I vant to suck your brains

Vapid and unintentionally funny, latest installment of vampire-lover franchise is for Twi-hards only

He put his disease in me.

He put his disease in me.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One
Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Directed by Bill Condon. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13.
Rated 2.0

“In sickness and in health, ’til death do us part.” That’s not just a promise that young lovers Bella and Edward make to each other on their wedding day in Breaking Dawn Part One, but a vow that all Twilighters must have made before they committed themselves to this melodramatic vampire series. There’s no other explanation of how these tween mega-blockbusters have kept their immortal fan base. But for those of us not so blindly devoted, sitting through the penultimate episode of this franchise sure as hell made us wish for death to set us free.

OK, maybe the experience wasn’t that morbid. I did laugh many times during the movie, but given that it isn’t a comedy, my frequent chuckles were no testament to the quality of the film. The overtly soap-opera Twilight style gets to me every time, especially with this outing: The acting was sudsier, the close-ups were closer, and the music, louder. It seems that the Twilight creators have become too reliant on the franchise’s loyal and forgiving fan base, and have forgotten to deliver a story along the way. Perhaps we can blame the books for that pitfall.

This fourth installment’s “story” can be boiled down to a few basic, and well-publicized, plot lines. First, mortal Bella (Kristen Stewart) ties the knot with her vampire love Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), formally unifying their angsty relationship. But their matrimony isn’t depicted with nearly as much importance as their honeymoon, where they finally lose their virginity to each other. (Sensual montages ensue.) Of course, there are consequences to sating that long-bottled lust. Bella is impregnated with a vampire baby, and the rest of the film feels like an advertisement for their more virtuous days of abstinence.

With a fetus that’s not compatible to her human form, Bella spends her days riled and in pain, and director Bill Condon uses grotesque images of her body and dramatic sound effects to prepare us for this “thing.” And, for reasons never explained, the werewolf clan is especially interested in killing the unborn vampire-human hybrid, as the Cullen family of vampires and her former werewolf love, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) try to protect her.

It remains a mystery why Bella is always the source of such controversy, or why they picked such a sullen actress to represent the Twilight temptress.

Unless you’re one of the infatuated Twi-hards, there’s not much you can suck out of this film. But just in case your little sister is making you see it this Thanksgiving weekend, there are a few things to look forward to: Cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (Pan’s Labyrinth) shoots beautifully lush scenery within this fantastical world, and there’s a good soundtrack to boot—although the compelling tracks are there only to fill the void of substance. Of course, there are also many laughs to be had at the expense of plenty of unintentional comedy.