes so much so that it seemed she was no longer acting. Stewart was Bella, on and off-screen. Vampire Bella is a different person all together, and Stewart rises to the occasion. In Part 2, she hardly blinks, bites her lip, slouches, or stares into space indefinitely. She is cool, calm, controlled, and fiercely protective of her on-screen daughter Renesmee, an impressive shift from how she once played the character.
The Breaking Dawn: Part 2 DVD special features include a two-hour, seven-part documentary on its making, among others. The inside look covers everything from creating the wolves and baby Renesmee to pushing the boundaries on the love scenes. It’s also a nice culmination of all the work put into the series and what the end means for the people involved.