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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Robert Pattinson

Kristen Stewart
Taylor Lautner
Michael Sheen
Dakota Fanning
Billy Burke
Anna Kendrick
Jackson Rathbone
Kellan Lutz
Nikki Reed
Peter Facinelli
Elizabeth Reaser
Ashley Greene.
Directors
Screenwriters
Running Time
117 minutes

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Ding! Dong! The Bella’s going to chime!


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Plot
Human Bella (Stewart) and vegetarian vampire Edward (Pattinson) finally tie the knot and engage in some nookie. But when she becomes pregnant, they face a life-threatening dilemma. The neighbourhood wolf pack circles, determined to prevent the birth of a potentially uncontrollable bloodsucker, and Bella’s admirer, Jacob (Lautner), tries to protect her.


Review
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Browse more images »
You already know if you’re going to see this film or not. Twi-hards will more-or-less enjoy this fiercely faithful adaptation of the first half of the final book, which lavishes screen time on their favourite characters and wallows in melodrama. Haters, meanwhile, will hate more violently than ever given the heightened emotional pitch and endless hand-wringing. For the tiny group of people in the middle, this starts strong, takes a turn for the weird and occasionally veers into the ludicrous.

There are effective elements. The wedding scene manages to inject some humour into a series that’s often po-faced, these lighter moments largely thanks to the chronically underused Anna Kendrick and Billy Burke, and Bella (Kristen Stewart) shows some amusingly human insecurities on her wedding night. Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, meanwhile, have never been better in these roles, the latter leavening his grimaces with much-needed sarcasm and the former relishing the flaws in the romantic ideal.

But the problems are insurmountable. The entire second act is like a particularly overwrought soap opera — an impression not helped by some of the worst incidental scoring you’ll hear outside porn — as everyone tries to persuade Bella to end the pregnancy that risks killing her and she determines to brave the danger. It seems to last for hours, punctured by some laughably bad conversations between CG wolves who see the baby as a threat, although the bigger danger would appear to be the devolution of their special effects, and horrendous mugging by the Cullen family (particularly Jackson Rathbone’s bizarre Jasper), still crippled by the least flattering wigs in human history.

Then there’s the toned-down but still grotesque pregnancy itself, a horribly emaciated Bella (so that’s where the effects budget went!) struggling to survive this chestburster baby. For those not already inured to the weirdness by the book, it’s all going to be more than a little hard to take — although her stomach-clutching is the closest the film gets to excitement. Even for this action-averse series, this is exceptionally short on fighting, a brief clash between vampires and werewolves (which gives Kellan Lutz’ Emmett a reason to turn up for the first time in four films) is all you get. Still, at least they put the ending in the right place, creating just enough of a cliffhanger to get the fans back for the final instalment. We’d promise more action and less weirdness next time around, if only we could.


Verdict
The acting's better than it's ever been, but with the best will in the world, this can't get past the fact that the story's demented.


Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Empire Star Rating

RE: NOT GUD ENOUGH

Commits the cardinal sin of being utterly boring. The first 40 mins should have played out in 2 scenes: opening scene we see them get married, second scene they're in bed on honeymoon. Scene 3 then starts when she fears she's "late". There, 40 mins of pure cinematic boredom chopped down into 2 minutes worth of film. It did pick up as it went on, but this was mainly because it was unintentionally hilarious. I'd actually quite enjoyed the previous films, but this one was dreadful. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by skeletonjack at 19:39, 07 December 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Dr Lenera Sadly, the CG baby's face is horrendous, and then, we have, quite simply, the sickest plot device you could imagine in a film aimed at teenage girls.  I won't go into detail, but it seems to me to nothing less than a case of paedophile grooming, and just seems wrong on every level.  Considering how little true darkness there is in these films, I can only assume that original author Stephanie Meyer couldn't think of a decent way to get Jacob back more into the story s... More

Posted by BelfastBoy at 13:18, 28 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

 Edward and Bella are about to marry, but Jacob turns down his offer of invitation and leaves for Canada.  The ceremony proceeds initially without hiccup, but in the evening Jacob turns up and has a row with Edward when he angrily voices his concern about the chance of Bella getting injured and even killed by being with Edward.  The couple spend their honeymoon at a private island in Brazil, where they have sex for the first time.  In the morning, Bella wakes up ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 09:45, 26 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE:

Telepathic (or should that be Telepathetic) Wolves? hmmmm py07.gif] ... More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 13:36, 23 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Twilight Breaking Dawn - Review

L: Herr Schnitzel L: JRutherford Granted, some scenes dragged on a bit for the first 30 minutes. Putting that time aside, and taking into account the ic acting, music, and close attention to detail that has made the book bestsellershas to be by far the best twilight yet. Throughly enjoyed! ow can fantastic acting and music make a book a bestseller ? espite completely disagreeing with everything JRutherford has said, people have bought the series of books on the back of ... More

Posted by Funkyrae at 08:50, 22 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Twilight Breaking Dawn - Review

L: Emyr Thy King Does Taylor Lautner fulfill his shirt removal quota? :D]] ... More

Posted by Harley Quinn at 23:04, 21 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Twilight Breaking Dawn - Review

L: JRutherford Granted, some scenes dragged on a bit for the first 30 minutes. Putting that time aside, and taking into account the ic acting, music, and close attention to detail that has made the book bestsellershas to be by far the best twilight yet. Throughly enjoyed! ow can fantastic acting and music make a book a bestseller ? ... More

Posted by Herr Schnitzel at 22:27, 21 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Twilight Breaking Dawn - Review

Does Taylor Lautner fulfill his shirt removal quota? ... More

Posted by Emyr Thy King at 20:15, 21 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

OK guys chill out. They aren't that bad. I lost my enthusiasm for the films but I enjoy watching them. Infact, I wasn't one of the "twi-hards", but a best friend of one that went to the midnight premiere, and I booked my tickets before anyone else in my screening. SHE was the most annoying person to watch it with (just saying.) I enjoyed the beginning part, up until she became pregnant, then the films seemed to blur into a distant story line that moved too fast. I have read the books over and o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DarbyDaresYou at 13:11, 21 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: MonsterCat Is it true that Wolf Boy falls in love with a baby in the book? mprints on it or it imprints on him (basically means that it is his soulmate) ... More

Posted by Hobbitonlass at 17:39, 19 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE:

Is it true that Wolf Boy falls in love with a baby in the book? ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 17:36, 19 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: bring back Near Dark

L: superdan I thought this thread would already be 15 pages of frothing teen outrage by now. I am disappoint. eah, the Twilight threads are always a bit underwhelming. Colour me disappointed. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 13:36, 18 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: bring back Near Dark

I thought this thread would already be 15 pages of frothing teen outrage by now. I am disappoint. ... More

Posted by superdan at 12:55, 18 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

Oh dear God I want to die... I can't wait for all the rds" up valuable queue space at the cinema. NOT! I seriously can't think of gright now.... ... More

Posted by NinjaShortbread212 at 01:04, 18 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

One of my co-workers watched it last night cause i couldn't be arsed and even though she's a fan she said it was a big pile of wank. I have no intention of going to see it, just not my cup of tea. That said the twilight fans are pretty hardcore had 2 screens sell out for all 4 films and they've been sat here watching them since half 4. I probably would end it if i had to watch all 4 in a row ... More

Posted by hairymonster11 at 00:40, 18 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Spaldron L: Amelie_Scotland L: Rgirvan44 I need to know if this movie contains all the David Cronenberg stuff or is it the next one. t's a so I sadly doubt they'll be that faithful to the book. It's part 2 that I'm eager for. I can't wait for the reviews tearing into a certain plot element. 21A?!! Wow this must be hardcore!! ote] Oops, my mistake. If it was a 21A then I'd pay to see it. I maintain that Stephenie Meyer has a Clive Barker style h... More

Posted by Amelie_Scotland at 18:58, 17 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Amelie_Scotland L: Rgirvan44 I need to know if this movie contains all the David Cronenberg stuff or is it the next one. t's a so I sadly doubt they'll be that faithful to the book. It's part 2 that I'm eager for. I can't wait for the reviews tearing into a certain plot element. 21A?!! Wow this must be hardcore!! ... More

Posted by Spaldron at 15:29, 17 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Rgirvan44 I need to know if this movie contains all the David Cronenberg stuff or is it the next one. t's a 21A so I sadly doubt they'll be that faithful to the book. It's part 2 that I'm eager for. I can't wait for the reviews tearing into a certain plot element. ... More

Posted by Amelie_Scotland at 15:26, 17 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: Rgirvan44 I need to know if this movie contains all the David Cronenberg stuff or is it the next one. ... More

Posted by Deviation at 14:35, 17 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE:

I need to know if this movie contains all the David Cronenberg stuff or is it the next one. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 14:20, 17 November 2011 | Report This Post


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