God, there’s a lot of standing around in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.” I mean, in these movies there’s always a lot of standing and waiting and sitting and hoping — for Edward the vampire (Robert Pattinson) to kiss human Bella (Kristen Stewart), for him to make transformative love to her, for them to share the “perfect piece of forever” that Stephenie Meyer described in her quartet of books with the tummy-rubbing glee of someone about to spend eternity eating a pie.
This fifth and mercifully final installment features so much idle anticipation that it’s unclear whether we’re watching a movie or an Apple product launch. The waiting concerns the decision of the Volturi (Vatican-style vampires) to destroy the computer-generated daughter Edward and Bella have spawned — the spit-take-inducingly named Renesmee.
There’s legitimate concern that, as even half a vampire, the child will cease aging and remain a toddler until the end of time, throwing extra-strength, civilization-ending tantrums. The dreaded historical era would be Renesmee: the Most Terrible Two.
In any case, the entire movie, which is based on the back half of Meyer’s final book, builds up to the showdown starring almost every vampire in the series. The Volturi are lead by Michael Sheen, who fared better in the second movie as a kind of white Queen in French Revolution gold. This time he and his dozens of minions — one of whom, thanklessly, is Dakota Fanning — wear black dusters with marching-band-uniform accents. If the Volturi weren’t able, in the climactic brawl, to heave Edward, Bella, and their small gang of allies across a clearing in Washington state, I imagine they could simply glide-step them to death.
“Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” which Bill Condon directed and Melissa Rosenberg wrote, scarcely featured a line of dialogue more than 140 characters or a shot that lasts longer than is required to say it. Even if you’re Michael Sheen, this isn’t an actor’s movie. The computer-generated wolves give the best performances.
The film does provide the sight of Stewart arm-wrestling the movie’s strongman (Kellan Lutz), whizzing around the forest and across rooms at top cheesiness, and beating up Jacob (Taylor Lautner), a werewolf, the other man who loves Bella, and the surrogate mother/future lover of Bella’s daughter. It’s best not to ask. Nor is there any point in wondering about the international vampire cavalcade that travels to Washington in support of Renesmee. Those who don’t know who these people are should feel free to rename them. I spied the Bruno Mars vampire, a Bon Iver, one Venus and Serena, a Lady Gaga, lots of My Chemical Romance, and two aggressively styled European fellows I renamed Dolce & Gabbana.
True commitment to the “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” franchise can be measured in how upset you are to see some of their heads ripped off. The screaming the night I saw it suggested ear-shattering devotion. There was also some laughter that suggested mild contempt. (I’m not sure they made it out of the theater alive.) During one dewy montage, I turned to comfort my weeping seatmate who had come to mourn The End. Later she texted me.
“I’m confused,” she wrote.
“Are you sad it’s over?”
She was. But she was also sad for me and people like me.
“I believe [my feelings are] best expressed by Leona Lewis’s ‘Bleeding Love.’ ”
“ ‘I don’t care what they say. I’m in love with you’ ?” I asked.
“ ‘They try to pull me away, but they don’t know the truth’ ?”
That was it.
To further paraphrase the raw feeling of Miss Lewis’s international smash hit: This series has cut open my friend and her fellow so-called Twi-hards. They keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love. Now that’s it’s over, they don’t need Kleenex. They need tourniquets.Wesley Morris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @wesley_morris.