Bella (Stewart) is now a vampire and all is blissful except that the sinister Volturi vampires have heard about her half-breed daughter, Renesmee (Foy), and, believing her to be a vampire child, move against the Cullen family. Bella and Edward (Pattinso
There’s an ancient philosophical conundrum: if a Twilight film has no love triangle and no romantic moping, is it still a Twilight film? This series finale emphatically answers in the positive, finally moving the characters along without losing the flavour of what’s gone before. Newcomers will still be put off by the lingering frowns, slight air of distress and extensive lip-biting, but fans will be in seventh heaven to see the story of Bella and her Edward finally reach its conclusion.
As we rejoin the thread, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are both vampires, happily married and enthusiastically consummating their union. Jacob’s (Taylor Lautner) given up his corner of the love triangle, in favour of a profoundly weird but delicately handled crush on Bella’s infant daughter. What’s left to wrap up? As it turns out, the fate of vampires everywhere, with a confrontation between the Cullen family and the ruling Volturi cabal.
The first half, a gathering of Cullen-friendly troops while the Volturi unaccountably drag their heels in attacking their vegetarian brethren, is scrappy and slow, and marred by the fact that the CG baby Renesmee really does look like an unholy monster determined to drag us all into the uncanny valley, which rather splits the viewer’s sympathies.
Things pick up once the Cullens’ allies are fully gathered and have had a chance to demonstrate their skills, ready for a confrontation that sees the best action — and effects — of the saga. The novel version of Breaking Dawn is famously a finale without a finale, building to an epic confrontation that doesn’t happen. The filmmakers have hit upon a cinematic solution to the dilemma, but it’s so outrageous that it will frustrate as many people as it delights.
The leads are thoroughly comfortable in these roles now, and have a bigger supporting cast than ever to chivvy them along — a particular hat-tip to Michael Sheen’s flamboyant Aro and Lee Pace’s laconic Garrett. One final swoonsome flourish to this most lovelorn series, this is the finale that Twilight needed.
Fans will be left on a high; other viewers will be confused but generally entertained by a saga whose romance is matched only by its weirdness.