'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1' Review By Corey W.

It was the worst book of the series, but it's the best film of the saga.
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
I'll start off with the complete honest truth. Truth in which I'm proud of; I've read all four Twilight novels, and since 2008 when the first book published by the fascinating Stephanie Meyer, I've been a fan of the Twilight Saga. Just because I'm a fan of the books, however, doesn't necessarily mean that I'm the biggest fan of the movies. The first three films were guilty pleasures; they weren't the best adaptations ever, but they were still a good example of a popcorn flick. The reason the movies have never really stuck with me as the books did is because they got just about everything wrong. Twilight was an epic saga to read and they each took me two days, less if I didn't have to do other things throughout the day.

The movies have never had the chance to cross upon the term "epic" because they mostly lack the flare Stephanie Meyer crafted. Because of the movies, a lot of men, for say, refuse to have any part in Twilight because they think its "gay" or whatever silly term that want to tag it as. Yes, I can agree that sparkling vampires is a little silly but if these films were adapted into a script by Stephanie Meyer herself I believe the movies would have a more open fan base, even from those who claim it as "gay". I'm hoping one day, far from now, that these movies get the adaptations they deserve from the start. If it wasn't for all the mistakes Catherine Hardwicke caused with the horrible adaptation with the first Twilight (I mean, it wasn't even close to similar as the novel), this saga would have had a better chance with a lot of things. Luckily, the second and third entries were put in better hands but there wasn't much they could do to fix all of Hardwicke's mistakes.

With all that being said, I can surprisingly announce that Breaking Dawn is the best of the saga thus far, mostly because it followed the book as close as possible. We still have the second half to see, but I think this installment was put into the right hands. Being the worst book of the four (I found it to be a bit of a slow conclusion); Bill Condon has beautifully crafted the best film of the saga. Almost everything about the film was spot-on, besides a few flaws we've witnessed with the first three entries. Even with the flaws, Condon worked his best to polish them up as best as possible to please the audiences (even boyfriends dragged into this) with the epic conclusion they deserve. Being a fan of the books, I'm proud to say that I've finally walked out of one with a smile on my face due to it actually being loyal to the literature.

Let's put it this way; there is the character Bella Swan in the books and then there's the character Bella Swan in the movies. Bella Swan in the movies is very stolid, dry, and confusing with just about everything. Her face is always played with no emotion, and it's almost as if she's supposed to be this lifeless character throughout every moment of her waking life. The Bella Swan in the books is interesting, curious, and her thoughts on everything going on around her make the beautiful human that she is. She isn't supposed to be stolid and boring like the films make her out to be, or how Kristen Stewart likes to play her. This is a huge factor to why a lot of people dislike these films. Kristen Stewart has never really taken the time to understand the character completely. She may fit the role by her looks, but in personality she just doesn't fit the character all that well. All this put aside, I was able to get past that with Breaking Dawn, due to the circ*mstances of what her character goes through in this one. This time, her solidness actually works to her advantage.

Robert Pattinson is not a bad actor. In fact, he's a great actor. Though his role as Edward Cullen over the years may not be his greatest highlight (even he's admitted to that), he's shown audiences through other films like Remember Me and this year's incredible Water for Elephants that he's stable of giving excellent performances, maybe even Oscar-worthy ones. Now, Edward Cullen is a difficult character to play. Pattinson may not do it perfectly but through some rough dialogue he makes due. The first Twilight film I hated him, but it wasn't really his fault. Eclipse was when I really accepted him into the role, and in Breaking Dawn I think he's done a fine job. He gathers more life into Cullen this time and adds a lot of flare and intensity into each scene. Because of this, Breaking Dawn wasn't the train-wreck it could have been.

As for Taylor Lautner, well, he's still Taylor Lautner. He must be the worst casting decision for a movie-character ever. In the first film, Taylor was scrawny and didn't fit the role of Jacob at all whatsoever. For that, he should never have been giving the role. Though I do give him kudos for bulking up in less than a year and making himself fit for the role, he never carried the acting capability to play the role off. Because of the bad mistakes made in the first flick (See how those caused the entire saga to suffer), Jacob Black, the poor character, was never given the good recognition. He was a fun character to read along with in the novels, but because of Lautner, I hate him in the movies.

There were a lot of things that I loved about Breaking Dawn. One thing in particular was the wedding sequence, both of them. The dream wedding turned nightmare was beautifully shot. The use of white and red was astounding and even though it never happened in the book, it was an aspect I adored in the film. Then with the real wedding-sequence, I enjoyed the amount of humor used to make it feel a bit more realistic. It may have felt a little over-the-top, but it was a very well-made scene. The soundtrack throughout these scenes was perfect too, especially the piano piece playing during the vows.

All and all, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is the best of the film series. It has intensity that none of the other installments could ever grasp. It may be quiet on the violence, but the drama is very entertaining, even if it is hard to get into the idea of a vampire impregnating a human. This is fiction, people, as far as I'm concerned it has every right to do whatever they want with vampire mythology. I can't wait to see part two, especially after the ending, which definitely lived up to expectation. I honestly don't think it needs an UNCUT version on the DVD, because the final-cut was very bloody. This film definitely could have passed for an R-rating and while I am surprised that it didn't, I'm just glad that it passed as a good movie overall. It's the best of the saga, see it.

Thanks for the read!

-Written by Corey Wood

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Comments (54)

  1. Nicholaus XX

    @corey -- Great review for a seemingly mediocre at best-movie.

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  2. Corey W.

    @aoshi haha. You asked how this deserved a four when it it was the worst book of the series :P and just because it was the worst of the book series, doesn't mean it was bad. :P

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  3. aoshi

    @moviegeek Obviously I have no way to be sure until it is actually released, but I don't think so. First, the book is not the mammoths that the LOTR books are. Second, they are taking a relatively short book and dividing it into two movies. Part of the reason for that is that Peter Jackson is adding stuff not in the book that did happen in Middle Earth at that time according to The Silmarillion, but even with those additions I don't think each part will last longer than 2, maybe 2 and a half hours. That should mean at least one more viewing per day than any of the LOTR movies.

    3 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  4. moviegeek

    @aoshi Don't you think The Hobbit will run just as long though?

    3 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  5. aoshi

    @corey umm, what were you replying to, exactly? xD

    3 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  6. aoshi

    @moviegeek TDK wasn't starting from ground zero, Batman Begins didn't have as much success in the box office but it was critically acclaimed. I do agree that the hype for TDKR will be much bigger, but then again so will The Hobbit's. The main reason the LOTR movies didn't make more money was because of how long each were; the longer running time the less showings per day.

    3 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  7. aoshi

    @jayaottley I did factor in Ledger's encore performance. Just not in my reply to you, lol

    3 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  8. Jay.A.Ottley

    @corey actually 30th June in Japan mwahahah, 3rd in the U.S and 4th in the UK

    3 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  9. moviegeek

    @aoshi Well even though Ledger had a great deal to do with TDK's success, this sequel has just as much anticipation BECAUSE of how great TDK was. TDKR isn't starting from ground zero much like TDK was.

    Also, you need to take into consideration that the LOTR films didn't crack $400 mil domestic during their runs. So The Hobbit will have a long, but not necessarily explosive run.

    3 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  10. Corey W.

    @jayaottley TAS comes out the 3rd, my birthday. So get it right! haha

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  11. Jay.A.Ottley

    @corey The release dates between TDKR and TAS are roughly a week or two apart and my bad lol it will be the other way round.

    Batman will throw a batarang and Spiderman and knock him off after his 2-3 week run at the box office

    TAS - 4th July
    TDKR - 20th July

    3 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  12. Corey W.

    @jayaottley How will Spider-Man knock off TDRK? It releases first. Spider Man won't just randomly come out of no where and bite Batman in the ass after the first weekend.

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  13. Corey W.

    @aoshi Because the film was very well-made.

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  14. Jay.A.Ottley

    @aoshi While i agree on the Titanic and Avatar sentiments, don't forget to take in to notable mention that TDK had the anticipation of Ledger'a final and epic performance.

    TDKR doesn't have that momentum as well it has competition, which means it will probably hold the top spot for one week at best before being knocked of by TAS

    3 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  15. aoshi

    @moviegeek The Hobbit is probably going to outgross The Dark Knight Rises. With The Dark Knight it had two things going in its favor: the quality of the movie and Heath Ledger's death. Those $500 million+ in the US will be hard to repeat, even if it's great. The Hobbit, meanwhile, has even greater anticipation and won't have as much competition.

    3 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  16. aoshi

    @jayaottley I don't think Breaking Dawn can keep up with Batman in a one on one. Twilight always does amazingly in the first weekend and then does a skydive drop the second. The Dark Knight made so much money because it held the #1 spot for a long time, it didn't depend on a huge first weekend gross to get there. In fact, that's how movies like Titanic and Avatar do the trick too.

    3 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  17. Jay.A.Ottley

    @moviegeek Ahhhhh dude i completely forgot about Hobbit, ok that will demolish Breaking Wind as its well LOTR and that its highly anticipated and as well 3D. And thinking about it here are my new predications

    1. The Hobbit 3D
    2. The Avengers 3D
    3. Breaking Dawn Pt.2
    4. TDKR
    5 TAS 3D

    @aoshi Batman doesn't need the scope of 3D because none of the rest of the films were 3D and Nolan wanted to stick to that tradition for his trilogy despite how much Warner Bros wanted him to make it 3D. Also as Nolan stated there is hardly anything you can utilise the 3D attribute on upon Batman.

    Even if TDKR is as spectacular as TDK it still won't wipe the floor with the rest of its competition. But in terms of 2D films its up against Breaking Dawn, so it should be an interesting battle, also not to mention that TAS is being released in the same week as TDKR.

    The big wins will come from Avengers 3D and The Hobbit

    3 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  18. moviegeek

    @jayaottley@aoshi The box office for the four you mentioned, plus one other, in my opinion:

    1. Dark Knight Rises (IF it's a great movie. If it's not, then no chance).
    2. The Hobbit (There is such longevity in the Christmas season and anticipation couldn't be higher).
    3. The Avengers (It has relatively no competition for a month)
    4. Breaking Wind part 2 (Yes, it has no competition. But waiting a full year for the second part was a HUGE error for Summit. The fervor and momentum will be lost, leading only to a massive opening and big drop off).
    5. Amazing SpiderMan (This will be a hit, but I'd be surprised to see it get more than $250 domestic, even if it is really good. It's just too soon for a reboot that doesn't look much different.)

    3 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  19. aoshi

    @jayaottley exactly. The formula has worked to perfection so far, why change it?

    3 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  20. aoshi

    So the main reason for this being the best film of the series is that it's the closest to the books, but yet it is based on the worst book of the series... how did it get 4 stars again?

    @jayaottley because The Dark Knight needed the 3D gimmick to break several box office records, right? If TDKR ends up last of the four, it will be because it isn't good enough, but if it comes any close to TDK, it's going to wipe the floor with the rest.

    3 years agoby @aoshiFlag

  21. Worth5Bucks

    @corey ROFL.... you suck, now i simply have to see this :P

    3 years agoby @mattbierwagenFlag

  22. SherlockHolmes2009

    Never liked any of these since I saw the 1st one

    3 years agoby @SherlockHolmes2009Flag

  23. Jay.A.Ottley


    I agree Corey, despite that Avengers will have a post-converted 3D advantage,it probably would get destroyed by Breaking Dawn Pt.2.

    But they're looking it in terms of their profits,which is a smart marketing move. They going to release the film when there is literally no competition and no one will be interested in seeing any other film but Breaking Dawn. Its in brief going to take the globe by storm with its finale. This is how i think the box-office result will fair on this 4 big blockbuster movies

    Breaking Dawn Pt.2
    The Amazing Spiderman
    The Dark Knight Rises

    There is a reason why TDKR is at the bottom, because it doesn't have a 3D advantage, which i reckon it will fair less in the box-office

    3 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  24. Corey W.

    @jayaottley Good point. I feel like this would beat the Avengers at the box-office, however, sadly. All the teenage girls and cat-ladies would make sure of it haha :P

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag

  25. ROFLitschristian

    @corey Ohhhhh. Glad you give everything a chance!

    3 years agoby @ROFLitschristianFlag

  26. Georgia DiPirro

    Great review, I just talked to two Twilight fans and the said the same thing "Kristen Stewart has never really taken the time to understand the character completely. " They can't understand why she was casted for the roll, however they said that in this movie she was a little better and this one was the bast out of all of them @corey ... Good job

    3 years agoby @Georgia-DiPirroFlag

  27. K.Guy

    @jayaottley True that

    3 years agoby @kguyFlag

  28. Jay.A.Ottley


    I disagree with the release dates as well as you two do.

    But look at it this way, if it was 6 months between this would be at the beginning of summer going up against Avengers as it would be a April / May release and the obviously it would have to compete with all the other summer blockbusters... Avengers, Amazing Spiderman, Dark Knight Rises and much more.

    While the dreading waiting time for the fans of the November 16th release date for part.2 give them time to re-define everything to make it perfect and also there is absolutely no competition in the box office at the time for potentially Breaking Dawn to some hefty box office records :)

    3 years agoby @jayaottleyFlag

  29. TheStonedReviewer

    @corey Cool man!

    3 years agoby @stonedFlag

  30. Corey W.

    @ROFLitschristian Thanks man! That means a lot! I do always have a different opinion. Usually, I always like the worst films better than others. Like Jack & Jill for example. I'll have that review up later, but I didn't see it as a film worth 4%

    3 years agoby @coreyFlag