- Cullman, Alabama


November 16, 2012

REVIEW: 'Twilight' Fades

Like a zombie playing possum, the fifth and final entry in the pallid "Twilight" franchise makes one last, uproarious grasp for attention.

Signs of life come too late to convince the unconvinced that $2.5 billion in world sales is anything but a cosmic absurdity.

Ah, but Edward and Bella were never really ours, were they?

Easily the best of this mopey, dopey series, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" goes out with an extended, over- the-top, head-ripping battle sequence that taunts non-believers with the fun we could have been having all along.

Director Bill Condon delivers the loopy vampire Armageddon after muddling through the essentials: moony reaction shots, third-rate digital effects, Carter Burwell's cloying score and Taylor Lautner's abs.

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart, slightly less pinched than usual) is now a vampire and mother, courtesy of undead soulmate Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, headed for nowhere).

Bounding over treetops, scaling a mountain and dining on cougar, Bella takes to post-human life with gusto.

"I'm never going to get enough of this," she tells Edward after a round of vampire sex.

Interruptus arrives via the Volturi, an ancient, powerful class of vampires who take a dim view of cross-species hanky- panky and its results: They've come to kill little Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), the fast-aging, dreadfully-named and one-of-a- kind spawn of Bella and Edward.

"Only the known is safe," says Volturi leader Aro (Michael Sheen, having more fun than the others combined). "Only the known is tolerable."

The snow-peaked showdown is "Twilight" at fever pitch, more exciting by half and sillier by far than previous sojourns. A phalanx of black-cloaked Volturi stands off against a United Nations of Cullen allies garbed in Olympic pageant finery.

By the time a bare-chested pseudo-Mayan struts afield, Condon ("Kinsey," "Gods and Monsters") has settled on the proper, logical goodbye: Wrap it in a loincloth, give it a speech and enjoy the laughs.

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," from Summit Entertainment, is playing at Carmike 10 in Cullman.

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