There are so many characters in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, the final installment of the Twilight series, that it’s hard to keep track of who, exactly, is supposed to be fighting whom when the film reaches its climactic finish in an open, snowy field. There are werewolves with salt-and-pepper fur, werewolves with brown fur, vampires who manipulate the elements, vampires who can read minds, vampires who can alter perceived reality, vampires wearing cloaks, and vampires — well — not wearing cloaks.



Picking up from Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is a vampire now, and she has a daughter with her husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson). The catch is that the vampire order of the Volturi falsely believe that their daughter is an “immortal,” or a child vampire, which is a major no-no. This rumor sends enough ripples through the vampire networks to ignite a possible war, and the ensuing bloody battle has so many decapitations that it brings to mind the original Total Recall, during which seemingly every casualty met his maker with a bullet to the head.



The events that lead up to this final battle aren’t absolutely necessary, but they do provide the audience with the typical fun signposts of a concluding film. We get: shots of the Cullens rounding up different vampires from across the globe, a Bella “training” sequence in which she learns to hone her own vampiric powers and, of course, the requisite shots of Taylor Lautner shirtless. And the diligent viewer is eventually rewarded with a surprising twist.



There is no hiding Part 2's choppy editing and stiff dialog; however, there is something to be said for this final film — in particular, its wide, sweeping shots of the Pacific Northwest — and this franchise, which has received as much flak as praise while somehow managing to take all the criticism in stride (not to mention to the bank, having made over $2.5 billion). I am not a Twilight fan, but there are millions of followers out there who are, and, for them, these films have been, in many ways, wonderfully campy — this last one being no exception — and have set Stewart and Pattinson on a fast track to movie stardom for a whole new generation of moviegoers.


In the end, Breaking Dawn Part 2 hits the obligatory finale notes on its way out, albeit clumsily, and manages to give its fans what they demand in a series finale — closure, as well as one last look at their favorite characters in action, in pain and in love.