BABY makes three in this fourth Twilight film which enjoyed a special screening at Empire cinema last night – ahead of today’s general release – as part of a special Twi-athalon event which attracted queues of fans in vampire garb to The Gate for a back-to-back saga film-feast.
Based on the books by Stephenie Meyer, this brings the love story of a mortal and a vampire to a suitably bloody resolution although – like the climactic outing of Harry Potter – this final chapter has been cleaved in two, with the concluding instalment due next November.
There’s no credible artistic reason for the separation – the film-makers are simply milking their cash cow twice.
Part 1 stretches a 50-minute narrative into almost two hours of lustful glances, bitter recriminations and CGI-heavy battles between bloodsuckers and their werewolf rivals.
Where one scene would normally suffice, two are churned out, underscored with angst-ridden rock and pop. When one character’s life flashes before their eyes, the idea is taken literally and we’re bombarded with a montage of key scenes from previous films.
Director Bill Condon’s previous film was Dreamgirls, which had plenty of razzle, but no emotional dazzle. Here, he once again demonstrates a flair for style over substance.
When we left Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), she had chosen vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) over werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner).
Poor Jacob is heartbroken and shows his despair by taking off his shirt in the first 20 seconds of this fourth film and flaunting his abs.
Bella and Edward marry soon after in front of her parents (Billy Burke, Sarah Clarke) and his blood-sucking clan: Dr Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), Esme (Elizabeth Reaser), Alice (Ashley Greene), Rosalie (Nikki Reed), Emmett (Kellan Lutz) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and the newlyweds head to a private island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro to consummate their love.
Bella falls pregnant and a half-human, half-vampire child grows at an accelerated rate, literally devouring Bella from within.
The Quileute wolf pack led by alpha male Sam (Chaske Spencer) prepares to kill Bella and her unborn abomination.
The opening salvo ends rather curiously with all loose threads seemingly tied and nothing to keep us counting down the days until 2012. It doesn’t bode well for Part 2.
ROMANCE: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1
(1hr 57 mins)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner.
Director: Bill Condon