Breaking Dawn: Part 1 (12A) ***
Directed by: Bill Condon
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Despite its vamps-versus-werewolves action, the previous instalment of Twilight – the world’s favourite playground love triangle – felt like a stalling exercise, evading the issue of who was going to get off with whom. Though Lautner’s Jacob stages a late counter by going shirtless within fifteen seconds, BDP1 resolves that issue decisively, with Bella and Edward (K-Stew and R-Pattz) mumbling through their vows at a ceremony so floridly romantic some viewers may wish they’d hired Melancholia’s Udo Kier to plan it instead. Thereafter, it’s all about the newlyweds prepping for their first time: as lovers, then – gulp – as parents-to-be.
That appalled fascination with sex remains a sticking point, cueing a final, surprisingly intense eruption of gyno-horror. Yet in the skilled Condon’s hands, this instalment proves more intimate besides, confining its action to kids in rooms wrestling with the consequences of their own crushes: such unashamed emotionality – oft-dismissed as “girly stuff” – is actually what distinguishes the Twilights in a marketplace otherwise cluttered with noisy boys’ toys. Minor quibbles aside – the werewolves are stubbornly wooden, and why would a vampire honeymoon in sunny Rio? – these remain the most empathetic event movies in the business.
Breaking Dawn Part 1 opens in cinemas nationwide today.