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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 movie poster

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1: Movie Review

Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Bill Condon

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Nikki Reed
Released by: Summit Entertainment

In Short: Bella the human and Edward the vampire finally marry, and more than one demon is unleashed! But the slow-moving, romance-drenched fourth installment of the popular saga is a movie only true "Twilight" fans will love.

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Bella and Edward Tie the Knot – And All Hell Breaks Loose

With "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1," fans of the vampire stories penned by Stephenie Meyer will rejoice. In this fourth installment of the five-part movie series based on her books, Bella the human finally marries Edward the vampire, much to the chagrin of Jacob the werewolf.

If you're not sure whose those people are, you have probably been living in a cave since 2008, when the first film burst onto the Hollywood scene, making instant stars of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, the three young actors who play those leading roles. It's a fantasy tale that has captured the hearts of fans all over the world, despite the fact that the acting is often amateurish, the dialogue laughable (for all the wrong reasons) and the visuals often less than inspired.

With this new chapter, director Bill Condon does his best with the material at hand. The Oscar-winning screenwriter and director of films like "Gods and Monsters" and "Dreamgirls" offers up a mostly romance-drenched segment of the story, as Bella and Edward finally marry. She's turned 18, he's over 100 (as he's been a vampire for quite a while) but still looks like a teenager, so the moment that the three previous movies have built up to finally arrives.

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli, Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

The wedding will satisfy the females in the audience, but the corny romantic interlude that follows, as the couple share an idyllic honeymoon on a private island off the coast of Brazil is enough to make even diehard Twihards (as the rabid fans of the series are nicknamed) begin to squirm in their seats.

But fear not, the action gets rolling as Bella finds herself with child. Or is it a demon? Whatever it is, it starts killing her, and it seriously pisses off the werewolf clan, especially Jacob, who is (of course!) still in love with Bella himself. Cut to a few nasty confrontations between the two factions, a bit of a betrayal and the birth of the child, which causes all hell to break loose. By the end of this section of the story, things have changed pretty dramatically in the remote Washington town of Forks, and dangerous happenings are set up for the finale, due to release in November 2012.

But really, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1" is a movie only true "Twilight" fans will love; others will likely find it a treacly, slow-moving trek with little to engage or delight. Fans should stay for the credits, as there is a special element near the very end.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters



(Updated: 11/18/11 CT)

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