Review: 'Breaking Dawn Part 2': And They Were Undead Forever and Ever

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II

The Twilight “kids” have grown up and like Harry Potter before them, they’re crossing over into ever mysterious “adulthood,” which for them is more languorous than life for the average muggle, but also literally interminable. I suppose, at some point, we needed to make “Happily Ever After” more extreme; the end of a semi-supernatural soap for teens is the best possible time to go "forever."

For five films now, Twilight has provided audiences with a hyperbolic outlet for fantasy and tragedy: Bella (Kirsten Stewart) has loved Edward (Robert Pattinson) so intensely she begged him to make her undead, and now that she’s no longer a virgin, has a husband and a child, she's also got a ferocious appetite for animal blood.

Her daughter becomes the center of a silly, civil-war-sized conflict, and Bella swifltly changes her tune from wimpy waif to tiger mom (a turn that’s satisfying for Edward and the audience at once). But by the end, the entire series has to close, providing a recollection of all the ardor and delayed gratification that's spanned the Saga, and like a closing coda, Bill Condon feeds us their, now nostalgic, longing in a bottle.

Breaking Dawn 2 sputters and sags like any episode of “Young and the Restless,” but the way it feels like the intermittently stunted and urgent experience of adolescence is evocative and apt, and makes the whole awkward mess seem like the biggest gift you could ever give a tween—provided we’re not insulting them by doing so. In the world of presents, I hope this one is more like your new favorite jeans than that sweater with the embarrassing reindeer on it.

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