The concluding chapter of the outlandish fang-tasy series based on Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling books delivers a master class in constructing CGI mountains out of molehills.
The Twilight Saga: Treading Water would be more apt, considering how scriptwriter Melissa Rosenberg manages to expand 30 minutes of plot into two hours of anticipation and dread.
A climactic battle royale between the diabolical Volturi and the Cullens is certainly spectacular and director Bill Condon, who also helmed Part 1, orchestrates this special effects-heavy mayhem with verve. Airborne vampires and snarling werewolves tumble acrobatically across the screen while locked in mortal combat, their desperate struggles ended with a sickening snap of a neck or crude decapitation.
Were these brave warriors anything but otherworldly creatures, which miraculously don’t bleed when injured, the relentless on-screen carnage would merit a 15 certificate.
Before all of the slavering jaws and severed limbs, the fifth instalment in the series doesn’t justify the decision by film-makers to cleave Meyer’s final book in two a la Harry Potter. Substance is woefully lacking and there are only so many slow-motion smooches that can paper over the cracks before the most ardent members of Team Edward and Team Jacob will start to look nervously at their watches. Part 2 begins with Bella (Kristen Stewart) re-awakening as a vampire. She sees and hears everything, contentedly falling back into the arms of lover Edward (Robert Pattinson)
Alas, their joy is short-lived when Edward’s cousin mistakenly identifies their child as an immortal – an abomination under ancient vampire law. Aside from the impressive final showdown, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 feels like the dying breaths of a cash cow being milked dry.
Stewart and Pattinson stare dreamily into each other’s eyes, Michael Sheen devours the very expensive scenery as the bloodsucking elder with an unquenchable thirst for slaughter.