Feature

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1

In the fourth installment of the Twilight franchise, the vampire marries a human.

Directed by Bill Condon
(PG-13)

**

This fourth installment in the Twilight vampire franchise is saved from “pure lousiness” by a “flash or two of real filmmaking,” said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. But it’s “the dullest movie of the bunch”—even though it finally lets Kristen Stewart’s chaste maiden and Robert Pattinson’s “fwoopy-haired” vampire go to bed together. The sex occurs after marriage, of course, and results in a pregnancy that initiates a debate about aborting the couple’s apparently demonic spawn. The Twilight novels at least felt highly personal—their “sludgy mix of cautionary tale and wish fulfillment” felt like the author’s own yearnings, said Wesley Morris in The Boston Globe. But the movies have grown increasingly mechanical, and this one’s “deplorable special effects” suggest that director Bill Condon wanted to veer into full camp but lost his nerve. Still, there’s no denying the film’s power as a pop-culture phenomenon, said Stephanie Zacharek in Movieline
.com. The whole point of the Twilight movies is the “anticipation leading up to each one.” With one installment to go, Condon still has a chance to end the series with a bang.

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