Fun with Franchises: Final Thoughts on the Twilight Saga — Breaking Dawn Part 1

All right… we’ve watched the film, talked about it, had fun with it, and then we went and listed our favorite images from the film yesterday. Now all that’s left is to finish up with what we actually thought about the film as a whole.

This is our space to go over what we liked and didn’t like about each film we watch for Fun with Franchises. We talk about specific things as we get to them during the articles, and we’ll mention our general thoughts during them, but we don’t really ever get to sit and do broad strokes during the articles. So this is why we do these Final Thoughts. We get to take a step back and talk about the films as a whole, rather than discussing specific scenes or images. We’ll talk about how we felt about the film, how we liked it as a film, how we liked it as a member of its franchise, and where we think it falls within that franchise.

Again, it’s not very complicated, but it is a place to find out what we actually thought about certain movies, since, while we’re having fun with them in the articles, it may get difficult to tell sometimes. Because we’ll just rip things to shreds for fun, even if we love them.

So here are our final thoughts on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1:

Final Thoughts on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1:

Colin:

There is a way in which this is my least favorite of the Twilight films. I’m betting a lot of people consider this to be one of the best. But those people are distracted.

Since I can do this in no time, let’s go over everything that happened in the first few movies.

Twilight: No vampires → vampires

New Moon: No werewolves → werewolves

Eclipse: Bad guys → no bad guys

Granted, none of these things were really major achievements. The plots were flimsy at best, but whether you cared or not, at least there was something big going on within the universe.

This movie’s whole plot is Bella marrying Edward, them fucking and her getting knocked up. They have their wedding (words can’t express how little I care about this. I’m more concerned about Carrot Top’s cholesterol than I was about this wedding), go on their honeymoon (which is what you do), have unspectacular sex that was way too highly anticipated, and she gets pregnant, which — what’d you THINK was gonna happen when you ain’t use no Jim hat?

AND THAT’S THE MOVIE! There was nothing exciting, nothing fun, nothing [purposefully] funny, and no action. Just a wedding that nobody but females under the age of 15 should have enjoyed, bad sex and then a panicky pregnancy. So while this certainly looked better than the first film, and was less goofy and pathetic than the first film, at least that one was TRYING to be something.

I think Breaking Dawn Part 1’s real failing is that it’s a “Part 1” in a franchise that clearly doesn’t know how to split shit up or make stuff happen. If we’re honest (and we are), there was barely enough material to make full-length feature films from each of the first three books — judging by what we ended up with. And then they decided to take this one and split it in half. Turned out that all of the excitement, if you could call it that, was saved for the back half of the book, and so we ended up with a whole film’s worth of primer.

This must have been them wanting to really cash in on the franchise, because there’s no way they’d have made nearly as much with one film. They could have made the whole thing better and less painful by combining the two films (and don’t tell me there’s too much there to do that), but then they’d have made like…$900 million, tops. And this way, they were able to make a combined total of $1.54 billion, which is more than The Avengers made. Some franchises can do this and pull it off. The two Deathly Hallows movies are both near the top of my list for the Harry Potter film franchise. There was enough going on in the first film to keep me interested, the quality was top-notch, and then things came to a head in the final film. Of course, those two movies made a total of $2.3 billion, so I suppose there’s some justice in the universe.

But how did this film not piss off everyone that saw it? Either you’re a fan who knows what’s coming and knows that they can’t make it R-rated (read: remotely worthwhile) or you’re someone who walked in expecting something and walked out wanting your money back.

In my case, I knew that the production value was on an upward trend, and they’d gotten rid of the shitty bad guys from the baseball game in the previous film. I assumed that she’d just be a vampire now and get some action, kill some bitches, or whatever. It was a feeling of, “This may be the worst franchise I’ve ever seen, but at least they can pick things up NOW.”

Wrong. Wrong.

My Final Thoughts:

This franchise has fucked my head up.

Because I’m about to say almost positive things about this movie, and I know that it’s only because of the three movies that came before it, and purely in the context of that.

Because compared to other movies — this was not good. I watched 170 movies from 2011 in 2011. This was 171. Skimming through really quickly — I’d say this movie doesn’t even crack the top 100. In fact, I just went through quickly and I’d say, of 171 movies I saw from 2011, there are about 111 movies I liked more than this one and thought were better and/or more entertaining than this one. And that’s just the year this movie came out. And yet the way I’m about to talk about this movie — you’d think it was actually not awful.

But it is.

This movie is terrible, nothing happens, and the entire movie is about her marrying him, fucking, getting pregnant and giving birth.

That’s it.

But honestly — I’d rather that than some stupid shit about baseball, walking into sunlight, or recycled threats. At least here, we’re getting shit related to the primary theme of the franchise, which is the relationship between the two of them.

The real issue with the whole thing is that Bella never changes as a person throughout the whole franchise. Nor does Edward. This franchise makes the mistake of thinking external changes (the physical change into a vampire) actually functions as personal change and character development.

No.

So when your character doesn’t change, and they tell us an hour into the first movie that the two are “irrevocably” in love — you’re really gonna have to paint some legitimate conflict for us to buy into any sort of drama between that.

So at this point, me having given up all hope of anything being remotely interesting, I’m settling for just about anything to be interested. And, because of that — I didn’t hate this movie. But, all that really means is that this is the piece of shit that has an air pocket in it and floats to the top of the water above the other three pieces of shit that are sitting at the bottom of the water amongst themselves.

I just sort of got through this okay. Maybe it’s because they didn’t try to layer any kind of plot on. The most they did was have the wolves be pissed off, and by that point I’d stopped caring. Since they try to layer that shit in every movie, and by now, I know it’s all a non-starter. At least this time, they didn’t even manage to get to the actual battle at hand an went, “Nope! Not happening.” They’re really getting better at their anticlimaxes as they go along.

So yeah — I’m cool with this one, mostly because I’d rather spend the first hour with them at a wedding and in the same house than seeing them worry about Victoria, or be severely depressed, or — god, that first movie. So by default I guess this is the least painful for me so far. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but there you go.

It’s pretty funny how this franchise boils down to: Deer Asshole, Baseball Game, Italy, Wedding, Baby. That’s it. And Eclipse is totally pointless, through and through. Nothing that happens in that movie is worth remembering or even part of the larger… whatever the fuck it’s supposed to be.

It’s certainly not a saga. It’s only a saga if Krillin gets killed.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow starts Breaking Dawn Part 2.

(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)

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