Slate sent two editors who’d never read a Twilight book or seen a Twilight movie to see Breaking Dawn, Part 2. Note: Spoilers galore below, insofar as our intrepid viewers understood the movie correctly. For a more informed, less spoilery take, read Dana Stevens’ review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part, 2.
JS: So David, last night was a special night for us. We lost our Twilight virginity. How do you feel?
DH: Confused? A little sore? But mostly satisfied.
JS: Me neither! But I knew there was a love triangle.
DH: Yes, Team Edward and Team ... Jacob. That name came to me just before the movie started. I had read Dana Stevens’ review of the last one, and I had a faint memory, though it didn’t seem like this could possibly be true, that Bella, our heroine, was, in that movie, given a C-section by her vampire beloved—with his teeth? I’m still not entirely convinced that really happened.
JS: Let’s get an important question out of the way: Are you on Team Edward or Team Jacob?
DH: I’m on Team Pattinson—he’s shown real ambition as an actor (even if he was disappointing in Cosmopolis). Which means I have to root for Edward. But now having seen this last installment, Jacob seems like the obvious choice, right? Sweet guy, has a wonderful way with half-vampire children, and a torso that can barely be believed.
JS: Yeah, I’m Team Jacob all the way. I can’t really see how it’s a competition. But I’m a dog lover. And kinda squeamish about blood sucking.
DH: How do werewolves fit into the Twilight universe, though? One of the evil vampires said that werewolves “are our natural enemy.” But where do they come from? Is it genetic? Does the gene ever skip a generation? Totally unclear.
JS: There are bad vampires, but only good werewolves, at least to judge by this installment. Let’s try to nail down the plot of this movie, shall we? Whether by dental Caesarian section or otherwise, Bella has given birth to a child.
DH: And Edward is the father.
JS: And now Bella is a vampire! I enjoyed watching Bella get used to her new vampiric powers, did you?
DH: Absolutely. Though I was baffled by them at first. She gave Edward a hug, and then it sounded like he got shot? But all the Twihards around us laughed knowingly, and soon it became clear that she had just hugged him so hard it, you know, sounded like a gun went off. Or something.
JS: I didn’t follow that either. I like that when they went out hunting for animal blood, Bella was wearing a practical blue dress. Though I thought it was sort of lame that she ended up eating the mean mountain lion and not the cuddly deer.
DH: Total copout. Although the way she leapt through the air to bring it down with her teeth was pretty badass.
JS: Quite. I gotta say, being a vampiress seemed pretty, pretty awesome at the beginning of this movie. Super jumping power. Keen eyesight. No need for sleep.
DH: Incredible sex.
JS: Marathon sex sessions. And your vampire cousins hook you up with a FULLY FURNISHED house with a FULLY STOCKED walk-in closet.
DH: There isn’t much downside, right? Bella seemed to get over any and all potential obstacles awfully quickly. For instance: She was not allowed to see her baby right away, because apparently she would, if unprepared, want to suck its blood, and thus kill it. (Poor thing.) But she got used to the presence of people after, I don’t know, 5 or 6 minutes?
JS: There was a slight hitch in Bella’s dreamy new life, though. The Voltari wanted to hunt down and kill her daughter because ... I don’t know why. Also, who are the Voltari?
DH: Italians, I think?
JS: They were definitely Italian. They seemed to live in a sort of Vampire Vatican.
DH: Although their leader looks more like a Brit. Specifically Lemmy from Motörhead, minus the facial hair.
JS: Great call. Here’s my best guess about the Voltari: They’re an ancient order that believes vampires need to remain hidden from the human world. Which seems sensible to me, frankly.
DH: But they really enjoy killing toddler vampires, aka “immortal children,” which are strictly forbidden—because toddlers can’t control themselves, and so are prone to wild, village-destroying, blood-sucking rampages.
JS: That was one of my favorite details. Toddler vampires are a nightmare. One tantrum and a whole village can get eaten (cue terrifying shot of a smiling toddler with blood all over his face like so much stewed carrots). Again, this anti-Toddler stance seemed like a sensible policy to me! I’m pro-Voltari! I’m voting the Voltari ticket!
DH: Not me. They’re all about “power”—though it’s not really clear what power means in this context. Apparently they burned down castles that belonged to a couple of Russian vampires a few hundred years ago? And they like to fight. But the whole thing about the dangers posed by Bella’s daughter struck me as mere pretense, like WMDs.
JS: Fair enough. Let’s talk about Bella’s daughter. Her name is ... Ren-ez-may?
DH: That’s how it’s pronounced, anyway. Poor girl. She grows up very quickly—maybe in part because, as a baby, she is obviously computer-generated.
JS: And yet she’s *not* a vampire, right? She’s growing like a foot a day, and she can convey her innermost thoughts by touching someone’s face—cool party trick—but she’s not looking to suck dry a village if she misses her nap.
DH: And at the end of the movie we meet another half-vampire, from a Brazilian tribe, and he says he can survive on either blood or human food—or both? And he looks terrific.
JS: He looks like a million bucks, that guy. Sidebar: What’s it like for a vampire who wants to drink human blood, but settles for mountain lion blood? Is it like ordering a steak and getting some steamed tofu?