Okay, I admit it. I've seen all of the Twilight movies—opening night in most cases (now where did I put that man card …). Here's another confession: I read all the books before the movies came out. You see, my wife and I made a deal a some years back: I'd read the first Twilight book, she'd read Ender's Game, one of my favorite books of all time. She kept her end of the bargain, but it didn't entice her enough to go on with the series (btw, I would recommend reading Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow—not the usual path through Speaker of the Dead … but I digress). I, however, read Twilight, then moved through all the other books as they came out. Reading the books was sort of akin to a big bag of Lay's potato chips; you know you shouldn't eat them, but man, once you get started, it's hard to stop. I remember when the first installment came to the theater, I was one of two men in a sea of women in the audience (moms and daughters mostly). The demographic evolved over time and I must say the testosterone was fairly well represented in this last one.
In reading the series, I found myself groaning inwardly while going through the last book. Breaking Dawn seemed like a real shoddy sum up of a lot of loose ends. In fact, I felt Meyer should've ended the series with the Eclipse, perhaps inserting the wedding scene as the ending. That was not meant to be as Bella and Edward go on to becoming parents (Renesmée? Really? Sounds like some Utah-parent fusion name) and taking on the entire Vulturi clan like some kind of global underworld adaptation of Seven Samurai. So I really ended up loathing Breaking Dawn the book.
Be that as it may, I went into the cinematic conclusion of Twilight with an open mind. Ironically, the final movie seemed more satisfying than the final book. Just like the book, there were some adjustments that took getting used to: the addition of Bella's abilities as a vampire, and her hybrid daughter with accelerated growth issues. Yes, there was some hokey moments as the Cullens went about gathering allies for their stand against the Vulturi (viz., the Amazonians and Argentinians—they looked like injuns from a 50s western). And there was the flimsiness of an alliance formed at vampire speed. But the culminating portion of the conflict really actually … worked. And what's more, it dealt a surprise to everyone in the audience—even those who'd read the books! Now I'm not going to recommend BD2 as the best thing in the history of movie-making, but I can endorse it as a decent ending to a big bag of Lay's chips. Just be sure to follow it up with something more dense, like a Netflix marathon of Lord of the Rings. That should quiet the cinematic digestive tract. “B+”