And so it’s over.
The Twilight Saga, as it has come to be known, has been a prominent part of the pop culture landscape for the last half-decade or so, the popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s series of supernatural novels augmented by the success of the screen adaptations.
More than two billion dollars worth of tickets have been bought by fans worldwide for the first four movies in the franchise – that’s a heck of a lot of viewers invested in the love triangle and other tribulations facing vampire Edward Cullen, werewolf Jacob Black and Bella Swan, the young woman they both adore.
And with Breaking Dawn, Part 2, the second half of the saga’s final installment, it all comes to an end.
But does it conclude satisfactorily? Or will devotees of Twilight (I believe they’re known, affectionately or derisively, as ‘Twi-hards’) feel like grey clouds are obscuring the dawn they’ve been waiting for?
Well, let me put this way: one of the most admirable things about The Twilight Saga is its consistency. One movie is pretty much like the other. We’re not talking about the Harry Potter franchise, for instance, where the tone and approach would differ from film to film.
So if you’ve enjoyed Twilight or New Moon or Eclipse, you’ll enjoy this. It’s swoony and soapy, with the odd touch of wry humour and the occasional chill or thrill.
And it ties together the various dangling plot threads from the previous chapters quite neatly.
Part 2 picks up pretty much immediately from where Part 1 left off: Bella (Kristen Stewart), vampirised by her husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) so she could survive the delivery of their half-vamp baby, awakens to find herself transformed.
Her senses, speed and strength are all superhuman…and she digs it. “I was born to be a vampire,” she declares.
She’s equally pleased with motherhood. But her daughter Renesmee is different, even by Twilight standards.
Within a matter of months she has grown into a young girl, one with peculiar powers of her own. And that attracts the attention of the aristocratic Volturi, the vampire elite led by the preening Aro (Michael Sheen, overacting like a champ).
They fear Renesmee could expose the vampire world to the human race, resulting in chaos, and advance with hostile intentions on Bella, Edward, their loved ones and their allies (including Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner, who does indeed remove his shirt and flaunt his well-toned torso one last time).
It all results in a showdown that sees a lot of body parts severed without a drop of blood being spilled.
But then again, gruesomeness was never the trademark of The Twilight Saga, despite its supernatural trappings – romance was.
And Breaking Dawn, Part 2 does end on a genuinely sweet and touching moment between together-forever couple Bella and Edward, warmly and sincerely played by Stewart and Pattinson, two actors who often located the heart of the matter, even when the story sometimes lost its way.