The Cullens are not “real” vampires and neither are the members of the clans they enlist for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2. If you’ve seen any of the preceding films, you already know this, but in the finale, vampire lore is tortured even more to fit the series’ agenda of wish fulfillment for preteens. Not only can these so-called “undead” operate in sunlight, survive without human blood, and socialize with mortals, but they can also reproduce—or at least Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) can. In part one, Edward’s human wife, Bella (Kristen Stewart), went into labor. In part two, the baby girl, Renesmee, is alive, but Bella is not. She is undead, having been “turned” by her attentive hubby. So now that everybody, or at least every dead body, is one big happy family, what’s next?
Not much. Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is still the third wheel: Casually accepting that Bella is with Edward for all time, the wolf man finds a new reason to hang around the Cullen household, and that is Renesmee. As the infant grows at an accelerated pace, Jacob’s possessiveness becomes unintentionally creepy. But Renesmee (who is near-silent and has an all-knowing demeanor instead of a personality) is in dire peril: The Volturi have laws against child occultism and they are on the march toward the Cullen lair. Jeez, what’s the point of being a monster if you still have to answer to a bureaucracy?
To protect their little girl, the Cullens take a predictably passive approach, calling for the support of vampire clans the world over. The flaccid plot consists of lots of newly arrived vampys standing around uttering inanities and looking cool (though if you’ve seen one pair of ruby-red eyes, you’ve seen them all). There is only the cheerfully demented performance by Michael Sheen as the head Volturi to relieve the monotony (the plot, what there is of it, is as wishy-washy as Bella) until the big climactic action sequence.
The only amusement here is how Stewart and Pattinson have become more lifeless with each installment, and the only suspense comes from wondering who turned director Bill Condon into a corpse. The acclaimed writer-director (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey) apparently had even less input into part two than he did for part one, going by the lack of anything interesting in terms of script, acting, and art direction (c’mon, Pottery Barn for the newlywed cottage?), all of which was apparently sacrificed to the conclusion’s unwholesome motif. Yes, girly girls, you can have it all, and more: a forever love, earth-shattering sex, babies, unearned wealth, and hundreds of years of youthful semi-human life—all without endangering your immortal soul. As if.