Mixed Tape Reviews: Fourth ‘Twilight’ Flick More Weird Than Terrible

Nov 23rd, 2011 | By | Category: News, Sights

Breaking Dawn screen capThe experience of watching four Twilight movies can best be described as watching a young woman make a series of bad decisions. That young woman is Bella Swan played by Kristen Stewart, and her most recent bad decision in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” is to get married immediately after graduating from high school.

I saw this happen a lot in real life when growing up in a small town in the Appalachian Mountains. But to be fair to Bella, there were also a few young women in my former hometown who couldn’t even wait to graduate high school to get married, that is if they even bothered to graduate at all.

Dawn Part 1 begins with the preparations for Bella’s wedding. We see her friends joke about how the nuptials may in fact be the result of Bella getting knocked up. To her credit, even Bella starts to realize this post high school wedding idea might not be a good one. Not because she is sealing herself to another person before she even had the chance to find herself and explore life as an individual adult. She realizes this wedding idea might be terrible because it is tied to her worst decision of all – to marry that douchebag vampire Edward Cullen.

Aside from the fact that Edward has spent the last three Twilight movies, acting like a controlling, manipulative jerk, HE IS ALSO A VAMPIRE FOR FUCK’S SAKE! This means that within him lies the literally ice cold heart of a killer. He even chooses the eve of their wedding to let Bella know that he pulled a Dexter in an earlier decade of his life when he killed people who conveniently happened to be murderers themselves so that he could know the pleasure of drinking human blood. What better time to drop a bomb like that on the person you are going to marry than the very last second before your wedding?

Never one to let the moral ambiguities of life bog her down for a significant amount of time, Bella immediately responds with the excuse that if Edward had not sated his blood lust with these people, they would have murdered others.

What’s worse is that in order to live happily with this murdering bastard with nice hair, Bella will eventually have to be transformed into a murdering bastard as well. To his credit, director Bill Condon explores all of these nagging ethical concerns through a series of concise, visually propelled dream sequences before brushing them aside for the maddening opulence that is Bella and Edward’s wedding.

It’s at this point in the movie that I am reminded why these Twilight movies are so popular to begin with. They fuel the fantasy that our society has ingrained into the minds of so many young women since childhood that if you find Mr. Perfect and have a lavish, insanely expensive wedding, you will know untold bliss as they get to stay in love with Mr. Perfect forever. Accomplish this goal and nothing else – including the fact that you’ve cheated yourself out of the chance to be an individual person for a significant period in your life and that the person you are marrying is a selfish asshole – matters. I can’t help but wonder in five or ten years from now how many broken or abusive homes there will be that began with Twilight-themed weddings.

Anyway, shortly after Bella and Edward are married, the perpetually shat-upon Jacob Black finally makes his appearance at the wedding. For those just tuning in to the Twilight game, Jacob is a genuinely kind and protective werewolf as well as Bella’s other suitor who was totally rejected in the end for the simple reason that he didn’t come from a wealthy family. Heartbroken, the only purpose Jacob serves by attending this wedding is to let Bella know (or rather, gently imply to Bella since this is a PG-13 movie) that if she does the deed with Edward on their honeymoon before turning into a vampire, old Diamond Thighs is likely to crush her mortal pelvis into fine powder with his out of control vampiric power-thrusting.

Boy was Jacob on the money. The morning after their first night together, the bedroom Edward and Bella shared together is completely demolished and foolish Bella is covered in bruises. Crazy thing is, Bella actually seems to have enjoyed being battered and bruised during their consummation. Even crazier, the women who packed the theater both young and old reacted as if this whole bruising thing seemed kinda hot. I wanted to shout, ‘Hey if you thought that was sexy, you should check out David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet!”’

Speaking of Lynch, I kind of wish he could have directed this film instead of Condon. After all, it along with next year’s follow up will make butt-loads of money regardless, but I think Lynch could have had a field day with this story – especially the latter half. Honestly, I found the whole affair to be more weird than terrible, and would even recommend it to those seeking a rather odd time at the cinema.

Better yet, Dawn Part 1 actually takes the premise of a stupid girl who falls in love with a vampire and uses it as a discussion piece for sexual politics. After their first wild night of PG-13-rated S&M, Bella immediately wants more. Problem is that Edward starts feeling guilty about all the battery that took place and begins withholding sex from Bella – ON THEIR HONEYMOON! Condon gives us a montage of Bella fiercely coming on to Edward while the vampire constantly rejects her advances. This is supposed to be cute, and a lot of women in the theater seemed to agree that it was, but what is essentially going on here is that this old fashioned patriarch is denying Bella the joy of sexual pleasure. Through the ages, many women have endured similar frustrations, and I bet they didn’t think it was cute either.

Another potent talking point comes up when Bella throws up one morning and we all discover together that Edward is a dead-shot in the sack. Dude got his woman pregnant on the very first try, but the thought of siring a human-vampire hybrid (known in vampire lore as a “Dhampir”) sickens Edward, who immediately wants his doctor/surrogate father to root “It” out of Bella’s womb without giving her much of a say in the matter.

To the ever-stubborn Bella, that It is her baby, which she is determined to carry to term regardless of the cost. Suddenly all of the men in Bella’s life who know she is pregnant – including an extremely confused Jacob – try to convince Bella to have an abortion. Sure the unborn baby is siphoning Bella’s mortality and thrashing her internal organs. There’s even a chance that if the baby is born, it will be an uncontrollable killing machine, but Bella maintains the stance that this entire matter relates to something happening inside her body, and therefore, it is her choice.

Given the age of her character, one could argue that Stewart winds up playing a supernatural variation of the main character’s dilemma in “Juno,” only in this case, the unborn baby in question has the ability to shatter its mother’s spine with a single kick.

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2 Comments to “Mixed Tape Reviews: Fourth ‘Twilight’ Flick More Weird Than Terrible”

  1. Olivia Mungal says:

    What a lot of people don't realize about Twilight is the fact Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon author, and designed Edward and Bella's relationship to follow the ideal courting path of a Mormon relationship.

    Most parents would be concerned that their daughter lost the will to live without their teenage boyfriend, or would be horrified if their child's boyfriend broke into their house on a nightly basis to watch your daughter sleep. Part of developing an adult relationship worthy of marriage is experience, and tempering your passion for your partner with your life aspirations. Bella has no life aspirations or plans for a future. Just Edward.

    So instead of spending her teens finding out who she is, (or daresay, explore her sexuality), she eagerly gets married to a man over 100 years older than her to break the sexual tension. There are very few parents who would celebrate that as an example for their own children, but here we are. It's been real, Pop Culture.

  2. Rae Alton says:

    "Bella has no life aspirations or plans for a future. Just Edward." – This is just the type of archaic and sneaky fluff I certainly would not want my own daughter to read or watch (and take to Twilight extremes. I think we all know what that means). It turns the blissfully abstract ideology that "love is all you need" into an intentionally oppressive (but oh! so romantic!) rhetoric that states "all you need is a husband".

    Also, it's pretty rare that people eagerly get married just to break sexual tension. Ahem. What a concept. 😀

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