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'Twilight's' last gleaming

Published November 29. 2012 05:02PM

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," fifth and final in the series, should please fans of the Stephenie Meyer novel and movie series.

For non-fans, "Breaking Dawn" signals it's time to put the brakes on "The Twilight Saga."

"Part 2" is an extended coda, with not much new happening that didn't happen in "Part 1," i.e., the marriage of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and the birth of their daughter, Renesmee.

The ruling Volturi, led by Aro (Michael Sheen), is concerned that Renesmee is half-human and half-vampire and, therefore, her behavior is unpredictable \m as if vampire behavior is.

Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli) are again on hand to lend their advice, consent and weird powers. Bella's father, Charlie Swan (Billy Burke), seems as dumbfounded as ever. Parenting teen-age vampires is never easy.

"Part 2" is beautifully-lensed, with tracking shots of the Great Northwest forests near the Seattle, Wash., area setting, and scenes of the Cullens' mansion and Bella and Edward's new home as if from an H&G Channel reality show (confirming that vampires have good, ahem, taste); a soaring symphonic score, and enough emo-rock to please "Twi-hards."

"Part 2," as with previous "Twilight" films, is paced like a television soap opera. The Cullens pose like gloomy Guses with the requisite consternation fades. It's not unlike a Hallmark Channel movie albeit with flesh-eating vampires, Mixed Martial Arts and neck-snapping violence and beheadings.

Pattinson's face still is given too much white makeup. At times, his rueful look seems to telegraph disdain, as if he's thinking, "Geez! Can you believe this stuff?"

Director Bill Condon punches up the action in the confrontation between the Cullens and Volturi taking place on an icy lake, for which there was apparently a worldwide vampire casting call.

To quote Shakespeare, whose "Merchant of Venice" is referenced obliquely in "Part 2": "All's well that ends well" even, apparently, with vampires, for whom there's never really an end.

This movie reviewer is glad "The Twilight Saga" has ended. Or has it?

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," MPAA rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13) for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity; Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy; Romance; Run time: 1 hr. 55 mins.; Distributed by Summit Entertainment.

Credit Readers Anonymous: At the start of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" concluding credits are images of the main characters.

Box Office, Nov. 23: "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" continued at No. 1 with $43 million, $226.9 million, two weeks; "Skyfall" was again No. 2, with $36 million, $221.7 million, three weeks; and "Lincoln" was again No. 3, $25 million, $62.1 million, three weeks, as the Thanksgiving Day weekend set a record with $288 million, surpassing the previous $268-million record set in 2009.

4. "Rise of the Guardians," $24 million, $32.6 million, opening; 5. "Life of Pi," $22 million, $30.1 million, opening; 6. "Wreck-It Ralph," $16.7 million; $149.5 million, four weeks; 7. "Red Dawn," $14.6 million, $22 million, opening; 8. "Flight," $8.6 million, $74.8 million, four weeks; 9. "Silver Linings Playbook," $4.6 million, $6.4 million, two weeks; 10. "Argo," $3.8 million, $98.1 million, seven weeks

Unreel, Nov. 30:

"Killing Them Softly," R: Brad Pitt stars as a mob enforcer in the crime drama that also stars Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins.

"The Collection," R: The horror thriller is about a man who escapes from a serial killer known as "The Collector" and is blackmailed to rescue a girl from the killer's warehouse.

"California Solo," No MPAA Rating at deadline: A former British rock star played by Robert Carlyle faces deportation in the drama.

Read previous movie reviews by Paul Willistein at the Times-News web site,, Email Paul Willistein at, and on Facebook.

Two Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

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