When it opened Nov. 18, the long-awaited, long-titled vampire romance "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1" didn't fare particularly well with movie critics, many of whom found it corny, toothless or at best a guilty pleasure. The lack of critical praise didn't stop legions of Twihards from turning out at midnight on opening night to see the film, or from catapulting it to box-office success two weeks in a row. We're curious to hear what readers think about "Breaking Dawn — Part 1" and what you expect from the series conclusion, "Part 2," due next November.
Steering the ship for that final installment will be British director Bill Condon, who made his "Twilight" debut with "Breaking Dawn — Part 1." For some people, including Times film critic Betsy Sharkey, Condon's entry into the series disappointed. In her review of the film, Sharkey writes, "I'd really hoped for more that just a well-polished look from Condon. With his 'Dreamgirls' and 'Gods and Monsters' background, he seemed a perfect fit for the final chapters of the tale of this dream girl and her godless monster. Such a pity."
"Breaking Dawn" star Robert Pattinson, who plays the vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen, would disagree with Sharkey (though he might be a bit biased). The 25-year-old English actor told 24 Frames that he appreciated Condon's point of view, his sense of humor and his poise. "Bill would always have a great explanation for why it's not ridiculous and it's not corny," Pattinson said. "It was great to have someone on set who could convince me of those things."
Online, "Breaking Dawn" viewers are displaying a range of opinions about the film. Some, like Sharon Grant, thought Condon nailed it (Team Bill?). In a comment on 24 Frames, Grant wrote: "I thought this was the best of the series.… Bill Condon got it. He understood what it was about the Edward/Bella story that drew us in."
Another commenter, Sue Nebgen, thought the film dragged on: "Could have cut an hour out of this movie, long on stares and short on action. It felt like every scene was drug out to have the movie run two hours. Very disappointed and would not have wasted the money seeing this one at the theater."
Where do you stand on "Breaking Dawn — Part 1," with the critics or the supporters? Do you think Condon will rise to the occasion for "Part 2"? Has the franchise worn out its welcome, or is the best yet to come? Tell us your opinion in the comments below or on Twitter, @latimesmovies.
— Oliver Gettell
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1." Credit: Andrew Cooper / Summit Entertainment