I SAW this film in an otherwise deserted cinema except for a pair of young (here a relative term) women who watched in silence and, when I asked how they had found it, gave a non-committal answer.
Designed for an unsophisticated and predominantly adolescent audience for whom fantasy creatures and situations bring richness into otherwise humdrum lives, the culmination of Stephanie Meyer’s novel employs a well-worn plot, good guys versus bad guys.
Part 1 ended with human Bella (Kristin Stewart) giving birth to daughter Renesmee whose father is vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).
It is well-known that the conventional technique for creating new vampires involves not copulation, gestation and parturition, but an established vampire drawing a meal of blood from an attractive human of the other sex who then transitions into the life vampirical with all its attributes – immortality, threats from garlic, sunlight or a crucifix, social ineptness. Unattractive victims of vampires do not survive the process.
Volturian vampire Irina thinks little Renesmee poses risks for her tribe. After sorting out issues confronting the Cullen family, a coalition of vampires and werewolves confronts the Volturi on a snow-covered battlefield.
Big spectacle. Big special effects (those involving werewolves look a bit fakeish, which is regrettable since the animals look magnificent). Much blood. Heads forcibly ripped from shoulders or torn apart at the jaws (gruesome as this looks, its artificiality is patent). The end. Happy ever after. Who cares?
The cast is mostly young men and women chosen for buffed and burnished appearance rather than acting prowess. Playing Aro, the chief of the Volturi, well-regarded British actor Michael Sheen fills the gap between “mostly” and “all”, giving every impression of enjoying his involvement in such well-rewarded nonsense.
Director Bill Condon does his best to tell a story unburdened by credibility, verity or twilight, but at the end of the line, evaluating its worth would be difficult if it were not so obviously a no-brainer.
At all cinemas