How ironic that a film whose characters can zip across forests faster than deer should be so slow and laborious itself! Breaking Dawn – Part 2, fifth and final installment in the cheesy but immensely popular Twilight movie franchise, is a film unlikely to appeal to anyone but hardcore fans who’ve been consistently forgiving of its many shortcomings.

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has given birth to a daughter with husband Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). The film opens with Bella embracing and reveling in the new lifestyle…not motherhood, but vampirism! Converted into a bloodsucker after a rather brutal childbirth in the previous film, Bella is now faster, stronger and hungrier than she’s ever been, and even Edward has to keep up with her.

No sooner than they’ve settled into their new home and enjoyed a few passionate moments, Edward and Bella learn that the Volturi, that feared clan of vampire law-keepers, is headed their way to pick a fight. Turns out the Volturi is convinced Bella’s daughter, Renesmee, is an “immortal child” and therefore must be immediately killed. Truth is, since the girl was conceived and delivered while Bella was still human, she’s very much a mortal. But because the Cullens aren’t smart enough to figure out a way to clear the misunderstanding, they decide to gather their forces and fight the Volturi instead.

Good luck trying to keep awake as you’re introduced one-by-one to the dozen-or-so friends, each with a special power or gift, that the Cullens call upon to help them in their stand-off against the Volturi. Of course wolf-boy Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is still around; he’s now an ally of the Cullens, and he hangs around all the time like that pesky neighbor who can’t take a hint.

Creepiest of the lot is little Renesmee herself, the root cause of all the problems in this film. The kid (Mackenzie Foy) ages rapidly, and has this strange gift where she can touch your face with her palm and teleport her back-story to you. Her shameless parents encourage her to do this with pretty much everyone she meets…clearly they haven’t heard of perverts and child molesters who might enjoy this kind of intimacy!

It’s all deathly boring for anyone who’s expecting an engaging story or even interesting characters. At best, the climatic battle scene delivers some thrills, but be warned, it’s a surprisingly gory finale. The only other truly enjoyable thing in this film is the delicious overacting by its cast, particularly Michael Sheen as Aro, leader of the Volturi, who offers such a hammy performance, it’s hard not to laugh out loud.

Bella and Edward murmur most of their lines to each other softly; you’ll find yourself straining your ears to catch their words…can you really blame them for their embarrassment, given those corny lines! Kristen Stewart appears a little less morose in this film than she usually is – thanks to her new diet, maybe? Robert Pattinson, meanwhile, does much smiling and posturing, but Edward as a character is still such a stiff. Taylor Lautner, built like a Chippendales model, once again gets to take his shirt off, in what is perhaps the film’s most unintentionally funny scene.

Beautifully lit and lovingly filmed by director Bill Condon, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 looks like a 2 hour advertisement. It’s hard to empathize with these characters, or fear for them when they’re in trouble, because they’re so hollow, and because the actors can’t even carry off the silliness of these stories with flair.

I’m going with a generous two out of five for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. For anyone who doesn’t worship the franchise, this is drivel. Just be glad this is the last film!

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