Happy Endings – The Final Twilight Movie Review

Happy Endings – The Final Twilight Movie Review

Once upon a time, there was a young, naive girl. The girl had only a few friends and so nobody warned her when, in all innocence, she stumbled upon an evil that would bring horror and fear into her life for years to come. When she first was exposed to this thing, she had misgivings, of course. But, being young and eager to try new things, she went forward to learn more, believing that knowledge couldn’t possibly bring her harm. Never realizing that her actions would have consequences that she would have to live with and that she would, time and again, regret her decision, she stepped onto a path that would lead her into a darkness that seemed like it would never end.

And so, on a cold December evening in 2008, I went to watch the first Twilight movie. I stand before you today, a changed woman. Over the past few years, I’ve watched and reviewed every Twilight movie made.  I’ve made my opinion known and I’ve paid the price. I’ve seen things. Horrible things. Things that will haunt my dreams for years to come. Things that, let’s face it, were mostly sent to me by you assholes who thought you were being funny.

And I’ve been criticized. Yes, my negative opinions about these movies struck a nerve with many. I’ve seen the poorly-spelled ravings of the angry tweens. I have heard the angry wails of the middle-aged cat ladies. And I have wept bitter tears for our future.

But today, kind readers… today, it all ends. Today, a day that will live in infamy, I present you with My Final Twilight Review. That’s right. The last movie in the series is out and my obligation is complete. If all goes well, I will never have to gag at a pale, sparkle-titted torso again. Who says there are no happy endings? But, I owe you a review, don’t I? So here we go:

{SPOILER ALERT: I’m going to discuss everything about this movie in detail. If you don’t want to be spoiled, you probably shouldn’t be reading this in the first place}

When last we left the happy couple, Edward and Bella were welcoming a bouncing baby girl into the world. And by welcoming, I mean Edward had gnawed the child out of Bella’s womb because it was a demon vampire baby that was sucking her very life force out of her. And by bouncing baby girl, I mean a creepy CGI-faced infant with a stupid, barely pronounceable name who has become the object of a werewolf’s desire. And by happy couple, I mean…well, Edward and Bella. They haven’t really changed.

OR HAVE THEY?

At the beginning of Breaking Dawn Part 2, actually, a lot has changed. Edward is a doting vaguely interested father to Renesme who is no longer jealous of Jacob, the werewolf because Jacob isn’t into Edward’s wife anymore, he’s now into Edward’s daughter.

Wait, what?

Yep, that’s right. At the end of the last movie, Jacob ‘imprints’ on Edward and Bella’s baby girl. Imprinting is a wolfy version of giving a girl your letterman jacket. Once two people imprint upon one another, they are destined to be together and nobody in the wolf pack can tear them asunder.

So Jacob’s pack, which had been on the verge of war with the vampires, is basically declawed entirely and that storyline is effectively killed and replaced with a ‘Wolves + Vamps 4EVAH” scribble on the doghouse wall.

Bella has changed too. She’s now a full-fledged vampire, something she’s been asking for since the first movie. Of course, Edward changed her, not because she asked him to, but because he was forced to so he could save her life. But the details don’t matter. What’s important now is that Bella is now stronger, faster, better than she ever was in human form.  Unfortunately, her new vampire powers don’t extend to giving her more than one facial expression but hey, you can’t have everything, I guess.

When Bella wakes to find that her sort-of-ex Wolfy boytoy now has the hots for her daughter, she actually has the decency to get really pissed off. She throws Jacob around a bit and yells at him for what is clearly an inappropriate relationship with HER CHILD. But Jacob explains that ‘it’s not like that’ and Edward, apparently not wanting to lose out on a full-time babysitter PLUS favored pet all in one, backs him up.

The connotations here are pretty horrific, people. Yes, Jacob is basically acting as protector to the child. But it’s also clear that he will eventually marry her. And, since imprinting works mutually, she likely has or will have feelings for him. Renesme is also growing very quickly. Within a few weeks, she’s walking and talking. She remains a young child through the course of the movie but it is eventually established that she will ‘come of age’ within 7 years.

Awww, a match made in.. GRAAGGGGGHHHHH!

At which point, Jacob, who will likely be at least in his mid to late 20s by then, will change from being a brother/protector to being a lover. It’s not established that her emotional and mental maturity will keep up with her physical maturity but even if it does, that is one FUCKED UP situation for a 7-year-old to deal with.

Ew.

Anyway, other than the blossoming pedophilia in the air, everything is going pretty well, all things considered. One minor concern is Bella’s father, aka, The Worst Cop on The Planet (TWCOTP), who doesn’t know anything about the supernatural side of his new in-laws and thinks Bella was just under the weather.

Bella and Edward decide the best course is for them to tell her father that she’s dead and for them to leave town with Renesme. Jacob, who doesn’t want to lose his would-be girlfriend, instead reveals himself as a werewolf to TWCOTP. I’m not sure exactly what the point of this was but it involved Taylor Lautner taking his shirt off so I’ll allow it.

Jacob doesn’t tell TWCOTP that Bella is a vampire but I guess introducing him to the fact that monsters exist supposedly calms him down enough to deal with the fact that his daughter is alive, but different and that she has a child. Bella tells TWCOTP that she can’t tell him everything but that she’s telling him everything he needs to know and TWCOTP, because he is TWCOTP, mildly agrees to not ask any further questions.

Seriously. Worst. Cop. On. Planet.

It was sort of interesting that Jacob now takes the stalker/watcher/controller role that Edward was to Bella and applies it to their daughter. Circle of Fucked Up Life, I guess.

So everything is generally fine at this point and everyone is in danger of living happily ever after. Unfortunately, there was still like an hour and a half of movie to kill. Enter Irina, a vampire relative of the Cullens who sees Renesme from a distance and mistakes her for an ‘immortal child’. This is a child that was turned into a vampire and is therefore stuck as a child monster. Because these children are impossible to control and cannot keep the vampires’ existence secret, it’s against Vamp law to make an immortal child.

Irina runs off to tattle immediately. Bella sees her and runs after her but isn’t fast enough, even though they established that Bella is faster and stronger than any of the other Cullen vamps. Irina apparently has some sort of super speed, or maybe a car, and goes off to tell the Vampire Board of Directors (aka the Volturi) that Eddy and Bella done a bad thing.

The Cullens realize that the Volturi, who are generally sort of pissy with them to begin with, probably will use this as an excuse to come and murder Renesme and all the Cullens, and probably won’t listen to reason or fact. They start to gather friends from around the world to help ‘witness’ to the fact that Renesme is actually alive and not a vamp-baby. They also recruit the wolves because, well, BFFs and what else are they doing?

The Cullens and their Allies (the name of my Hootie and the Blowfish cover band) all hope this encounter with the Volturi won’t come to battle but just in case, they start showing off/practicing their mad ‘pire skillz. Each vampire allies has a slightly different superpower. There’s Lady Monkey Vision (she can make you see anything she wants you to and it’s usually monkeys) , The Human Bug Zapper (she’ll taze you, bro) and Mister Stands In A Tree And Doesn’t Do Anything In The Movie At All (he… well… he likes trees, presumably)! They’re like the X-Men only boring and with more staring into the distance looking stoned.

Bella also has superpowers. In addition to being extremely strong, she also can shield herself from other vampire powers. With some effort, she can extend that shield to protect others. They practice this by having Bug Zapper start to electrocute Edward. When Bella shields him, he says that it still hurts but not as much, so Bella is like the chiropractor of the group, I guess.

Bella also prepares by asking Jacob to take care of Renesme should it come to full on battle with the Volturi. She tells him that once the fangs start flying, he needs to make like a wolf and run the hell away, with her daughter on his back.

What do you mean I don’t look all that menacing?! I’m the main villain in this movie! (Image: Andrew Cooper – AP)

Finally, the showdown happens. The Volturi show up and the two groups start slapping at each other a little. Alice, Edward’s sister and the vampire who can see the future, approaches CEO Volturi and tries to show him the future to prove that Renesme is not an immortal. But, when she touches him, she almost immediately draws back, realizing that he will never listen and no matter what he sees, he is going to fight the Cullens because he came all this way and he may as well since he’s already here and there’s no tourist industry in Forks to speak of.

A battle ensues. Many on both sides are killed, quite horribly. Papa Cullen is one of the first casualties, followed soon after by Alice’s boyfriend Jasper. The Cullen-n-Friends army holds their own though and manage to kill the nastiest of the Volturi. Finally Edward and Bella together manage to rip the head off the CEO Volturi guy and all is well. CEO-Vamp’s head rolls on the ground and his eyes see the devastation as he realizes his own doom is at hand…

… and then we cut back to him and Alice and GUESS WHAT it was ALL A GODDAMN VISION. None of it actually happened. Bobby came out of the shower, Bob wakes up and it was all just a dream. The Volturi, seeing the vision of their spangled asses being handed to them, retreat immediately, presumably to don their sports robes for the jog back to Italy.

Everyone lives, nobody so much as gets a paper cut and the last few scenes of the movie involve Edward and Bella re-living key scenes the past 4 movies and wondering what they’re going to do with their careers after this.

So there you have it. The end of this series is just as unsatisfying and, as if it were possible, a little more creepy than the beginning of Twilight. Bella’s a vampire now, but other than that, she really hasn’t changed in terms of her personality. She’s still basically trapped in hiding with the Cullens (did she even graduate from high school?) and now she’s raising her daughter to also be trapped and controlled by a dominant man in her life.

And that’s it. The final chapter in the Twilight series. The final review for me. I feel so liberated! So free! No more of these terrible, terrible movies to sit through. Hoora… wait, what? They’re making what movie next? Goddamn it.

Avatar of Masala Skeptic
Maria Walters (a.k.a. Masala Skeptic) has spent a lot of time in ‘furrin parts,’ including Hong Kong, Trinidad, and Pittsburgh. Although her passport is from India, she’s spent most of her adult life in the United States. She currently lives in Atlanta and has an unhealthy affection for science fiction, Neil Gaiman and all things Muppet.

45 Comments

  1. Avatar of James Fox

    Having never read or watched anything Twilight I can say with all honesty that I’m glad the books were written and the movies were made so that I can read Maria’s reviews and watch the ensuing splatter fest. Thanks Maria for taking one for the team!

  2. Avatar of Corey Feldman

    I stick with my original assertion that if it got kids to read, I was all for the twilight series.

    • Avatar of Masala Skeptic

      @Corey – sorry, but that’s a sad, cynical way to see the world. If, as adults, our only goal is to get kids to read and we don’t care about the content of what we’re exposing them to, I weep for the future even more.

    • Avatar of rinchan

      One problem with this. Edward is pretty much an abusive boyfriend and many teenage girls find him to be the perfect man which is highly unfortunante. I worry that girls will seek out boys that are simular to Edward. I remember in the first movie, Edward takes Bella to a secluded place on a mountain and starts freaking out and tells her that he wants to kill her and that he may not be able to stop himself. Bella, instead of running away, gently tells him that she trusts him and that she knows he won’t kill her. Keep in mind that she has known Edward for probably less than a week. Ok I have known my husband for ten years and trust him completely. But if he had said any of that to me, I’d be running. Bella’s response to this moment isn’t to be creeped out by Edward, but to fall in love with him. Earlier in the movie, after a typical fanfic like near gang rape where Edward magically shows up and saves Bella, Edward is again freaking out in the car and tells Bella that he is ready to turn the car around and go kill those guys. Already right here he seems unstable (In that situation, if you get away from an attacker, keep going don’t go back and fight.) And he was most likely stalking her through the day unless he was psychic. That and the fact that Edward goes into Bella’s room and watches her sleep at night is beyond creepy yet its presented as romantic. I don’t think that just because kids are reading doesn’t automatically mean it’s a good thing. Twilight presents a controlling and abusive relationship as something romantic, and unfortunantly, many girls wanted a boyfriend like Edward after reading the book. Why not find them a novel with an empowering lead female character?

      • Avatar of spellwight

        These are precisely the problems I have with this series.

      • Avatar of Grand Lunar

        This pretty much sums up all that is wrong with the “Twilight” series as a whole.

        I hope my cousin didn’t get into these films and fall for it’s depiction of a relationship.

        - “Why not find them a novel with an empowering lead female character?”

        Didn’t “Hunger Games” feature such a character?
        Never saw it, so I really don’t know.

        • Avatar of rinchan

          I didn’t read the book but I did see the movie. Yes Katniss is an empowering female lead and a much better alternative than Bella. I did hear negative things about the next two books though. I haven’t read them so I can’t make much of a judgement. Based on the movie, I would think that the first hunger games book would be a good one for girls to read.

          • Avatar of Masala Skeptic

            I read all the Hunger Games books and saw the movie. I really enjoyed the books and yes, Katniss is definitely an extremely strong female character.

            I actually thought the movie was weaker than the books in a lot of ways. I think it actually diluted Peeta’s character more than it should have, which annoyed me.

            But in general, HG is about a billion times better than anything Twilight related :)

    • Avatar of ansuzmannaz

      Ah, yes! Getting kids to read is great! And then they can learn about sex from Fifty Shades of Gr… oh.

      Frankly, saying Twilight is good because at least it gets kids reading is like saying popcorn is great, because at least the kids are eating vegetables. The plot is thin, the conflict contrived, the prose purple to the point of purulence, the morals are bad, the heroes worse, the villains lame, the romance insubstantial, the lust perverse and the relationships passionless. There are no great themes, or sense of mystery or adventure. Yeah, kids might be reading this schlock—but they’re being cheated of the benefits of proper literature.

  3. Avatar of dashwood

    Reboot! Reboot!

  4. Avatar of zylla

    It’s probably just me, but aside from being inane and female-suppressive, I don’t even see one attractive or convincing actor in the cast.

    Entertaining as always, Masala. Thank you for throwing yourself on the live grenade once again.

  5. Avatar of Rebecca Watson

    *Slow Clap*

    • Avatar of Sam Ogden

      I had slow clap once, but some slow penicillan cleared it right up.

      Hilarious as always Maria! Loved all the reviews!

  6. Avatar of Daryl Bell

    I have watched all of the movies and have read all of the books and even own a flower from the wedding in the first Breaking Dawn…(came with the video, which by the way I own all but this last installment…please don’t unfriend me Becky :))I love this series. But I also have to say that this is one of the funniest and most bitingly intelligent satire I have read in a very long time. Thank you for brightening my day. I have a sweet tooth for these type of sappy films. (Thankfully so does my wife.)

    • Avatar of marilove

      I will never understand how someone who clearly is otherwise pretty smart can like something so blatantly sexist. It’s mormon propaganda!

      I don’t get it. :/

  7. Avatar of Amy

    That was so fun to read! Thank you for watching the movies so I didn’t have to. I am forever in your debt.

  8. Avatar of Paul Blonsky

    If I believed in a god, I would think him, her or it for satisfying what little curiosity I had about this franchise in the form of an entertaining review that made me laugh even though I have no idea what happened. Can you do Titanic, I don’t want to watch that one either?

    • Avatar of Grand Lunar

      Ugh, I remember “Titanic” all too well.

      Despite the SFX, it had a weak storyline with a lame romance.

      If one must see a Titanic story movie, look for “A Night to Remember” instead!

  9. Avatar of Jim Wile

    After the first book I kept reading to see just how long the story could be spun out. Then, it became this masochistic desire to ‘See it through’. Then, I finished them just to see how messed up a ‘popular’ story line could get. Then they made it much much worse with the movies. Thank you for your reviews – they have kept me from soiling myself further by watching the movies!
    Vampires SPARKLE! Gag – wretch – pound head through wall…..

  10. Avatar of rjblaskiewicz

    Ah, the circle of fucked up life. Sunrise, sunset, sparkle.

  11. Avatar of Jamas Enright

    Over on the Escapist, Movie Bob is talking about what movies Hollywood is lining up to be the next Twilight cash vacuum…

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/6541-Next-Light

  12. Avatar of blgmnts

    For me the existence of Twilight/50Shades brought:

    - hilarious reviews
    - information about toxic relationships

    without having to subject myself to the books/movies.

    My thanks to you and all the other brave souls who reviewed and analysed them.

    \begin{irony-alert}
    As a self-professed sceptic I should read/watch them myself, but I am willing to go with a bit of faith here…
    \end{irony-alert}

  13. Avatar of phlebas

    How about a little love for the unsung heroes who kept Maria from smothering herself in a giant popcorn bucket for all five movies?

    • Avatar of Masala Skeptic

      It’s true. @phlebas has gone above and beyond the call of duty, coming with me to see these even after his spousal obligations ended. Of course, since it was his idea to see the first movies to begin with, I consider it penance more than anything else :)

  14. Avatar of carovee

    My SO has seen all the movies and will probably see this one when it hits the cheap theater. I usually don’t mind watching entertainingly bad movies, but I can’t stand Kristen Stewart’s complete inability to form an expression. It’s like the poor woman botoxed her entire face.

  15. Avatar of Eric Edlund

    What a great review! I can’t wait to read your review of 50 Shades, which I’m not going to see either!

  16. Avatar of teragram42

    So happy teen daughter was old enough to see these on her own. I participated in the vampire craze by reading Christopher Moore’s trilogy – Bite Me, You Suck and Bloodsucking Fiends. No sparkles, but there is turkey bowling.

  17. Avatar of SamBarge

    Maria – Your courage is commendable. I almost hate to tell you that the author of this lamentable series has, unlike Rowling*, left open the possibility of more books about sparkle vampire, six-pack werewolf and dead-eye Bella.

    I’m sorry for your pain.

    *I mean, I’d like some more Harry Potter books. Yes, please. Even more Hunger Games would be good.

  18. Avatar of Grand Lunar

    The opening paragraph was classic!

    Indeed, this reads like something MST3K’s (and Rifftrax’s) Mike Nelson might write.

    I feel so glad I never watched any of those films or read it. Also feel empathy that you had to put up with it!
    And screw those people that complain about your reviews!

    Here’s hoping that history does not repeat itself with some other crappy supernatural/romance series that features a dysfunctional couple.

  19. Avatar of spellwight

    After paying half-attention to the plethora of interviews lately, neither Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson have any desire to continue on with this series. In fact if it weren’t for contract obligations they wouldn’t have done these last two. Hopefully that means there won’t be any more… at least including those two characters. Maybe we’ll get Renesme and Jacob’s story? Ugh.

  20. Avatar of Laura Stone

    I would just like to state before the court that I am fully entrenched in Team It’s Over. (And we’re always looking for new members.)

  21. Avatar of Jack99

    Heina, great review of something I never want to see. Tho maybe we could have a few beers and sit around laughing and shredding it to pieces.

    My favorite bit

    “When Bella shields him, he says that it still hurts but not as much, so Bella is like the chiropractor of the group, I guess.”

    Sheer genius!

    • Avatar of Jack99

      Maria, not Heina!! How could I do that? Damn!

      • Avatar of Masala Skeptic

        All us brown girls look the same ;-)

        • Avatar of Jack99

          You and Heina are BOTH brown? That’s two many shocks in one day!

          • Avatar of ansuzmannaz

            It could be worse. Two shades of brown are far superior to fifty shades of grey. :P

  22. Avatar of diatryma

    Hey, I’m a middle aged (49) cat (2 of’em) lady (oh well…) but I don’t feel like whining over teenie BS. I was into vampires for sure when I was that age, but I certainly wasn’t wishing to marry one. What a concept, ugh. I would give myself a viewing of at least one of the movies so at least I would know what to rant about, but it seems such a waste of time to me. Thanks for the exhilarating review, though :)

  23. Avatar of Ismenia

    I read the first book and that was enough. My younger sister was in an abusive relationship that began when she was 18 (the abuse began when she was 19 and pregnant). When I see controlling behaviour portrayed as romantic I remember my sister saying to me that her partner liked the fact that they worked together because he knew what she was doing all day.

    She used to laugh at my feminist views because she was influenced by crap that said women should be bimbos. I hate to think of other girls having to learn how things are the way she did. One of my young cousins is into Twilight. That bothers me.

  24. Avatar of attacusatlas

    Ohhh man, the chiropractor joke was so gold, I’d offer you cash for it.

  25. Avatar of Alex K

    Quick correction!

    Imprinting is not mutual. At all. IIRC, Jacob describes it as, “It’s hard to resist that kind of devotion.” Which just makes everything a thousand times worse, because no, there is no magic on the imprintee’s end, and yes, you are basically watching an eighteen year old groom a child from birth to be his wife.

    (It doesn’t sound like you’ve read the books, but have you run into the story of Sam and Emily? Because that right there is an excellent summation of everything wrong with the relationship dynamics in these books.)

  26. Avatar of Tony Thompson

    Masala, you completely rock. I was having a crappy day until i read all your Twilight reviews. I signed up to Skepchick to let you know i appreciate you sitting through these horrible Mormon influenced, sexist, gender role supporting, poorly acted, emotionally disturbing, vapid excuses for entertainment. I’ve only seen the original, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn pt1. I watched the first and second movies before I became more knowledgeable about the pervasive influence of sexism (as well as related concepts such as patriarchy, kyriarchy, and misogyny). While I didn’t love the movie, everything you spoke about went over my head. Now its plain as day. While reading your massively entertaining reviews I had a small epiphany regarding the treatment of Jacob and his people.
    Like Mormonism, Twilight is racist as hell. The horrible characterization of Native Americans as barbaric and uncivilized people who are animalistic at heart is monstrously insulting. Add to that the cultured, family focused sophisticated white Cullen family and you have the Mormon view on black people, with Native Americans as the proxy (which makes it even more insulting to them). Then as if that weren’t bad enough, the ‘savages’ want to kill the fetus, while the pro-life family wants to save the baby??!! There is *nothing* redeeming about any of the Twilight films IMHO (thankfully i only paid to see the first one; the rest I watched on DVD-which I didn’t buy). To think people watch and enjoy this dreck is scary. I feel the need to go buy all my friends the shirt I bought last year. It says “Then Buffy staked Edward. The end.”

  27. Avatar of theia

    I never made it past the first book and movie. They were both horrible. I never understood what even old people like me saw in the movie.
    I thank you for watching what I could not BUT actually making it entertaining which the movie failed to do.

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