Watched: December 3, 2011
Summary: Cringe, Laugh, or Barf
Besides the shameless grab at our wallets (splitting the movie into two parts) BDP1 is certainly the most cringeworthy episode yet. First of all, from a structural point of view, the first half has no conflict. Therefore no plot.
It’s not that nothing happens. We have a lovely wedding video and then a fully censored honeymoon. But plot requires conflict, and the only two bits of that we have here are a brief Jacob/Edward chest thumping and Edward’s steadfast foot dragging at the notion of banging his wife more than once. This section of the film is pure wish fulfillment again. The perfect wedding, the perfect honeymoon. Plus a few bruises and one unwanted demonic pregnancy.
But the second half is perhaps even worse. Here we have manufactured wolf/vamp conflict that really no one cares about and a bit of a minor quandary for Bella and Jacob. Edward (and pretty much everyone else in the film) just does their thing. The inciting incident occurs at the midpoint. And the entire movie, BTW, lacks a villain. Unless you count the very weak antagonism of Jacob’s pack leader Sam. Yeah, no villain.
I’m not sure what the second half is. Special effects allow Bella a credible impersonation of a pregnant concentration camp inmate. Edward frets. Jacob does a lot of running back and forth in the woods listening to the CGI call of the wild. The birth was disturbing, but also felt censored.
Kristen Stewart, however, does a pretty impressive job with this role. Even more than the previous films this one focused on her. We have long, long shots just of her face — like walking up the isle — and she manages to bring Bella’s character to life. I’m not sure I want Bella to be alive, but it’s actually a really solid acting job considering the script. Oh, and she’s looking even better in this film (first half). Bikinis in Brazil are better than jeans and hoodies in Forks. Way better than the Twiggy-supreme look.
Love the claw prints!
Let’s see, can we list some of the more amusing moments: Edward breaking the marriage bed. His cheesy confession to having killed in the “old days” — except wait — it was only molesters, rapists, and murderers. He’s just too pure for any genuine vampire feasting. The way the Brazilian house keeper is magically an expert on vampire babies, even though none of the vampires know anything about them. The wolf voiceover argument and growl fest. That one really takes the cake. The Volturi camp at the end of the movie. And so, so many more.
I was enjoying myself during the film. I laughed a lot. A real lot. But it was “at” not “with.”
And it’s worth checking out this Cracked magazine review of the whole series too.