Tag Archives: movie recap

Breaking Dawn part 2: pagelady’s Snarky Recap

*Warning*: I spoil 100% of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 2 in this post.  And there’s also a season 4 Vampire Diaries spoiler.

I saw the final installation of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 on opening night, and shall recap it here for the internet public eagerly awaiting the answer to the question, “what happens in the final film?”  The short answer is, “hardly anything of consequence!  The conflicts and resolutions are never real or threatening to any of the main characters!  This film isn’t necessary, much like the book it’s based on, which is more like a fan-fiction satisfying, over-extended epilogue than a novel!”.   But if you want the long answer, here goes:

It starts with a literal sunrise over a mountain behind the “Breaking Dawn” title shot, followed by credits, unlike the theory from my part 1 recap that they might jump right back into where the action left off.  But the music for the opening credits sequence is an arrangement of Carter Burwell’s “Bella’s Lullaby” from the first movie, which was also used for the final scenes of part 1 when she was transitioning.  And the credit names are presented in red but then change to white, mimicking the switch from human blood to vampire venom in Bella’s body that was illustrated in the last film, (but also mimicking the spread of snow and frost that’s happening in the background,) then the music swells in exactly the same way (is it actually the same song?) and we see her eyes become red again.  So it’s not a bad transition from part 1, but there will be kind of a big lag in momentum when twihards switch DVDs in their Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2 marathon viewings.  The best part about the opening credits is that Billy Burke gets 4th billing, after the trio!  Totally deserved, because movie-Charlie is the best.

The first thing Bella hears as a newborn vampire is “Where I Come From” by Passion Pit, which is ironic because I thought vampires were supposed to have superior senses and I can’t decipher the warblings in this song at all.  Maybe only newborn vampires can?  Anyway, the first thing Bella’s newborn vampire eyes see is her beloved Edward Cullen, so long the sole object of her desire, who she can now be with forever.  Wait, no, the first thing she sees is a dust particle.   A whole flock of dust particles, floating in the air!  She’s really fascinated by them. Then she examines her own right hand, on which she’s wearing her engagement ring.  Then she looks up and sees Edward.  Phew!  The suspense was killing me.  I wasn’t sure they were gonna work out now that she’s immortal.  But don’t worry, they stare at and caress each other, and there’s zoom-y sound effects so you know she’s moving at vampire speeds now.

It kind of looks like she’s munching on his hand, but I think he’s supposed to be cupping her face?  He whispers that she’s “so beautiful” and “we’re the same temperature now,” and she makes a weird reaction face to that which will be perfect for when somebody dubs different dialogue over that scene for a youtube clip someday.  She stares at herself in the mirror.  She hugs him, but oops, too hard, vampire strength!  “I love you”s and kisses are exchanged.  I’m so bored already.  Where are the rest of the Cullens?  Why isn’t Bella wondering about them and/or her baby?  Ok now she remembers her baby but Edward says she needs to “get your thirst under control first” before seeing Renesme.  So off they go!

Vampire Bella can see stuff in detailed slo-mo even though she’s running super-fast through the trees.  Things like dew drops on spider webs.  Her hair flies around her face while she zips between trees just looking around; it’s not the greatest CGI.  Her movements are still a little awkward even as vampire.  The plan is to drink some animal blood, but suddenly she smells a nearby (from a vampire’s perspective) rock-climber, who slips and cuts his knee.  Fresh human blood!  She wants it.  She’s scrambling up a cliff-side to get to it, and now she really does look like Edward’s “little spider-monkey!”  Or like something out of a horror movie.  Edward stops her on the mountain before she reaches the climber.  “Urgrgh, I hafta get outta here!” she growls, and I sneak a glance at the hundreds of twi-hards surrounding me and silently agree.  Bella’s not kidding, though, she jumps right off the cliff.  Her free-fall is not quite as badass as Felix Baumgartner’s.  Anyway, she ends up attacking a mountain lion instead.

screenshot of bella diving at mountain lion

Here’s a garden-path sentence for you: BELLA SWAN DIVES INTO THE MOUNTAIN LION. Get it? Because it could be “Bella Swan dives into the mountain lion,” or “Bella swan-dives into the mountain lion.” And either way it’s unexpected that a person would dive into a mountain, so that’s another little syntactic hurdle. (Neurolinguists will get it.)

Bella and Edward return to the Cullen house unscathed.  Remarkably unscathed, in fact.  While I appreciate that Bella can apparently wipe her damn mouth after feeding, (unlike Elena on Vampire Diaries), girl just wrestled a mountain lion and it didn’t claw one tiny rip in her dress.  This might have been a change from the book (where her clothes are ripped to shreds) to keep it PG-13, but isn’t it a little weird that in the movie where Bella is finally a vampire we don’t actually see her drink blood at all?  And they never mention Renesme’s diet at all?  I miss the “ask me the most basic question: what do we eat?” Edward from the first movie.

compairions of bella and elena post-feeding

Fashion face-off: Bella vs. Elena post-feed.

Anyway, you can tell they filmed this at the same time as part 1 because Kristen Stewart is still really thin in the face.  Jake comes out to meet them and says, “You guys really look great together,” which elicits another great facial expression from Bella.  It’s probably supposed to be confusion as to why he’s suddenly cool and not jealous of she and Edward’s relationship, but it’s funnier if you interpret it as annoyance that he’s not totally, wretchedly, unrequitedly in love with her.  “Psh, whatever Jake, your loss.  I bet Mike’s still in love with me!”

This is ripe for captioning.

They go inside so Bella can finally see Renesme.  It’s also the first time the rest of the Cullens have seen newly vampired Bella.  Esme extends a “welcome to the family,” which is pretty RUDE considering Bella became “part of the family” when she married Edward months ago, not to mention that time at the end of New Moon when Esme told her “I already consider you part of the family.”  So, what, she wasn’t really part of the family until she physically matched them?  Good grief, this is a terribly bleak model for intercultural relationships; alter your entire being to match your boyfriend’s family and only then will his mom finally accept you.  She was just being polite before.

Baby Renesme has a full set of teeth at two-days old, and is freakishly CGI’d.  I mean really freaky…the little hand she places on Bella’s check (to project her memory of dying-Bella’s face the moment she was born) is almost translucent.  Is there even a real baby they’re working around here or is it 100% computer generated?  It’s 100% freaky, however they did it.  Bella is amazed and wonders how her daughter can show others what she’s thinking.  “How do I hear thoughts?  How does Alice see the future?  She’s gifted,” brags Edward.

Jake thinks that’s enough experimenting with Renesme’s safety, and Bella is all why-do-you-care?  A nervous Jake stammers, “Look.  It’s a wolf thing…” his voice cracks on “wolf” and it is hilarious.  Jake’s great in this movie, if you can get over the weirdness of the fact that’s he’s, like, in love with a baby.  “Take Renesme out of the room.  Edward, don’t touch me right now, I don’t want to hurt you,” demands Bella.  “Oh…” swallows Jake.  It really is hilarious.  And then Bella totally yells at him about imprinting on her baby, “I’ve held her once, ONE TIME, and already you think you have some sort of moronic wolf-claim on her?” and “YOU NAMED MY BABY AFTER THE LOCH NESS MONSTER?!” (because he nick-named her Nessie), in lines straight from the book.  It’s pretty great, but I don’t think it tops “I. Will. NOT!”, my favorite line from part 1.

Alice takes Edward and Bella to the cottage that the private Cullens set up for them.  “We thought you’d like a place of your own,” she simpers, and the director apparently though the audience would like panoramic shots of all rooms inside as Bella walks through them, so they can accurately re-create them in their basements.  Bella stares at the bed with a catatonic expression.  “Vampires don’t sleep.”  Edward role-plays as Captain Obvious and answers, “It’s not intended for sleep.”  The sex montage is a mixture of fast- and slow-motion making out, to represent vampire speed I guess?  He rips her dress off but all you really see is their faces.  Oh wait, there’s a shot of their naked toes!  And her wedding-ringed finger stroking his bare chest.  Because, remember, they’re MARRIED so it’s okay if they do it.  Also, a vase in the foreground with some sort of dried plant in it is hiding their naughty bits from the camera.

Back at the Cullen house, they’re ignoring another call from a concerned Charlie.  Emmet and Carlisle mention that they’ll need to tell him Bella died, and leave town for a few decades.  Jake is not okay with that, so he zips over to Charlie’s.  His underwear peeking out of the top of his jeans while he rides his motorcycle is the most risque we’ve seen from him so far in this film, but don’t worry Team Jacob-ites!  He’s about to walk up to Charlie and start stripping, saying he has to show him something.  It’s hilarious.  Charlie delivers a terrifically quotable line that I will use next time I re-watch New Moon; “Jacob, put your clothes on,” and in response Jake drops his pants.  Then he phases into wolf-form.  Charlie, as always, totally kills it in this scene.

Edward and Bella are pissed that Jacob let Charlie in on the supernatural without consulting them.  He tries to defend it with “I know you’ll be much happier with him in your life,” but Edward bitch-slaps back with “Don’t try to pretend you’re doing this for anyone but yourself.”  But there’s no more time to argue, because Charlie’s on his way over.  The Cullens give Bella a crash-course in acting human, which might have been funnier if the clip hadn’t already circulated saturated the web along with all the other promotional footage.  The best part of that scene was Bella surmising, “Ok, I got it.  Move around, blink, slouch,” which would also describe Kristen Stewart’s acting approach, except she left out “pull hair, bite lip.”

Charlie arrives and everybody leaves the room to give he and Bella a chance for an awkward back-and-forth, with his position “I wanna know what happened to you,” and hers “I can’t tell you.”  Bella keeps asking that he just trust her, and I keep wondering what she expects him to base his trust on; she does have a habit of running off to gallivant around the world in vampire-related adventures and then lie to him about it afterwards.  But Charlie gives up and agrees to be kept in the dark, and as a reward he gets to meet creepy CGI baby Renesme.  He’s appropriately weirded out.

charlie hugging bella pic


After Charlie leaves, Emmet and Bella have their infamous arm-wrestling battle, which she easily wins as The Antidote by St. Vincent plays in the background.  Bella’s enjoying her newborn super-strength, but is suddenly distracted by a sunbeam and runs over to sparkle in it while she narrates a transitional voice-over:

My time as a human is over, but I never felt more alive.  I was born to be a vampire.  Everything was falling into place.  Even the Volturi seemed to accept my status, though they’d want proof eventually…Renesme was growing too fast.  We all worried about how much time we’d have with her.”

During that last bit we got  quick montage of fast-growing Renesme being measured several times by Carlisle.  (She’s kind of pouting because in the book she doesn’t like the twice-daily check-ups, in case you wondered why she looks so sullen.)  I’m just glad we’re past the creepy CGI baby part.  Now-adorable Renesme is out playing in the snow with Bella and Jake, (not hunting for animal blood like they do in the book because this movie doesn’t really want to deal with that whole blood-drinking thing when it comes to the protagonists).  She jumps/flies straight up into the air to catch a snowflake.  A few miles away, Irina (vampire friend from the Denali clan) sees this, and runs off before Bella can reach her to say hello.  Back at the Cullen house, Edward assumes “seeing Jacob [who helped kill her mate in New Moon] must have been too much for her.”

Renesme and Edward are sitting at the piano together!  Are they going to play an adorable father-daughter duet?!  No, too bad, she only plays two notes.  Meanwhile, Irina is tattling to the Volturi that the Cullens have “done something horrible,” and Aro is gleefully excited about the memories he’s seeing as he clutches her hand.  “Oh, my!” he intones over-dramatically.  (Just assume from here on out that every line from Aro is delivered over-dramatically).  Aww, now Renesme is playing a duet with daddy!  But then Aunt Alice ruins it with her stupid vision/vase dropping.

Turns out “Irina thinks [Renesme]’s an immortal child,” which is a child turned into a permanently emotionally and mentally stunted yet physically super-powerful and destructive vampire, which is one of the Volturi’s huge no-no’s for the global vampire population.  Because immortal children were incapable of keeping vampirism a secret, and “entire villages could be destroyed with a single tantrum.”  So now the Volturi are coming to punish the Cullen clan, by destroying them.  Bella is indignant; “Well Renesme is nothing like those children, she was born, not bitten, she grows every single day!”  Typical snob parent thinking her child is better than all the other kids!  Edward thinks “maybe we can convince the Volturi to listen” to their explanation, if they can round up enough vampire witnesses.  They’re all just sitting around in the Cullen house having this discussion to set the action for the rest of the movie, and it’s boring.

Twist, kind of: wolfpack leader Sam brings a note over the next morning from Alice.  She and Jasper have left on an unknown mission, leaving the rest of the Cullens to go questing for friendly vampire witnesses.  Bella voice-overs, “Alice’s instructions were clear, but the question remained; why would they leave us at the moment we needed them most?  What did they know?”  (Other questions that could also remain at this point: Why did Bella pick such a stupid name for her baby?  Was this the only appearance Sam makes in this film? Why do everybody’s wigs change between films so much, and which film is which character’s best hair?  How much longer is this movie?)

Bella, Edward, Jacob, and Renesme drive to visit the Denali clan (minus Irina who is still with the Volturi) in Alaska.  This is potentially confusing for the uninitiated audience member, because we just heard Alice warning that “when the snow sticks to the ground” is when the Volturi will arrive to fight the Cullens, and then the very next thing we see is Edward walking through snow stuck to the ground.  But Alice meant the ground in Forks, so don’t worry, we have a lot of screentime to kill before then.  The Denalis freak out at the sight of Renesme and a mini-fight breaks out.  Edward assures them “She has blood in her veins.  I’m her biological father.”  What a delightfully awkward and creepy way to introduce your offspring to friends for the first time!  Can you imagine Edward sending that out on a birth announcement?

Edward’s awkward birth announcement for Renesme.

To be fair, it’s less awkward than this alternative:

pic of edward holding bloody baby with text "it's a girl! daddy chewed the placenta open!"

Alternative awkward birth announcement for Renesme.

The Denali clan are convinced, partly because Renesme does her mental-projection magic trick thing, even though when Bella explains that “she was born while I was still human,” Eleazar responds in astonishment, “I’ve never heard of such a thing!”  Twilight-universe vampires are really sorely lacking for sex ed.

The Cullens continue collecting vampire allies to “witness” for them against the Volturi’s impending accusations.  These include a four-member Egyptian coven with a young vampire named Benjamin who is a TOTAL RIP-OFF of Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender, because his “special power” is that he can “influence the elements” of water, earth, air, and fire.  He water-bends to show off, but Katara of the Southern Water Tribe could totally take him.  (Yes, Benjamin has these powers in the book, but ATLA aired before Breaking Dawn was published.  I wonder if Stephenie Meyer’s kids watched it?)  Two jungle-dwelling lady vampires make a dramatic entrance through the forest to the Cullen household, accompanied by screaming birds, so we’re supposed to interpret them as “wild”, but they look more like they stepped off an America’s Next Top Model photo shoot than anything else.

Renesme reaches up to project her mental images to Senna and Zafrina.  Zafrina can totally project images, too, and she doesn’t have to be touching people to do it.

Two creepy, borderline-albino vampires with ridiculous accents show up, (Vladimir and Stefan), and Jake hilariously refers to them later as “Dracula 1 and 2.”  See, Jake’s really funny in this movie!  Somebody also rounds up Lee Pace as Garrett, the only vampire to be shown drinking blood in the whole movie.  I thought that might be to show how much he changes later when he couples up with (Irina’s sister) Kate and adopts her “vegetarian” lifestlye, but then they never really mentioned the diet thing later.  Anyway, Garrett seems to have been a lot of people’s favorite this film, judging by the squee in the twitter/tumblr-verse.  He’s similar to Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer; a British, rock ‘n’ roll badboy who’s actually noble and romantic underneath his cool, leather-jacketed exterior.

Lee Pace as Garrett. Did you know he’s also going to appear in at least one of the upcoming Hobbit films as Thranduil, Legolas’ dad?

Hosting so many red-eyed vampires is “complicated”  for the Cullens because of “their thirst for human blood,” (even though it’s never addressed apart from that one line), and for the wolfpack because “as more vampires set fort in the are, more Quileutes turned, their nature compelling them to protect their home.”  We get to see three Quileute kids just walking along and suddenly, hilariously, they phase into wolves.  Luckily Jake managed to pull himself away from Renesme long enough to happen to be there so he could calm them with, “hey, hey, you’ll be alright,” which seems like it should be Sam’s job, but I guess that delivering that note from Alice really was Sam’s only appearance in human form in this film.

The vampires sit around the Cullen house and talk about how the Volturi aren’t really as concerned about upholding their laws as they are about acquiring the gifted vampires that Aro craves, (future-seeing Alice and mind-reading Edward.)  BLUH, SO MUCH OF THIS PLOT IS MOVED FORWARD BY THEM SITTING AROUND AND TALKING ABOUT IT!  Super boring.  Anyway, Edward gives a mini-Braveheart-esque speech, “Carlisle may not ask you to fight, but  I will.  Not just for my family but for your own lives and the way you want to live them,” and pretty much everybody immediately declares “we will stand with you.”

Meanwhile, the Volturi are making their way to Forks.  Oops, remember how the movies didn’t really distinguish Jane’s brother Alec and his ability to blind people in the earlier films?  Well, he can blind people.  He demonstrates on a Volturi victim; his blinding fog resembles death-eater movie-apparition fog.

Back at the Cullen house, the vampires are STILL SITTING AROUND TALKING, and they realize that Bella is a “shield,” and that’s why most of the other vamp powers (Edward’s mind-reading, Aro’s mind-reading, Jane’s pain projection, Zafrina’s image projection, Kate’s electroshock) don’t work on her.  In a battle against the Volturi, she could “help the rest of us, if you could learn to project it.”  Kate tries motivating her to expand her shield by shocking Edward repeatedly.  His face when Kate says, “alright, this one’s on full power” is pretty funny.  Bella is able to shield him, partially, but enough with the battle preparations, it’s time to balance them out with some family time!

Bella reads her “gifted” daughter a Tennyson poem as a bedtime story, because fairy tales are for dumb mortal children.  (Or for living, if you’re Bella.)  Renesme worries, “Did Aunt Alice and Uncle Jasper run away because we’re gonna die?”  Bella reassures her daughter, “I don’t know.”  (For real, that’s the first thing she says. Gee, thanks, mom, I feel better!)  “I think they left to make us safer.  That’s why all these people are here too.  I’ll never let anyone hurt you,” she continues.  After Renesme is tucked in, horny Edward wants to undress Bella and tell her how amazing she is, because “every obstacle you’d face, I’d think you couldn’t overcome it, and you did.”  He leaves the room to draw a sexy bath for them to share, and Bella uses the alone-time to realize that Alice’s note was written on a page torn from one of Bella’s books.  She gets the book off her shelf and finds a name and address, and burns the book before Edward sees it, reasoning, “Alice made sure I would be the only one to see the note, because only my mind was safe from the Volturi.”

The next day, (no, we didn’t get to see the sexy bathtime scene, you’ll have to read about it in fan fiction), Jake is surprised Bella took a break from her “Jedi-training” to drive him and Renesme to grandpa Charlie’s.  (Another good one, Jake.  You’re on a roll).  She ditches them at Charlie’s, saying she has to run errands.  I’m not sure what she narrated next, but in my notes at this point I wrote “OMG SO MUCH EFFING EXPLANATORY VOICE-OVER NARRATION! It drags,” and the next scene is her meeting with J. Jenks, (the name Alice left).  He’s a shady laywer that provides Bella with fake IDs, from an order placed by Jasper when he and Alice left.  There are two: one for Jake, and one for Renesme.  OH NOES!  Bella is sure that means “Alice’s vision was clear.  Renesme would have a future, but Edward and I wouldn’t be a part of it.”

She goes home and packs an emergency bag for her daughter with the fake IDs, wads of cash, and a note that begins “My dearest Renesme, I thought we would have forever together, but forever isn’t as long as I’d hoped…”  Good lord, Bella, talk about semantic bleaching!  “Forever” isn’t as long as you’d hoped?  Don’t you mean you won’t get to be with her forever?!  “Forever” doesn’t begin and end with your personal existence!  Why is this one concept so deeply fixated into your ideals and aspirations that you insist on using it even when it isn’t appropriate, and the word looses all meaning? I wish I had been keeping track of how many times the word “forever” is mentioned in this movie; I know it’s in all the trailers, (“the epic finale that will live forever!”) and they say it like three more times at the end.  If I watch it again maybe I really will keep track.

To keep Charlie safe, Bella and Edward give him a non-refundable fishing trip for Christmas.  “You two tryin’ to get rid of me?” he asks,  “‘Cuz it’s working!”  I LOVE YOU, MOVIE-CHARLIE!  Jake gives Renesme a friendship bracelet that he braided out of some of his wolf-hair; (no, not really, that was a joke-lie.  It’s just regular craft yarn I think).  She doesn’t really say anything about it.  She doesn’t really say much of anything at all.  She doesn’t have much of a personality.

It’s the night before the battle.  Benjamin, the Aang wanna-be, fire-bends a nice blaze, and most of the vampires sit around reminiscing about historical battles they’re participated in or witnessed, but some of them “just stand there like freaking statues,” (another great line from Jake.  Imprinting totally unlocked his funny side.)

Jake was so funny, he deserves his own picture in this post.

Edward confesses to Carlisle, “I can’t help thinking that I put all these people in danger because I fell in love with a human.”  Carlisle dismisses his concern, saying, “You found your mate.  You deserve to be happy.”  “But at what cost?” wonders Edward.  But don’t worry, it’s not a question that’s going to be seriously considered.  The lesson here is that you should always base decisions off your emotions and hormones, go ahead and stalk that girl by sneaking into her room unknown to her every night!  Because your personal “happiness” should be pursued by all means, with no thought for how it affects other people.  Don’t worry about spending your time and energy making the world or other people’s lives better!  Just focus on what makes you happy.  Because you “deserve” it.  (And if you’re a girl, just focus on waiting for a perfect guy to come make you happy.)  Lovely.  I’m so glad these movies are so popular with impressionable teenagers!  ***SARCASM***

ZOMG, you guys, it’s that same swooping shot of the trees and the mountains that we got in like every Twilight preview ever.  But this time it’s covered in snow!  That means the Volturi are coming!  Or, as Garrett puts it, “the Redcoats are coming!”  (That’s why he’s a fan favorite.  That, and the fact that as the vampires line up for battle he tells Kate, “If we live through this, I’ll follow you anywhere,” to which she snorts “Now you tell me.”)  The Volturi march out of the woods wearing matching black cloaks with red linings.  Aro is “looking for Alice,” according to mind-reading Edward.  The wolves step out of the woods on the other side of the clearing, and the Volturi pause to remove their hoods in a synchronized movement accompanied by a massive crescendo in the soundtrack.  This is so over-dramatic, it’s ridiculous.

Carlisle tries to explain that Renesme “is not an immortal!  See the blood in her cheeks!”, but Caius scorns that it must be “AHHtifis!” (“Artifice.”  Totally going to try to fit that quote, exactly the way he spits it out, into conversation).  Aro is willing to believe, especially after touching Edward and reading his thoughts.  He’d like to meet Renesme, so Bella (along with Jake and Emmet) bring her up to him.  “Ahhhhh, yaung Beeelllllaaaah,” he croons, “Immortality becomes you.  Ha, hahaHAAAA-ha!  I hear her strange heart!”  (Remember what I said about all of Aro’s lines being over-dramatic?)  Renesme touches Aro’s face, but we’re ripped off and don’t get to see what she projects to him.  He’s satisfied that she isn’t an immortal child, but still wants to incite a battle so he can force Edward to join his coven, so he has Irina killed for bearing false testimony.  Her sisters try to rush to retaliate but are held back by their allies.  (Garrett’s clutching Kate, and she’s shocking him but he doesn’t let go.  It’s another fan-favorite moment.)

Jane does her pain thing to Edward and a pissed-off Bella is suddenly able to explode her shield around every on her side.  It kind of looks like a giant soap bubble and is accompanied by a musical tinkling.  Aro admits there has been no vampire law broken, “but does it then follow that there is no danger?”  He says Renesme is an unknown and therefore an intolerable risk to keeping the existence of vampires secret.

Just then, Alice walks in.  “I have evidence the child won’t be a risk to our kind.  Let me show you,” she says.  Aro greedily touches her future-seeing hand.  Jasper gets bitch-slapped by the goons holding him.  Alice cries, “It doesn’t matter what I show you!  Even when you see, you still won’t change your decision!”  She turns and signals “now” to Bella, who puts Renesme on Jake’s wolf-back and tells them to run.  Tiny Alice kicks Aro in the chin, which propels him 20 feet backward into the air, but then she’s grabbed by more Volturi goons.  Carlisle runs up all “let her go!” and is killed.  Everyone’s running at each other, fighting.  Alec and Jane figure out that Bella is shielding everyone from their powers, so Alec tackles her.  Somebody beheads Jasper.  Somebody else is chasing Jake and Renesme.  Jane mental-projection-pains a wolf to death.  (His CGI fur deflates, that’s how you know he’s dead.  Was it Seth?).  It feels like this battle has been going for a very long time.

Benjamin punches the ground and earth-bends a chasm into it.  You can see lava at the bottom, and lots of Volturi vamps are falling in.  But, oh no!  Esme is scrambling to hold onto one of the ledges, and a Volturi on her back is pulling her down!  A silver wolf (Leah?) jumps and claws the Volturi off Esme’s back, but in doing so the wolf falls into the pit and dies.  Edward falls into the chasm, too, but I think Benjamin earth-bends a rock to flip him back out?  Alice is pissed and running at Jane, shielded from Jane’s pain powers by Bella.  Alice grabs Jane by the throat while a wolf rips the tiny pain-inflicting Volturi’s head off.

The battle is STILL going.  Kate electro-shocks Caius and rips his face off.  Dracula 1 and 2 rip Marcus’ arms off.  Aro is just standing there observing, looking mad.  He punches Bella and she flies through the air; now it’s Edward and Bella vs. Aro.  They do the swing-kick thing from the preview, then Edward holds Aro’s body down so Bella can rip his head off.  (How many times did I just type “rip his/her head off?)  She holds out a torch to burn his body and the flames fill the screen.

AAAAAANNNNND, yeah, that was all just a vision from Alice projected into Aro’s head.  None of it was real.  I thought it was obvious that it wasn’t real, because how could it be?  In the book there is no battle.  I assumed they’d add some fighting for dramatic effect, but I predicted they would do it exactly the way they did, with a vision of the potential future from Alice, (what other way was there to have a fight break out with the Volturi without any of the main characters actually being hurt or killed, which is against the rules of the Twilight universe?) so…I was more annoyed and bored during the interminable (seriously it was like 20 minutes) battle scene.  But the audience “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH”ed like they were totally fooled.  Maybe my theater was full of movie fans who hadn’t read the books.  Or maybe I’ve just become overly cynical when it comes to the Twilight franchise, at this point.

My favorite response that I’ve seen so far the the fake-out fight scene at the end.

In any case, Alice warns Aro that he’s just seen his future if he chooses to fight them today, and to top off her strategic argument, two newcomers she recruited enter stage left at just that moment, Huilen and her nephew Nahuel.  Nahuel explains, “I am half-human, half-vampire.  Like the child.”  (He’s also less than half-clothed).  Nahuel is 150 years old and says he was full-grown 7 years after his birth, and can survive on both human food and blood.  And that right there was the only reference to the fact that dear, sweet, adorable, (when she’s not a CGI baby) Renesme drinks blood, too.   Also, Nahuel’s testimony contradicts all the fervent claims earlier that Renesme “is NOT an immortal!”, because she is apparently going to have the capacity to live forever just like the vampires.  I’m sure the spirit of their argument was that she wasn’t an immortal child, but in the wake of the egregious misuse of “forever” I’m hyper-sensitive to the semantics in this movie.

Caius still wants to fight, because after all the Cullens are consorting with these wolves, but Aro is all, nope!  Shut it down, I don’t want to die today!  So the Volturi leave, with Aro glancing back longingly at Bella and Alice and sighing “such a prize,” (just to leave that threat hanging in case they want to make more movies someday.)  Dracula 1 and 2 try to put a damper on everybody else’s celebrations by pointing out “You’re all fools!  The Volturi might be gone, but they will never forgive what happened here!”, but this is a Twilight movie so everybody ignores them and starts making out.  It sounds like “Fire and Water” by Feist is playing in the background here, but I’m not sure.

Anyway, hardly any of the earlier plot points ended up mattering.  If Alice was just going to convince Aro not to fight by showing him a vision, (in which, by the way, Bella and Edward do survive), why was it necessary to make Bella think there was no hope, and smuggle Renesme out with Jake and a fake ID, and keep all of this hidden from Edward’s mind so Aro couldn’t see it either?  Especially since, when Aro touches Alice’s hand to see the vision he would also see all of her past thoughts, including all of her scheming to keep Edward in the dark about Bella’s plans, and the fact the Huilen and Nahuel were about to arrive.  In the book, it all has to be a secret until the last second because it’s the only way to persuade Aro not to fight.  It’s certainly easier to explain to the audience this way why Aro is convinced to back off, and it’s more exciting to watch, but there was no need for secrecy on Alice’s part if this was how it was going to end up.  What is the point of a story where no real threats to main characters exist, and no real consequences to actions or decisions materialize?  I guess it really is a fairy tale.

And in keeping with the fairy-tale theme, we see an Alice-predicted happy future vision for grown-up Renesme and Jacob, embracing on a beach.  (Is it La Push?)  Edward begrudgingly admits, “I’m glad she has you.”  Jake manages to get one last zinger in, with “So, should I start calling you Dad?”  “No,” says Edward, and the audience giggles, but, that’s the reality of the situation and it is pretty weird, right?  That Edward and Bella will be Jacob’s mother- and father-in-law?  At least this movie knows how to laugh at itself.

Bella totally reverts to sloppy-human style after the Volturi threat is lifted. When I first saw this picture I thought it was a behind-the-scenes look at a rehearsal or something. But this is actually a still from the finished product…it’s just an inconsistent look with Bella’s vampire-style the rest of the movie.

As for Bella and Edward’s private fairy-tale ending, (because you know that was always where this story was headed, and the sole purpose for everything in the universe, didn’t you know), they’re in their meadow, of course.  And she’s like, “I want to show you something,” and reverse-projects her shield, so that for the first time ever, Edward can read her mind.  She flashes through memories from the previous films while “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri plays; meeting him in Biology class when he almost barfed at the smell of her blood, their first kiss when he had snuck uninvited into her room yet again, when they danced at Prom because he forced her to go, when he dumped her and left town and she stared catatonic out the window for months, when she almost drowns and hallucinates that she sees him, (why are those last two included in her romantic highlights reel?),  when she saves him from exposing his sparkly lop-sided nipples in Italy, their wedding, their honeymoon when they didn’t use protection and accidentally made a hybrid baby, and finally a memory of their vampire sex.

Then there’s some more mushy back-and-forth about how “nobody’s ever loved anybody as much as I love you,” (Bella to Edward), “there’s one exception,” (Edward to Bella), *kisses* between them and *eye-rolls* between me and myself.  “Can you show me again?” asks Edward, and Bella laughs, “We’ve got a lot of time!”



Then they kiss, again, and the last page of the book floats up on the screen with the last line highlighted, “And then we continue blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.”  (Did I not tell you there were at least three more “forevers” before the end?)

HALLELUJAH, it’s finally time for the credits!  Black and white images of the cast members in costume appear, starting with the most obscure vampires that were barely or not-at-all named.  Suddenly I’m seeing wolf-pack members that I don’t remember seeing in human form in this film, like Quill and Embry, and it becomes apparent that they’re playing retrospective credits for the entire franchise.  For instance, there’s “the humans” Mike, Jessica, Angela, and Eric.  Oh, awkward, both Rachelle Lefevre and Bryce Dallas Howard are credited as Victoria in back-to-back pictures…and Billy Burke gets fourth billing again, appearing right before the big three!  Way to go, movie-Charlie.  You were perfect all the way through.

The songs playing during the credits are “The Forgotten” by Green Day, then “Bittersweet” by Ellie Goulding, and lastly, (so I read, but I didn’t stay that long,) “All I’ve Ever Needed” by Nikki Reed and Paul McDonald.

All I can say at this point is, I’m glad the series is over, because I don’t know if I could have sat through another one of these movies.  I think this one took the most liberties with the source material and poked the most fun at itself out of all the Twilight movies, but it’s still predominately a bloodless “vampire” fantasy with an idealized love story so unrealistic and over-the-top it’s almost meaningless.  And I really don’t think this story is going to “live forever.”


Filed under Books, movies

Breaking Dawn part 1: pagelady’s Snarky Recap

Did you see Breaking Dawn, and laugh at it?  Did you not go, but wish you knew which parts to make fun of?  Or, do you just want to know what happens in this particular sparkly vampire installment, besides what is obvious from the trailer?  Well, Happy Holidays, because the following is my gift to you: a recap of the whole tedious thing.  (Okay, I’ll be honest, really it’s a chance for me to over-share my opinion on every detail.  You’re welcome.)

To start off, we get a literal “breaking dawn” behind the Breaking Dawn title card, similar to the literal “new moon” and “eclipse” we got to open the last two installments.  Since this is a “part 1,” it makes me wonder what they will do to open the “part 2” next November?  Because almost every single Harry Potter movie (except the first one) starts with a WB logo floating towards us in the clouds, usually accompanied by Hedwig’s Theme.  (In Goblet of Fire they use a different song, and the logo floats towards us in the dark).  But in HP 7.2, the movie started with Voldemort getting the elder wand before the logo and title card, so will Breaking Dawn 2 do something similar?  (And *ugh*, I cannot believe I’m talking about Harry Potter within the context of Twilight, it feels so wrong.)

Bella gives us a strange, disembodied voice-over: “Childhood is not from birth to a certain age, and at a certain age the child puts away childish things.  Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.”  What?  Is this movie about Bella leaving childhood?  I don’t remember this quote.  Is it in the book?  Dagnabit, now I’m having to get the stupid thing off my shelf again.  Checking…okay, well OF COURSE it’s in the book, it’s a Twilight movie and it must appease its rabid fanbase.  (The quote in the book is worded slightly differently, and attributed to Edna St. Vincent Millay.)  It doesn’t seem to fit as well here as the opening quotes from the other books/movies, but it’s in the book!  So it must go in!

Moving on: Jacob.  Shirtless.  Within the first 15 seconds of the movie.  This time his disrobing and angry, emo running away are motivated by having just received an invitation to Bella and Edward’s wedding.  In sunny Florida, Bella’s mom also receives an invitation, which is how she finds out her daughter is officially getting married.  (This is to show how Bella and her mom aren’t close, so we don’t feel bad that mom will pretty much fade entirely out of Bella’s life in part 2).

That shirt is coming off in 3...2...

Bella is wearing heels.  But she can’t walk in them!  She drags her feet awkwardly across the Cullen’s back porch while Alice oversees the wedding furniture placement being carried out by the other Cullens.  Bella questions whether she really has to wear these shoes, complaining that she’s already been “breaking them in” for days.  Alice insists, saying that everything has to be “perfect.”  The f–k, Alice?  I will never understand women who truly believe in fashion over comfort and practicality, and besides, it’s Bella’s wedding!  Why doesn’t she get to decide what she wants to do/not do?  I guess taking an active stance on something other than “being with Edward” would be pretty out-of-character.  (Also, Ashley Greene has RUINED the character of Alice for me.  She was one of my favorites in the books and now I can’t see past the famewhore.)  Bella pensively stares at Edward, who is pensively staring from a window at everyone else in his family doing all the work for his big day.  What is he doing just standing up there uselessly by himself?  It’s so…weird.  Alice jumps into Bella’s eyeline and instructs her to “Go home and get some beauty rest.  That’s an order!”  Pleased with herself, Alice smiles and shrugs and does one of those happy little “hmph!”s.  I want to barf up my popcorn.

Bella looks around her nearly-empty bedroom, which I assume is so bare because she has been packing to move in with Edward after the wedding.  Inexplicably, one of the items remaining in her room is what looks like a home-made painting of a sheepdog.  It’s right by her bed.  It’s really distracting.  Bella leans over to touch the dreamcatcher that Jacob gave her in New Moon, and feels an unnatural breeze ruffle her hair.  That’s how she knows her vampire fiance has just flown/jumped in through the window, and sure enough, she turns around to see him standing there like a creep who would sneak into a girl’s bedroom to watch her sleep every night for months without telling her.  (Seriously.  He does this.  In the first one.)

Edward is “Just checking to see if you’re getting cold feet.”  But, “nope,” Bella’s feet are “toasty warm,” she says.  But is he having second thoughts?  “I’ve been waiting a century to marry you, Miss Swan,” says Edward, setting an impossibly high ideal for romance for young girls everywhere.  (Ladies: no man will ever tell you he’s been waiting “a century” for you, unless maybe he’s using hyperbole.  And if you don’t know what hyperbole is, maybe you should take an interest in furthering your own education beyond an MRS degree.)

Edward is worried that Bella still doesn’t understand the full gravity of the choice she’s making to become a vampire.  “I haven’t told you everything about myself,” he says, and we get a pretty decent flashback to rebellious Edward with red eyes in the earlier part of the 20th century, stalking murderers and rapists to kill and eat, like a blood-sucking, mind-reading Dexter.  “All the men I killed were monsters, and so was I.  They were all human beings and I looked into their eyes as they died and I saw who I was, and what I was capable of.”  Bella justifies, “They were all murderers, you probably saved more lives than you took.”   Then she says “I know I can do this, and I’ll tell you why–because you did.”  Ugh, eye-roll.

Jasper and Emmet show up to drag Edward away to his bachelor party, which doesn’t involved strippers (“boring!”, shouts Emmet), but rather “a few mountain lions, maybe a bear,” Jasper assures Bella.  Edward bids his lady goodnight, saying “I’ll meet you at the alter,” and Bella intones that she’ll “be the one in white,” which Edward says is “very convincing.”  That entire exchange is almost word-for-word straight from the book.  Bella turns out her light and crawls into bed for the last time as single lady Miss Swan.  Seriously, why is this picture of a sheepdog in her room?!

It’s the wedding!  Bella walks towards  Edward between rows of white-clad wedding guests.  She reaches Edward and they smile at each other, then turn towards the minister.  Oh no!  It’s not a minister, it’s the Volturi!  And Edward’s mouth is bloody, and there’s blood on his pretty white tuxedo, and on Bella’s dress, and all the guests are dead in a giant pile beneath their feet, and blood is oozing down the aisle.  (Now that’s a vampire wedding!)  It’s a fake-out, people.  Bella was having a nightmare.

Now it’s time for the real wedding.  Alice is doing Bella’s make-up, chiding, “What did I tell you about beauty sleep?”  Rosalie offers to help do Bella’s hair.  “I’m not offended by your choice of groom,” she explains.  “Just my blatant lack of respect for mortality,” clarifies Bella.  “Essentially,” smiles Rosalie.  “Weddings!  They bring everyone together,” simpers Alice.  I want to punch her in the face.

Charlie and Rene (Bella’s mom and dad) are headed upstairs at the Cullen house to see their daughter.  Charlie notices the frame full of graduation caps hanging on the wall.  “That’s creative!” gushes air-head Rene.  “Or weird,” mumbles Charlie, ripe to be let in on the Cullen’s little secret in part 2.  Rene and Charlie adore Bella’s wedding-day beauty and give her a her “first family heirloom”, which is a haircomb that doubles as a “something old” and “something blue.”  Rene tears up talking about how Bella can pass it on to her eventual children and grandchildren, and Bella and Rosalie get emotional knowing Bella will never have children.  (But the audience has all seen the previews and/or read the book, so we know she’s totally going to get pregnant and we’re not that moved by this scene.)

"It was your great-grandma Swan's", says Charlie, and Rene explains " we added the saphires."

It’s nearly time for Bella and Charlie to walk down the aisle!  Trumpet Voluntary is being played quietly by a string quartet in the background while they wait inside the house.   Outside, human high school friend Jessica wonders aloud whether Bella will be showing or not.   “Bella’s not pregnant,” defends other human friend Angela.  “Um, okay,” says Jessica sarcastically (and hilariously.  Anna Kendrick is golden.)  “Don’t let me fall, Dad,” an emotional Bella implores.  “Never,” responds the steadfast Billy Burke as Charlie (who steals every single scene he’s in.  Like in all the Twilight movies.  I love him.)

I don’t know what the music changes to for the actual processional, but there’s a piano and cymbals so I’m pretty sure it’s movie-soundtrack-music and not actual-organic-to-scene music.  Which is just as well.  Because the whole thing is such high fantasy, why should even the music be realistic?  Bella and Edward’s vows are all intercut, and they are straight-up traditional, followed by “I do.”  Like, the editing makes it look like “I do” is the end of the vows.  And, it’s kind of a minor detail, but it annoys me because it’s just another example of an unrealistic expectation that girls who idealize these stories will carry with them.  Because “I do” is typically said before the vows, like almost the first thing, “Do you so-and-so take this man/woman so-and-so to be your lawfully wedded such-and-such…”  Whatever.  This is a fantasy.  But it bugs me.  I’m also annoyed by how much Bella and Edward make out, at the wedding.  Like, you’re in front of a minister, and all your friends and family, and this is awkward.  They’re seriously lip-locked for 45 seconds, and the camera pans around to show empty chairs because, like, they think they’re in their own little world I guess.  The music is Iron and Wine’s “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” which is the same song they danced to at prom in the first movie, so that’s kind of sweet, but they’re still kissing and it’s like, enough!  Can you be a little respectful for your guests and stop sucking face already?!  Bella does look beautiful though.

Bella and Edward finally come up for air long enough to host their reception.  Several people give toasts, and they’re pretty funny.  Then Edward stands up and things get a bit mushier.  “It’s an extraordinary thing to meet someone you can bare your soul to, who’ll accept you for who you are.  I’ve been waiting for what seems like a very long time to get beyond myself, and with Bella I feel like I can finally begin, so I’d like to propose a toast to my beautiful bride: No measure of time with you will be long enough, but let’s start with forever.”

Esme Cullen with the Denali sisters, whose names I can't remember. Irina, Kate, and....something else.

While mingling with the guests, Edward introduces Bella to their “cousin” vampires, fellow human-blood-abstainers visiting from Alaska.  One of these vampires is upset at the presence of werewolf Seth who was also invited to the wedding, because the vampire that the wolves killed in New Moon had become her lover and now she’s hurt and vengeful.  This is important because in part 2 she’s going to cause a lot of grief for the Cullens, involving the Volturi, but for now Edward shrugs off the tension by saying “What’s a wedding without a little family drama?”

Then Jacob shows up, which Edward the mind-reader picks up on, and Edward leads Bella away from the party near the woods so that her for-all-intents-and-purposes ex-boyfriend can have some totally inappropriate alone time with the bride.  At her wedding.  Bella is so happy to see him she’s almost crying.  Jacob is saying he’s sorry to be ruining her wedding, and that he’s “just trying to appreciate your last night as a human.”  Bella shrugs that it isn’t her last night, and tells him she won’t be turned into a vampire until later because “I don’t really want to spend my honeymoon writhing in agony.”  Jacob wonders what the point of prolonging her transformation is, because it’s not like they can have a “real” honeymoon.  “It’s gonna be as real as anyone else’s,” defends Bella, and then Jacob gets very angry and in danger of phasing and Edward and the other wolves have to run in to push him away, and Bella finally tells him to back off, saying, “I mean it’s really none of your business.”  THANK YOU, Bella, now why didn’t you realize that it was really not appropriate for you to be discussing details of your honeymoon with this guy to begin with, and why were you dancing secluded and alone with him at YOUR wedding, and why was Edward cool with this and not jealous and hurt?  This is ridiculous.  I hate this scene.

Finally it’s time for Bella and Edward to leave, so Rene and Charlie say goodbye (and Charlie breaks my heart, again, telling Bella of his house, “you know it’ll always be your home, right?”)  I notice as they drive off that nobody decorated their car, not even a tasteful sign or window paint.  This is strange to me, it’s like they don’t have any friends, (which is kind of true, they only hang out with each other).  I mean, were all the humans too scared to touch their cars?  Did Emmett and Jasper think it was beneath them?  Did Alice forbid it, proclaiming it a tacky gesture?  I think it’s fun, and loving.  And it doesn’t have to be tacky.  And Prince William and Kate did it, and they are royalty, so I’m just going to assume it’s because the Cullens don’t have any friends, then.

A lovely, tastefully decorated wedding car. William + Kate. See how it's done?

This is where the movie gets REALLY tedious.  We see every little detail, (mainly because there’s not really much else that happens in this first half of the book.)  Now Edward and Bella are driving to the airport.  Now they’re riding in a taxi.  Now they’re walking through the partying streets of Rio, now they’re kissing, now they’re riding a boat.  Now he’s carrying her through the door, and she’s looking around, and the camera is panning around to show us their island cabin.  OMG, there’s a bed!  They’re totally going to do it.  But first, Bella says that she needs “a few human minutes,” and Edward says he’ll go for a swim in the ocean to wait.

Bella’s “human minutes” are set to “Sister Rosetta” (by Noisettes).  She brushes her teeth.  She washes her face.  She shaves her legs.  She tries to pick out something to wear, but Alice has only packed her skimpy lingerie.  Sitting on the floor wrapped in a towel, Bella tells herself, “Don’t be a coward,” and walks out to the beach, dropping her towel by her husband’s slacks, and joining him in the water.  I’m impressed that Edward steadfastly looks at her face and never her chest, but really, it wouldn’t be less chivalrous of him to ogle her nakedness, because they’re married now.  It’s okay!  You can look at your wife.  Anyway, they have sex.  They start kissing in the water and then it transitions to the bed, with mostly close-ups of their faces and his back, (which is awfully freckly for a vampire).

Breaking Dawn: the one where they do it.

The next morning, Bella awakens in a cloud of drifting pillow feathers, and remembers another sex montage set to Sleeping At Last’s song “Turning Page”.  “If I had only felt the warmth within your touch, if I had only seen how you smile when you blush,  or how you curl your lips when you concentrate enough, I woulda known what I was living for all along.”  It’s a pretty appropriate remembering-sex song.  But all is not well in paradise.  Edward is upset that he left bruises all over Bella, and they have this whole argument and he says he’s not going to touch her again “like that” until she’s a vampire.  If you want more details about this scene, just read it in the book, the dialogue is almost word-for-word.  The thing that I fixate on in this scene is that Edward’s polo shirt has a wrinkle in it, right across his chest, and it’s so annoying, and then finally he sits down and it straightens itself out.

Then we get another montage, this one to “From Now On” by The Features, wherein Bella and Edward while away their time on their secluded island playing chess, hiking, swimming, and not having sex.  One night Bella has a dream that Edward touches her “like that”, and she wakes up crying, and Edward’s all, “what wrong?” and there she is literally crying and begging for sex.  I’m so uncomfortable watching this.

Some of the wolfpack members

Fortunately we skip to La Push beach, where Jacob is sulkily waiting to hear that Bella has become a vampire, so he can go kill treaty-breaking Edward.  But Alpha wolf Sam says that’s not going to happen, and now Jacob is sulkily wishing he’d taken his birthright of Alpha male when he’d had the chance.  Watching their imprinted brother wolves happily frolicking with their imprintees, disenfranchised (and single) pack member Leah enviously wishes she could imprint, because “any kind of happy would be better” than what she feels now, but Jacob is disgusted by their condition, because “none of them belong to themselves anymore.”  That’s called foreshadowing, folks.

Back to Isle Esme and the excruciating minutiae of Bella’s every little experience.  She awakes to find herself alone, with a note from Edward saying he’s gone the mainland to hunt and will be back before she wakes up.  “You’re late,” Bella observes to herself, tapping Edward’s note.  (You’re late, I laugh to myself, having read the book and knowing the upcoming plot twist.)  She opens the fridge.  She gets out some chicken.  She cooks the chicken in a pan, and eats a spoonful of peanut butter.  She takes a bite of chicken.  She feels sick.  She runs to the bathroom.  She pukes in the toilet.  (Do we really need to see every little detail?!  I guess there really isn’t anything else to show, since they’re trying to stretch this book out into two movies).  Edward is back now, and Bella asks him to bring her her bag.  When she sees the unopened box of tampons, she starts to figure it out.  “How many days since the wedding?… I’m late.  My period is late.”  Told ya so!

Edward is standing still in catatonic shock.  His phone rings and Bella answers, talking to first Alice and then Carlisle about this seemingly impossible new turn of events.  “Carlisle, I swear, something just moved inside me!”  Finally Edward snaps out of his shock, and runs around the room at vampire speed packing all of Bella’s things.  There’s the controlling young man that I remember from the earlier movies/books!  Bella touches her belly while listening to “Requiem on Water” by Imperial Mammoth, and decides she wants to keep the baby, and then Edward totally kills her happy motherhood buzz by stating “I’m not gonna let it hurt you.  Carlisle’ll get that thing out.” Oh, and also, their housekeeper is suspicious of Edward’s nature, and upset to see that Bella is pregnant, and says in her native language that Bella is gonna die.  This is semi-important for part 2 as well, (the fact that a Brazilian native has folklore knowledge of vampires and vampire-human babies.)

Back in Forks, Jacob has learned from Charlie that Bella caught a bug and had to cut the honeymoon short.  “She sounded…off,” says Charlie.   Convinced that this coded language means she’s a vampire now, Jacob vrooms off on his motorcycle to barge into the Cullens and see for himself.  He’s relieved to see that Bella is alive and human, on the couch.  “You look terrible,” he says cheerfully.  (And she does.  It’s CGI and make-up, but she looks…awful.)  Then she stands up, and oh snap, Jacob sees the cause of her condition in that pregnant belly.  “YOU did this,” he yells, lunging at Edward.  “We didn’t even know it was possible,” explains Carlisle.  (See, they don’t have vampire sex-ed.  Nobody told them how babies are made!)  Edward agrees with Jacob that the baby/fetus is a danger to its mother and should be terminated, but Bella insists, “No.  It’s not his decision.  It’s not any of yours!”

Carlisle tells Bella, "The fetus is incompatible with your body."

Edward wants Jacob to try to talk some sense into Bella, which doesn’t work, but which does produce the brilliant line, “and when you die, what was the point?  Of me loving you, you loving him…how is that right for anyone?  Because I sure don’t see it.”  It’s okay, Jacob, none of us see much “point” to this story, either.  Unable to deter Bella from her decision to carry the baby to term, he states “I know how this ends, and I’m not sticking around to watch.”  Oh, Jacob, I wish I had your courage of conviction.  I know how this is going to end too, and yet here I am watching the whole damn thing.  For the second time.

Jacob phases into wolf form and runs through the woods to join his pack, replaying words and images from what he just witnessed to telepathically relay them to the collective pack mind.  (Because they can hear each others’ thoughts when they’re in wolf form, remember?)  It’s kind of cool at first, but when they meet up and try to have a semi-structured meeting, it devolves into hilarity.  It’s like a cartoon, with the actors growling lines of dialogue at each other as we see snarling wolf snouts with lips that don’t move.  Which, they wouldn’t move their lips if they were just thinking it…but it’s hilarious.  The funniest part is when Jacob defies Sam’s orders to attack the Cullens and destroy this unknown danger.  Jacob shouts, “I.  Will.  NOT! I am the grandson of Ephraim Black!  I am the grandson of the CHIEF!  I wasn’t born to follow you, or anyone else!”  Nepotism for the win.

"I. Will. NOT!" haha, cracks me up every time.

Jake forms his own little wolf pack with Seth and Leah, (although Leah has to beg him to let her stay and pleads “I don’t have to [like you], I just have to follow you.”  Because males have all the power in the Twilight universe.)  The mini-pack is protecting the Cullen house from Sam’s pack, who, having lost the element of surprise, decide to wait for an opportunity to strike.  Meanwhile everyone inside the house is waiting around, Edward in a hilarious turtleneck sweater searching for information on half-vampire babies on Yahoo! while “Cold” by Aqualung and Lucy Schwartz plays in the background, and Bella sits with her legs tucked underneath her in a posture that is impossible for women who are actually pregnant.  But maybe this is another one of the things that’s different with half-vampire hybrid pregnancies, besides the super speedy development rate.

Carlisle tells Bella that her heart will give out before she can deliver, and he won’t be able to “save” her by turning her into a vampire if that happens.  Bella accepts this and says she will just carry the baby as long as she can.  “You have to accept what is,” she tells her bitter husband.  Edward, not accustomed to not getting his way, throws a fit.  “We’re supposed to be partners, but you’ve decided this on your own.  It’s you that’s decided to leave me.  I’ll be the one to miss you, and I don’t choose that.  I don’t choose that.”  I mean, it would suck to be in his position, but when in any previous moment of their relationship did he treat it like a “partnership”?!  Come on.  He’s just pouting because he’s not getting his way.

"I thought he was like me, but he's not, he's like you. Good, and pure, and happy."

Not to worry, soon he’s won over because he “hears” the baby.  He’s a mind-reader, remember?  Although, I’m not sure what he’s “hearing” or what he’s picking up on in order to tell Bella “he likes the sound of your voice…and mine.”  Because unborn babies don’t, you know, talk yet.  They aren’t producing language, they haven’t even been exposed to anything except intonation patterns.  I mean, I guess Edward “sees” into people’s minds too, since he usually witnesses Alice’s visions, but…I’m not sure how to make sense of this part.  No matter, it restores harmony between Bella and Edward, and that’s what’s important.  It’s the only thing that matters, ever.  Right?  RIGHT!?

But they still have a problem–the baby is absorbing too many of Bella’s nutrients, and she can’t keep any food down.  They don’t know what it wants.  Then Edward hears a good idea in Jacob’s thoughts.  “It wasn’t an idea, it was a snide comment,” clarifies Jacob.  “What was it?” inquires Carlisle.  “I was just thinking he probably wants what every bloodsucker wants–someone to sink his teeth into.”  Bella’s gonna have to drink blood, you guys!  “He’s thirsty,” says Rosalie.  “I know the feeling,” says Emmett.  The audience laughs.  Then they (the audience) gasp and recoil when Bella takes her lips off the straw in the donated-blood-cup and says with blood-covered teeth that it “tastes…good.”  News flash, Twihards, vampires drink blood.

None of the Cullens have hunted in awhile, and Dr. Carlisle needs to be at full strength to deliver this baby/try to save Bella.  So Jacob helps create a diversion, distracting half of the wolf pack by telling them he’s planning to kill the baby (“I’m the only one who can get close.  They trust me.”) while Carlisle, Esme, and Emmett make a run for it.  “You played us!” snarl the wolves.  Jake goes inside the Cullen house to find out whether the vamps made it out.  (Yes).  Rosalie prods Bella to tell Jacob about the names she’s picked out for her baby.  “If it’s a boy, E.J.  Edward Jacob.”  Seriously, Bella?  Who names her baby after her husband and ex-boyfriend?  That’s creepy, and weird.  But not as weird as the name she’s thinking of for a girl–“I was playing around with our moms’ names, Rene and Esme…and I was thinking, Renesme.”  Everyone in the audience laughs.  Jacob makes a face.  Edward sucks up to Bella by saying “No, it’s not too weird, it’s beautiful.  It’s unique, which certainly fits the situation.  I like Renesme.”

Bella drops her cup of blood.  She reaches to grab it as it falls to the floor.  OH MY GOD, her back breaks, she falls on her kneecaps, (*crunch*!) it’s the grossest thing ever!  Edward catches her head just before it, too, falls on the floor, and it’s time for an emergency, disgusting c-section.  The birth scene is mostly shot from Bella’s POV, so we see Edward and Jacob’s frantic faces (and Rosalie’s for a bit before she’s overpowered by the smell of blood and kicked out).  We see a glimpse of Bella’s bloated, bruised stomach, and it’s pulsing because the baby can’t breathe and is kicking to get out, and it’s HORRIFYING.  Edward bites through the placenta (we hear it, don’t see it), and comes up with a bloody mouth cradling a bloody little baby.  It’s Renesme!

Renesme is bloody except for around her eyes, like she was wearing googles in the womb. Either that or Edward licked her eyes clean?

Edward lays the baby on Bella’s chest, where it promptly bites her.  *crunch*!  Bella smiles and then appears to die.  Rosalie takes the baby while Edward and Jacob frantically work to revive Bella.  Edward stabs a syringe of his venom into her heart, bites her extremities, performs chest compressions, and varies his inflection to try to save her.  “You’re not dead.  You’re NOT dead.  Come on, come ON!”

Jacob can’t take it anymore.  He tells Edward, “I won’t kill you, that’d be too easy.  You deserve to live with this.”  Bella’s dead, and he really is going to kill that baby now.  He sneaks up on Rosalie holding Renesme in a chair by the fire.  The baby is looking over Rose’s shoulder, and shifts her eyes to connect with Jacob’s.  Boom, cheesy voice-over of Jacob explaining what imprinting is while we see images of grown-up Renesme (which helps make this slightly, but only slightly, less creepy).  Jacob literally falls to his knees worshiping this newborn.

"It's like...gravity. Suddenly your whole world shifts, and you would do anything, be anyone she needed. A friend, a brother, a protector."

The wolves know that Bella’s dead.  They’re racing through the forest for a rumble at the Cullens.  The vampires are outnumbered, since those on the hunting trip haven’t returned yet.  Edward has to leave Bella’s side to go fight.  They’re losing but nobody is dying, (because this fight didn’t happen in the book so nothing consequential can come of it), then the other three vampires show up and it’s more of an even but still very tense stand-off.  Finally Jacob gets off his knees in the living room and comes running out between the two groups.  “Stop!  If you kill her, you kill me!” he declares.  Edward explains, “Jacob imprinted.  They can’t hurt her.  Whoever a wolf imprints on can’t be harmed.  It’s their most absolute law.”  Might be my favorite line in the whole movie.  Definitely competing with “I. Will. NOT!” for funniest line.

So, everything is cool now, we just have to wait for Bella to wake up as a vampire.  (Oh yeah, her heart started beating again).  As the venom burns through her veins, her hair gets shinier, and her bony body fills back in, she remembers her human life to a remix of “Bella’s Lullaby” by Carter Burwell (from the first Twilight movie).  Her human life memories consist almost entirely of scenes with her and Edward, but also that one time she was a ballerina (that they used in the first movie), and an impossible memory of herself as a baby with Rene and Charlie.  Then, as the music swells, the last little red blood cell crystallizes with vampire venom and her heart beats one last, shuddering time.  It’s dead quiet, (haha), as everybody holds their breath and waits.  Edward’s waiting, but Bella’s eyes are still closed.  Alice is waiting, all the Cullens are waiting.  Bella’s eyes are…OPEN!  BAM!  RED EYES!  THE END!

There’s a little scene with the Volturi after the initial credits, (which are rather jarring in red, white, and black and set to “I Didn’t Mean It” by The Belle Brigade.) Aro, Caius, and Marcus learn that “Carlisle has added a new member to his coven,” and kill off their human secretary because she mis-spelled “Carlisle”.  Marcus sighs for most of his dialogue and Aro says their feud with the Cullens isn’t over because, obviously, there is a part 2 yet to come, and “they have something I want.”

So that’s my Breaking Dawn recap.  Please feel free to leave me your comments, but only if they’re glowing compliments.  It’s my most absolute law.  Just kidding.  I’m not a super-controlling vampire.


Filed under movies

“There’s a Bomb in the Oven” and other great lines from the movie ‘Abduction’

No-one should ever have to watch the movie Abduction.  It’s just…bad.  It’s kind of like Bourne Identity for kids, but written by people trying way too hard to make it relateable to “kids these days”, (so a villain actually threatens to kill all of the heroes facebook friends), and lead Taylor Lautner is overacting so much, it’s awkward.  As a service to you, then, the internet public, I will recap everything here to spare you from ever having to watch it yourself.

It begins with Tyler Lautner’s Nathan pulling a Death Proof move and riding on the hood of his friend’s car while they drive to what turns out to be your standard high-school-movie kegger. I think this is supposed to show that his character is reckless and thrill-seeking, but it actually makes him look like a douche because he screams “WOOOOOOH! WOOOOOOOOH!” the whole way, in a pitch that’s far too high to be considered badass.

^not actually Taylor Lautner. he wishes. for his stunt he was plastered against the windshield the whole time.

So they get to the party, and the dialogue and action come to a standstill so we can switch back and forth between close-ups of Nathan and some girl’s faces when she arrives, because, you guys, OMG, they like each other or something!  At least I think so.  Either that or she stopped walking because all the thoughts fell out of her brain, and he just stared at her because she maybe had a booger hanging out of her nose?  But, oh no, she has a boyfriend.  He busts up their close-up eyeballing of each other by walking through their line of site, and also he bumps into Nathan when he walks by, which almost leads to a fight, except then not, because she whispers something in his ear and manages to pull him away.

Nathan’s Sarcastic Sidekick Friend (who doubles as his token minority friend) says, and I am not making this up, this is a verbatim quote: “Whoa!  That was exciting.  Let’s go get drunk!”  The first of many amazing lines of dialogue.  It’s almost Shakespeare.  This friend, by the way, makes fake IDs for people, so add tech geek or criminal to his character’s list of stereotypical labels, your choice.

Nathan and his friends drink.  Cut to, him waking up without his shirt on the lawn, and the party hostess and her friends are picking up the red plastic cups and beer cans littering the lawn “before my parents get home,” so he pitches in, even though she says “you don’t have to do that.”  I’m so confused, I thought his character was a reckless drunken idiot, now I’m supposed to think he’s a fabulously mature guy because he picks up two pieces of trash voluntarily before his dad drives up and honks the horn all mad?

His dad is played by Jason Isaacs, (I love him!!) and I guess Nathan didn’t ask permission to go to this party, or overstayed his curfew, or else Dad is upset about the underage drinking.  It’s one of those things, for sure.  But he’s an unconventional parent, because for punishment he makes Nathan box with him in the backyard.  Apparently this is something they do all the time, and it probably is pretty punitive to have to work out with a hangover.  Nathan keeps getting beat by Dad, and complains “This is bullshit!”  Dad snaps back, “I’ll tell ya what’s bullshit, bullshit’s getting so drunk you can’t defend yourself.  Fight, and watch your back!”  He also says some other stuff about how Nathan has to use his head and be patient to win against Dad because Dad is stronger.  Also, Nathan has a Mom.  Or else a cougar girlfriend who is his Dad’s sister?  She watches them through the window and shakes her head, calling them “my boys.”  So it could be either one.

Later, when Nathan is taking out the trash, the girl he likes (who is conveniently his neighbor) is conveniently breaking up with her boyfriend in her driveway.  Boyfriend drives off, so clearly she’s fair game now.  The girl’s name is Karen, I don’t remember when we learn that so I’ll just stick it in here, and she’s played by Lily Collins.  So far her part has pretty much been wordlessly staring at things.  She wordlessly watches her newly minted ex-boyfriend drive off, then wordlessly gazes at Nathan across the street, then wordlessly goes back inside where she probably stared silently at her hairspray can.

But it’s time for school!  Or, a quick-cut Hollywood approximation of school anyway.  Karen is a cheerleader!  We know she’s the prettiest and most popular because she’s the only one who’s allowed to show her midriff, and also she’s front and center in the squad’s formation.  All those other non-speaking-role cheerleaders have to keep their shirts on, or else we might notice one of them by accident.  Meanwhile, Nathan is on the wrestling team with two of his friends, athlete friend and sarcastic friend who is bad at sports (but good at faking IDs, remember,) who wonders out loud why “you guys made me go out for wrestling” after losing, again.  Nathan says, “it’s fun!” because he wins his matches and doesn’t care about his friend’s feelings.  They don’t wrestle in singlets, because that would not look cool, and also because they’re not a real team.  If they were they wouldn’t want their sarcastic friend to be on the team with them just so they could hang out, because his constant loosing would bring the team scores down.  (That’s how you know it’s a movie, not real life).

Nathan drools over Karen while she’s at her locker, and she says “uhhh, I don’t want to go to class!”  (You don’t believe that these are real quotes, do you?  I promise, they are.  Every single one.)  Nathan and Karen conveniently have class together, and conveniently they get paired together for a group project which the teacher says is worth a ridiculously high percentage of their grade.  They have to do theirs on child abductions.  I don’t know what class this is supposed to be…Social Studies?

Karen comes over to Nathan’s to work on their project.  He’s playing Xbox but frantically throws dirty laundry into a corner and changes his shirt and practices a pose or two between the time she rings the doorbell and gets escorted to his door by Mom.  Mom asks if they “want the door open or closed?” which is how you start to suspect she’s not his real mom!  Because real moms say, that door is staying open, mister!  Because you are sixteen and you are doing schoolwork, not impregnating the neighbor!

Mom needn’t worry, Karen seems to think Nathan is beneath her.  She scoffs “huh! You still like games,” when she sees the paused screen.  Um, yes, you piece of snot, 16-year-old boys like video games.  So do 20 and 30-year old boys.  Know who else likes video games?  Girls!  Including this one.  So…I don’t know why you made your observation all snobby like it was an insult.  Who doesn’t like video games?!  I guess the cheerleaders that are popular enough to show their midriffs.

They find a website with photographic projections of what missing children might look like today.  After Karen leaves, Nathan discovers that one of them looks like him!  This discovery is so shocking that he has to touch his chin in uffish thought as he ponders its significance.  (Later he says “we have the same chin!” when defending this belief that the abducted child is him, so maybe that’s what he was going for here, but it just looks…stupid.)

Nathan wonders whether the missing child in the photo is really him…

He clicks on the site and tells a stranger in the website’s chatroom that he thinks he’s seen the missing kid.  The kid’s name is Steven, I think.  Twist—the website is a fake!  The person chatting with him hacks his webcam and starts a trace!  Nathan gets suspicious and closes his product-placement Macbook, but not fast enough.  (Lesson: don’t chat with strangers on the internet!)

Nathan goes over the Karen’s, after lying to his parents that “nothing” is wrong.  She doesn’t believe that the missing kid is him, but he gives her the we-have-the-same-chin line, and produces his old shirt which is the same as the one in the picture and even has the same shoulder-stain.  They decide that she will come over to his house again later that night.  (This is a pretty serious project.  Three study dates within six hours?  When is this thing due, tomorrow?)

Nathan confronts his mother when he gets home.  He asks if she’s really his mother.  She starts crying, and he starts sniffling, and she says she needs to go get his Dad because “he’s a part of this too” before she can tell him the truth.  She says, “you’re what made us a family.  I love you, you’re my son, and nothing’s gonna change that.”  The music is pretty cliché.

Nathan doesn’t get to hear the truth from his “parents” because the bad guys show up.  (Second lesson: don’t lie to your parents about what’s bothering you.  If you say “nothing” and go confide in your neighbor girl crush instead, your parents might die.)  Mom busts out some fight skills, but there are two bad guys and only one of her.  Nathan sees her die, and the bad guys (dressed like ninjas all in black) see him see them.  He runs back into his room and climbs out the window.  Dad hears the commotion and comes inside and fights, too.  Nathan circles back around to the back door.  Dad sees him and tells him to run, to get out of here, and then he gets shot.  (Oh no! Jason Isaacs!  I’m sad.)

Nathan starts to run, but then remembers, “Karen!”  She’s planning to come over!  He told her just to walk in!  Her bared midriff is in danger!  He goes back and fights some bad guys to save her.  I think she might use a fire iron to hit one of them, I can’t remember.  Maybe there is only one left by that point anyway.  Nathan rips off the pwned bad guy’s mask and demands to know who they are, what they want, etc.  The bad guys says, “I’ll tell you what you want to know, but I’m not gonna die here.  There’s a bomb in the oven.

Thanks for the heads up, bad guy!  Unfortunately he dies anyway, because Nathan and Karen use up the time they could have spent dragging him out of the house by going to the oven and opening the door.  And yes, there is a bomb, conveniently one with a big fat timer on it counting down, so they know they have seven seconds to wordlessly stare at each other and run and jump into the swimming pool before the GIANT EXPLOSION THAT DESTROYS THE ENTIRE HOUSE!  Kids, don’t try this at home.  If you are not a movie star and someone tells you there’s a bomb somewhere, you get the hell out of there and call the bomb squad.  If you must go and look for it, and it’s in the oven, don’t freaking open the door!  What if it’s wired to explode when you do?  At least try turning the oven light on and looking through the little window, am I right?  Oh, and also, have a pool in your backyard so you can jump into it when your entire house explodes in a giant fireball.  Seriously, they come up for air and stuff is still flying around and Karen suffers a dainty shoulder wound and they have to go underwater a second time.  (I think they just wanted to make their day of underwater filming be used in more than just one shot.)

See, this is what I’m talking about. You can see what’s inside the oven without opening the door and risking death by alleged bomb.

Nathan zooms Karen and her dainty shoulder wound to the hospital, on a motorcycle that somehow escaped unscathed from the explosion and is ready to go even though it’s what Dad was tinkering with right before he came inside and joined the fight.  Whatever.  At the hospital Nathan calls 911 from a payphone, but is connected to the CIA instead.  They tell him to stay where he is and make the classic mistake of referring to him by name before he identified himself, so that he gets suspicious.  The CIA guy says he needs to trust them, but Nathan parrots what his Mom said when he was grounded after that party, “trust needs to be earned.”

Then Sigourney Weaver shows up—she’s his shrink, did I forget to mention that?  He has a recurring dream about watching a woman die through some sort of veil, and she’s treating him for “rage and insomnia.”  (You know what kind of creatures are sleepless and given to violent rages?  Vampires!  Now that would be an unexpected twist!)  She says he needs to leave right stat now, because she used up all their extra get-away time filling a dozen balloons with helium so they could block the security cameras with them.  Doctor Shrink doesn’t think Nathan should stick with Karen, because she’ll only slow him down.  But Nathan and Karen can’t split up, because they haven’t kissed yet.  So they both jump out of Doc’s SUV and tumble down a grassy hill into some tree cover, and all the CIA guys keep chasing after Doc and then you see another GIANT EXPLOSION and assume Doc just died in a fiery, fiery, fiery car crash.  Did she have tubs of gasoline in the trunk?  What is with these ridiculous explosions?

What I suspect Taylor Lautner would look like if he turned out to be a vampire in this movie….

Nathan and Karen now have to get in the water, I guess to cover their tracks from bloodhounds or something.  So they swim out to a little pile of clustered driftwood and breathe heavily while they stare at each other, avoiding a searchlight.  It’s awkward.  Then when they’re back ashore (same shore, or did they swim to the other side? Who knows,) Nathan pilfers some blankets from a random woodland dweller’s clothesline, but neither he nor Karen seem to know how to make efficient use of them.  Instead of wrapping the blankets up around them, because, you know, it’s cold and they just got soaked, they spread one down, sit on a corner of it while the other one is loosely draped around themselves, and then they stare at each other and breath heavily and slowly, slowly recline. It’s so awkward, yet all I can think about is how they ought to pick up the other half of the blanket that is just lying useless on the ground and wrap it around themselves.  How stupid are these kids?!  They’re going to freeze to death.

The next morning, having miraculously escaped death by freezing, they hitch a ride from a trucker to an address in Virginia that Doctor Shrink told them about.  Oh, did I forget to mention that Doctor Shrink told Nathan she was a friend of his father’s?  “Your real father!”  But nobody is there.  Nathan gets a gun and a cell phone with weird, matrix-y text on it’s screen, from his dad’s desk.  Karen enters the room towel-drying completely dried hair, and then fixes the collar on his jacket like they are an old married couple.  “Thanks,” says Nathan.  Oh, the chemistry.

They go to visit Nathan’s biological mom’s grave.  I think they get the address from his dad’s computer, somehow, because he had flowers delivered there or something.  And they go to the cemetery and ask a fat nerdy kid with freckles working there if he can give them contact info on whoever ordered those flowers delivered.  Fat kid says no, that’s not allowed, but Karen is a cheerleader with midriff-baring powers, so if she smiles at this poor loser he’ll do it.  (That must be how they got the ride from the trucker, too!  Good thing Nathan didn’t ditch her when Doctor Shrink recommended it! ) I guess they get an address, because then they board a train.  Nathan decides to bring the giant gun he got from his dad’s place, because there’s no such thing as security screening for train travelers.

The first thing Nathan and Karen do when they open the door to their little sleeping compartment on the train is complain about how not nice it is.  They say something like ‘it’ll have to do’ or else ‘it’s better than nothing.’  Um, excuse me, didn’t you spend last night on the ground, soaking wet and cold?!  This is a huge step up.  Good grief you kids are so effing whiny!  It’s like you acted each scene out by itself without remembering any of the surrounding context or thinking about how it fits into the larger narrative!  Seriously, I think that’s why there are so many awkward Nathan/Karen shots, because every single scene they’re trying to make it obvious that they like each other.  Yeah.  We get it!  More story, less teeny-bop romance, please!

Ah, but we’re just getting to the actual romance part of the movie!  Karen’s all, remember that time we hooked up in the summer before (or was it after?) 8th grade?  How come you never called me after that?  And Nathan’s like, oh yeah, I remember, um, I dunno why I never called, I mean I totally liked you and everything.

Karen: “Are we gonna die, Nathan?”
Nathan: “No. I won’t let that happen.”

*first kiss*

**second kiss**

Karen: “Wow.”
Nathan: “What?”
Karen: “That’s better than middle school.”

***third kiss***

Nathan:”That’s because I know what I’m doing now.”
Karen: “And no braces, either!”

**they continue making out**

Karen:”We should get some food.”

**snog snog snog snog**

Nathan:”Yeah. I’m starving.”

**smooch smooch smooch smocch**

Karen:”I’ll go.”


Karen:”Um, I’ll knock twice before keying in.”

Oh, Nathan! Will you protect me from the braces in middle-school kisses?

So Karen goes to the food car and literally talks out loud to herself while she selects edibles about whether or not Nathan will want to eat them.  I mean, she’s right to be concerned, because teenage boys are notoriously picky eaters, right?  Meanwhile, a bad guy has caught up with Nathan and they fight.  (Nathan actually opens the door to check and see if Karen is coming, so, we never get to find out if the bad guy would have been able to figure out the super-secure “knock twice” code that was Karen’s idea.)  The movie is so bad by this point that they try to improve it by bringing back Jason Isaacs!  In voice-over, anyway, repeating the lines he told hung-over, punished-by-boxing Nathan about using his head and being able to beat a bigger, stronger opponent.  Nathan wins, although he hurts his hand with one of the punches–he ultimately throws the dude out the window, only to turn around and realize that Karen saw him toss a body out of a speeding train, and now he’s definitely not getting to second base.  At least not on this train ride.

Oh my lord, is this movie freaking over yet?  I am so tired of writing this recap.

The train stops because the CIA found the body.  Don’t worry, it really was a bad guy.  See, Nathan’s real dad is a spy.  He’s recently stolen some pretty important intel, a list of double-crossers, and the bad guys are after Nathan to use as leverage to get the intel back, and the CIA are after Nathan to protect him, allegedly.  Anyway, Nathan and Karen try to make a run for it into the woods by the train but there are too many CIA people, and they lure them out by reminding them “you must be hungry,” and also by complying with Nathan’s demand to answer the question, “What’s my real name?!”  Because, remember, the website of the missing kid said his name was Steven.  They say his full name was Nathan Steven, or else Steven Nathan, and his mom wanted him to be called Nathan but his dad wanted Steven, so that’s why there’ the two name confusion.  Nathan is satisfied with this answer, (which is kinda dumb of him because there is no way for him to know whether they are lying to him or not, but either way he’s outmatched and surrounded anyway,) and comes out of the trees.  The CIA guy buys him “a burger and a milkshake,” and they sit in the window of a local burger joint while they talk about all the stuff I said at the beginning of this paragraph.

CIA guy says they’re involved in a war, but “it’s a polite war, it’s not about bullets and bombs, it’s about information.”  Riddle me this, then, if it’s not about bullets, why have there been so many guns involved?  Why are there CIA snipers on every surrounding building, protecting Nathan?  More importantly, if Nathan needs to be protected by numerous armed guards, why is he sitting in front of the freaking front window?!  Seems like they’re just making their job needlessly harder.

Wouldn’t you know it, the bad guys catch up, take out the snipers, and shoot out the window.  I don’t remember how but of course Nathan and Karen get away and are driving to who knows where, and Nathan shows Karen the phone with the matrix-y stuff on it that he found at his dad’s and says he thinks it’s the list they are all looking for.  Then his phone rings, and when he answers it Baddie Bad Guy is all, mwah-ha-ha, thanks for spilling your guts, I turned your phone into a listening device and now I know everything!  Baddie Bad Guy says Nathan better hand over that list, or he will kill all his friends, and their parents, “and when I’m finished, you’ll be responsible for every friend you have on facebook!”  Simply horrifying.

Nathan and Karen meet up with Sarcastic Sidekick Friend, (the one with fake ID skills, remember?)  He’s made them some fake IDs!  And also placed something at the stadium where Nathan has arranged to meet with Baddie Bad Guy.  (It’s a gun.)  This totally makes sense, because only Baddie Bad Guys know how to figure out who someone’s facebook friends are.  The CIA would never be monitoring Nathan’s closest friend in an effort to find and protect Nathan again.  Fake IDs can be easily manufactured in a short time period, cell phone calls and texts are never hacked, especially not when you are being specifically targeted by the CIA.  And teenagers can totally easily sneak guns into stadiums, no problem!  The whole thing is just so stupid.  At one point somebody makes a comment that Nathan is surely his father’s son, because of how resourceful and skilled he seems to be.  So, to anyone who’s ever trained to be good at anything, it’s just too bad your parents weren’t good at it.  If they had finely honed skills you’d have inherited them at birth.  Training, schmaining!

They go to the stadium.  Karen’s job is to take pictures on her cell phone?  Nathan and Baddie Bad Guy have a chat.  Baddie gets the gun that was taped under Nathan’s seat, because he’s had more experience and maybe some actual training.  Is this the part where Nathan finds out/remembers that his mom was killed?  By Baddie Bad Guy?  That’s what the reoccurring dream was about.  The veil he watches her die through is a bedskirt.  He’s hiding under the bed and she gives him her gas mask while the room is pumped with poison.  Aww.

No time for sentiment!  Nathan needs to show off his parkour skills.  I mean, he needs to run away from Baddie Bad Guy.  And, lure him outside?  That’s what his Spy Dad tells him to do.  What, his dad?  Yeah, he calls him or something.  And says that Nathan needs to trust him.  Nathan’s forgotten about the whole “trust needs to be earned, said the woman I thought was my mom” thing, or maybe he’s realized that he’s been trusting no-one this whole time and it hasn’t exactly worked out for him, or maybe he’s just run out of things to slide down and wall-kick off of, but in any case he does lead Baddie Bad Guy outside the stadium.  And Spy Dad takes him out.  Nice shooting, from the mysterious shadows at the last second while the music swelled!

This is totally, 100% believable.

Turns out the main CIA Guy was on the list of double-crossers, so he’s had an ulterior motive all this time.  Oh, snap!  Spy Dad, on the phone with some other CIA guy, says they have to “let ’em go.  He’s family.”  In reference to Nathan.  Because clearly that’s a good idea.  He’s still in high school, and more or less orphaned, because even Spy Dad admits “Nathan, I’m your father, but I’ll never be your dad.”  So I don’t know what kind of stability this kid can be expected to have.

Oh, wait, Doctor Shrink will take him in.  Yeah, she didn’t really die in that giant SUV explosion.  “How’re you doing with all this?” she asks, putting a hand on his shoulder.  “You okay?”

“Yeah.  I’m fine,” he replies, and I snort out loud and can’t decide if this line was meant ironically or not.  Doctor Shrink continues, “and Nathan–about a certain young lady, I was wrong.  You should hold on to her.”

“Yeah,” says Nathan, because he starts all his sentences that way, “she’s worth it.”  And with that, it’s time for Nathan and Karen to go off and be alone where they can make out again.  Karen tells Doctor Shrink “Don’t worry, I won’t keep him out too late,” and the newly minted legal guardian just lets them go, and that’s how you know his real mom really is dead, and the CIA doesn’t train their operatives in how to parent.  First his fake mom let him shut the door when he had a girl over, now his second pseudo-mom lets him go off with his girlfriend without a curfew and without even knowing what address he’ll be coming home to!  His house blew up, remember?  He killed a guy and threw him off a train, snuck a gun into a stadium, broke a bunch of crap, ran away from the CIA multiple times, and he’s not the least bit in trouble?!  Not even let’s-sit-down-and-have-a-serious-discussion-about-the-consequences-of-your-actions in trouble?  I guess not, all because Spy Dad said “let ’em go.  He’s family.”  Or, just because it’s a movie, where there’s no such thing as limits or consequences for main characters.

And like every movie, this one has to end with the lead kissing the girl, so that’s what they do, sitting in the now-empty stadium.  “Y’know what the problem was, back in 8th grade?  I just wasn’t ready for you yet.” *kiss*, credits, finally this torturous film is over!  I know I skipped and condensed some stuff, it’s because it was boring, and also I didn’t want to put in any more effort than I already had.  I mean it was a waste of my time to watch the stupid thing, and arguably more so to write this time-consuming recap.  I hope somebody appreciates reading it.


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