A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the final installment in the Twilight saga is a must-see movie for any fans (teen or otherwise) who've followed the series' page-to-screen adaptations -- as well as stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's public relationship. The movie is fairly faithful to the second half of the Breaking Dawn book, except that it amplifies the violent nature of the book's climactic battle between the Cullens and the Volturi. Several characters are tortured, violently beheaded, burned, ripped apart by werewolves, etc., and there are some shocking deaths (though, overall, not much gore). There's one long, sensuous love scene (with close-ups of bare skin and faces and a glimpse of the side of Bella's breast, but nothing more graphic than that), as well as several passionate kisses between various couples. Language is minimal, as in all of the movies in the series.
What's the story?
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN, PART 2 picks up where Part 1 left off: Bella (Kristen Stewart) waking up as a vampire, with her husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) and their hybrid vampire-human daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), waiting for her. Much to Bella's chagrin, her werewolf best friend, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), explains that he's imprinted on Renesmee, who grows at an extremely rapid rate. For a while, things in the Cullen household are idyllic ... until another vampire sees Renesmee, mistakes her for a vampire child (who are forbidden to create), and informs the Volturi. Alice (Ashley Greene) has a vision of the Volturi coming to kill the Cullens, so the family enlists help from vampires around the world to stand with them against the tyranny of Aro (Michael Sheen) and his minions.
Is it any good?
Director Bill Condon has once again captured the essence of the final Twilight book, with a few twists thrown into the mix that intensify the story's thrills and chills. Ultimately, this is a tale of Bella and Edward's need to protect their daughter and family from the bloody threat of annihilation. It's exciting to meet a host of vampires beyond the Cullen crew and to see how easily Jacob settles into the role of Renesmee's protector instead of Bella's pouty lovestruck friend. Foy, who looks startlingly like her onscreen parents, does a good job of being so sweet and adorable that of course dozens of vampires would flock to defend her.
Sadly, some of the most charming supporting characters have little to do in the final Twilight, like the wolf pack and even the Cullen sisters Rosalie and Alice. But the addition of all the extra vampires, most notably Lee Pace as a Revolutionary War friend of Jasper's, Rami Malek as an Egyptian vampire, and Case LaBow as one of the Denali tribe, almost makes up for the lack of the Quileute tribe. Fans of the book will be startled by the changes to one particular sequence in the story, but if they stay patient, they'll find that, as in the novel, Bella and Edward get their perfect piece of forever after all. (Be sure to watch during the credits for the chance get one more look at all of your favorite characters from the entire saga.)
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Twilight series' impact on pop culture. Do you think the messages of the books and movies are positive? How has the off-screen relationship between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart affected your thoughts about the movies?
How does Bella's transformation into a vampire change her? Is she more likable as a vampire? How do her abilities as a vampire affect those around her?
Is Bella and Edward's romance a positive example for teenagers? What's your take on the mature issues of marriage and parenthood addressed in the movie? Parents, take this opportunity to talk to your children about your own family's values when it comes to these topics.
There's one part of the movie that diverges from the book; did the twists upset you, or do you understand why they made the changes?
- In theaters: November 16, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: March 2, 2013
- Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
- Director: Bill Condon
- Studio: Summit Entertainment
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 115 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.