(CNN) — The story so far: Northwest teen Bella Swann falls in love with Edward Cullen, a mysteriously aloof, fair-skinned but exceedingly well-educated young man who confesses to being a “vegetarian” vampire.
This bums out Bella’s best friend, Jacob, who has always carried a torch for her, and who has a natural aversion to vampires, being a werewolf himself. Despite his better (and worse) instincts, Edward is smitten, and eventually he agrees to marry her.
At the end of “Breaking Dawn – Part 1” she gives birth to their half-human child, but nearly dies during labor. In order to save Bella’s life, Edward has to “turn” his bride into an immortal — which is what she wanted all along.
Still with us? “Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” the fifth and final film in “The Twilight Saga” begins with Bella waking up to enjoy her freshly sharpened senses, her attractive red eyes and vampiric super-strength. And the first, most pressing question on everybody’s mind is this: Will she eat the baby?
Edward whisks her off into the woods to quench her thirst, where the question becomes: will Bella eat Bambi? And then a third time: will she eat the anonymous climber scaling a sheer rock face oblivious to the real danger he is in?
Teen movies have sure come a long way since “The Breakfast Club.” Back then, all we wanted was to find common ground and fit in. Mind you, once her sanguinary and carnal appetites have been satisfied, assimilation is also Bella’s main concern.
It exhibits along the lines of: what to tell dad? And what to do about the wolfboy who has marked out her newborn — but fast-growing — daughter as his intended? (“You nicknamed my baby after the Loch Ness monster?!”)
It has taken this series a long time to line up its dominoes, but “Breaking Dawn — Part 2” is easily the freakiest film in the saga, and the most fun.
Before we’re done there will be a virtual United Nations of vampire delegates — associates from the North, from Amazonia, the Middle East, from Ireland and, yes, Transylvania, converging on Forks and getting a chance to bond with baby Cullen before the ultimate showdown with their eminences, the Volturi.
These cloaked archvillains have been waiting in the wings so long it’s a wonder they haven’t taken off, but at last Michael Sheen’s got the chance to act — show these young pretenders how it’s done — and he doesn’t waste a single voluptuous syllable. In one extraordinary moment he lets rip with what can only be described as a squeal. It’s a performance Christopher Walken would love, and Nic Cage could only envy — there can be no higher praise.
The battle, when it comes, is exciting and almost ludicrously grisly. Heads duly roll. Even Twi-haters (maybe especially Twi-haters) will enjoy the kind of carnage normally associated with the worst excesses of the French Revolution.
Directed, like the last film, by Bill Condon, and not at all ashamed of wearing its big pulpy heart on its sleeve, “BDP2” is enjoyably demented, a rousing curtain call and quite enough to tide us over until Stephenie Meyer’s “The Host” reaches our screens next March.
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