This has spoilers. You've been warned.
I was feeling a little wishy-washy about seeing the final installment of the Twilight saga. I watched a few of the first couple movies on TV and found Edward and Bella were really starting to grate on me. But, hey, giant werewolves and gorgeous men will drag me back into a series every time. (Take note, Hollywood.)
Besides, I've spent a lot of time and effort in this series and I wanted to see how they were going to end it.
They were smart to break up Breaking Dawn into two parts: the pregnancy and the Volturi threat. The Volturi part is my favourite from the book. The movie storyline glossed over a couple of key points from the book: Bella discovering J. Jenks was greatly abbreviated and the dynamic of Bella-Jake-Rosalie was cut short. They also cut down on the concern over Renesmee's rapid growth. These cuts bothered me, especially since the movie didn't crack two hours. I thought they had the time to play with the characters.
But it was still a good story and I was enjoying the build-up to the massive fight as well as the gorgeous line of actors chosen to play the influx of vampires. Joe Anderson, who played the misanthropic Alistair, was one of my personal favourites. But Lee Pace pulled off an irresistable combination of personality and looks as Garrett.
Things were playing out just as I expected, until Alice told Aro that no matter what she showed him, he wouldn't change his mind. He ordered her and Jasper to be taken into custody. I thought, okay, they're playing up the drama from the original confrontation. It's a movie. It happens.
Except then they killed Carlisle. And Jasper. (Forget team Edward and team Jacob, I was all about team Jasper in the second and third movies.)
I was clinging to denial with fingernail-trench-digging determination. Vampires can be put back together. The good guys will be fine.
And then they killed Seth.
Okay, when werewolves die, they're dead. No coming back. Now my denial is gone and I can't believe they're totally rewriting the ending. I lost my security blanket of knowing the plot.
More good guys die. Some of the bad guys start to die.
And then the whole thing is revealed to be a vision of the future as seen by Alice and shown to Aro. There was an audible sigh of relief in the theatre. (Not as much fun as the audible sigh of feminine appreciation when Taylor Lautner first took off his shirt in New Moon but still good.)
I'll admit it. They got me. They caught me caught up in the moment so that I couldn't think of alternative plot explanations. Bravo to the writers and editors on that one.
Overall, it was an adequate finale to the series. Not brilliant, but adequate. There was a nice touch in the credits where they showed every actor, identified by name and character. Every actor from the entire series, not just the final movie. It was a good wrap up.