No matter how you might feel about sparkly vampires and the silliness that was Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, you can’t deny the Twilight Saga’s place as one of the most successful film franchises of all-time. In fact it seems to be that very idea that a lot of fans detest about the series than the actual films themselves. They want to stomp their feet and demand to know who could ever enjoy these films. Well, apparently a lot of people did judging by the $3.5 BILLION dollars the series has earned world-wide. Genre fans have been particularly acerbic in their reactions to the series, pointing out as often and as loud as possible that Twilight is not horror. Whoever claimed it was? The Twilight series is pure teenaged romance hokum where the high school bad boys who may have smoked in the bathroom and wore leather jackets in the past are now replaced by vampires and werewolves…jeez…get over it already. No one is going to bang on your door and demand you turn in your man card because you watched the films.
If anything, don’t hate the Twilight Saga for what it was successful at…instead hate it, or at least this final part for being a blatant cash grab where one film was stretched into two films in order to suck as much possible out of impressionable teenaged girls. And that really is the main issue with Breaking Dawn Part II. A climactic battle between the Cullens and their allies against the ruling Volturi is preceded by 90 minutes of essentially nothing more than vampires standing around and showing off their unique super powers.
Bella (Stewart) has given birth to a hybrid human/vampire named Renesmee, who grows at a far faster rate than normal and has unique powers of her own. Irina (Maggie Grace) spies the child from a far and tells the Volturi that the child is a rare immortal child. Immortal children never mature and become so powerful they can destroy entire villages so when one is encountered they are executed by the Volturi. Alice, with her precognitive powers has a vision of the Volturi and Irina coming to kill the Cullens, and leaves with Jasper, telling the rest of the Cullen clan to gather as many witnesses as they can that can testify that Renesmee is not an immortal.
For the next hour we get a vampire recruitment film as the Cullens journey the world to find allies like Benjamin, an Egyptian vampire who can control elements; Zafrina and Senna, Amazonian vamps who can create illusions; Garrett, an adventurer who fought in the Revolutionary War; Kate who can produce an electrical shock on contact; and Vladimir and Stefan, two Romanian vampires whose cult was once the ruling class until they were overthrown by the Volturi. It’s also found that new vampire Bella has the ability to project a psychic shield around herself and others. In addition to these free agent vamps, Jacob (Lautner) has also recruited his clan of werewolves to fight alongside the Cullens.
Not much else happens and that’s the biggest crime of Breaking Dawn Part II. Bella and Edward (Pattinson) attempt to place house by getting their own little secluded cottage in the woods and there’s a half-hearted attempt to explain what’s going in with Bella to her father Charlie who is naively satisfied to her the ridiculous explanation that “Bella had to change into something other”.
In the end though, Breaking Dawn Part II does what it set out to do…it ends the series on a happily ever after note, even if it does so by means of a Bobby Ewing in the shower moment and almost certainly made most of its fans happy.
Audio Commentary with Director Bill Condon
Forever: The Filming of the Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn part II (1:33:00) A full-length making of documentary exploring all the aspects of the film’s production including casting, visual effects, and shooting the climactic battle scenes.
Two Movies at Once (6:27) – Looks at the task of shooting two films at once including the many different shooting locations around the world.
Also out at the same time was Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I: Extended Edition which includes 8 minutes of additional footage not seen in the theatrical cut but including no special features other than a Director’s Commentary.