You know your franchise has made a lot of money when honest-to-God designers beat down the door for the opportunity to design a custom wedding dress for an 18-year-old kid in some Pacific Northwest hick village. No trips to David's Bridal for Bella Swan! No siree! Heck, not even a trip to Kleinfeld's for a special episode of "Say Yes To The Dress." The winner in the product placement sweepstakes was Carolina Herrera (though a franchise bridal company got the rights to do a cheaper imitation for the fangirls), with Manolo Blahnik doing the shoes, picked out by the ever tasteful Alice.
(Other product placement I noticed were J Brand jeans and Tampax: The Official Tampon Used By Bella Swan.)
Geez, even with the billions amassed by the Star Wars saga, Natalie Portman had to settle for a no-name dress made from a bedspread in spite of her craploads of fashion designer friends. Go figure.
Anyway, prior to the wedding, Bella doesn't look joyful or excited. She basically looks like a virgin about to be tossed into a volcano. She has a nightmare that seems to express the fear that marrying Edward will turn her into a bloodthirsty monster who will kill her family and friends. It's strange that all of the human characters not named "Charlie" don't think there's anything unusual at all about the Cullens, but that's been the case all along.
She relaxes a little bit after the ceremony, until Jacob shows up and tells her if she has sex with Edward, she'll die. Apparently Jacob thinks people marry just to remain celibate. Bella pooh-poohs his warnings and off she goes with Edward on their super secret honeymoon.
Edward whisks Bella off to Rio de Janeiro, where it's Carnival 24/7, 365-days-a-year. After pausing a moment to get out of a cab, wander into a dancing crowd, and smooch, Edward puts Bella on a boat to Isle Esme. Isle Esme is a private island with a fabulous house straight out of "Architectural Digest." The Cullens have major bank. I'm beginning to wonder if they head a drug cartel.
The bedroom antics in spite of the hype are rather silly. They're barely doing anything when Edward starts tearing chunks out of the headboard. We don't see any pillow-biting, but there are loose pillow feathers, debris tossed around the room, and the entire $18,000 bed practically collapsing. Bella thinks the experience was wonderful, but Edward shows her all of the bruises and tells her that's it for the sex. Bummer. Poor Bella keeps trying to get Edward interested in nookie but it's mostly for naught. No wonder there are all of those jokes about Edward being gay. Eventually he figures, "Oh, I guess so" and bam, Bella's instantly pregnant with her vampire baby.
(I have no idea how any of this is supposed to work, from how a dead man is supposed to have an erection to how sperm turns out to be vampiric. Don't ask me.)
The locals who do the upkeep on the place call Edward a blood-sucking demon in spite of the fact they choose to work for him. The woman touches Bella's tummy and finds, "Death!" This turn of events causes Edward to freak out and causes Bella to have the same expression for the remainder of the film.
They return to Chez Cullen in Forks. Bella wants to keep her little bloodsucker and insists she is carrying a boy, though she is totally wrong. Edward, Jacob, and Alice demand an abortion while Rosalie takes the pro-life position. The local CGI wolf pack declares this makes the treaty with the Cullens null and void, and they plan their attack. Bella gets worse and worse. She's only able to hang on by drinking human blood, then she collapses and it's time for Edward to chomp out the baby, who is named Reneesme. A girl who will suffer the fate of never being able to find a mug with her name on it at the gift shop; why not "Renee Esme?" Bella seemingly dies in spite of Edward sticking the vampire juice in her chest. The wolves go crazy and Jacob is ordered to kill the baby. But he sees her and does the creepy imprinting thing.
The werewolves and the Cullens fight. Just as the Cullens wonder where's that Underworld girl when they really need her, Jacob comes outside to declare he's imprinted Reneesme and if she dies, he dies. The vampire mojo finally kicks in and Bella's anorexic, sickly corpse fills out and her makeup is regenerated. Then she opens her red vampiric eyes. The End.
A movie that really should have been 90 minutes tops somehow ends up being almost two hours and it just seems there were dialogue-free sequences with some bad pop/alt flooding the soundtrack to pad it all out. A lot of the tension and drama driving the previous Twilight movies aren't there anymore, so the film feels quite different from its predecessors. Aside from the Wedding-In-Rivendell feel of the nuptuals, there's fun in the tropical sun instead of the lush and enchanted Pacific Northwest. The later scenes in Forks are almost always at night.
The CGI werewolves are as bad as always but a scene where the pack gathers in the woods takes the bad to a whole new level. The actors shout out their dialogue over the grunts and growls of the wolves AND over the musical score. WTF? It's like a Disney movie done by an idiot.
As per usual, the guy who's Charlie is one of the better performers in the film. Everybody else does pretty much what they've done the rest of the series: Lautner removing his shirt on command and throwing things, R Pattz being all pale, K Stew being K Stew. Aside from the birthin' scene or the overwrought bedroom destruction, there aren't as many of the laugh-out-loud knee-slapping cheesy moments that made prior Twilights entertaining even if you know you're not watching great cinema. "Breaking Dawn Part 1" is rather straightforward and I don't look to the campy tale of vampire/human love for straightforward drama.