With "Breaking Dawn: Part 2" set to hit theaters on Friday, early reviews of the film have been tricklin in, and many critics are praising the soon-to-be blockbuster.
Although the saga's devoted fanbase combined with the attention surrounding the off-screen romance between Robert Patinson and Kristen Stewart will equal box office gold whether the film is good or bad, the supernatural romance is being hailed as a thoughtful conclusion to one of the biggest franchises of all time.
"It’s as if director Bill Condon, who also helmed 'Breaking Dawn-Part 1,' has made a conscious choice to keep the good elements for the very last segment, giving the global fans what they expect and deserve: a grand, rousing finale," notable critic Emanuel Levy said on his official site."
Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter notes that fans of the phenomenally successful series will be pleased with the final film in the series.
"Anyone who has seen even one of the previous cinematic installments of Stephenie Meyer’s endlessly protracted cross-species love story basically knows what to expect here," says McCarthy, "and the multitudes who have seen them all will jam theaters the world over in the coming weeks to experience the consummation so devoutly to be wished: the ultimate and imperishable union of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen."
Several critics have praised Kristen Stewart's portrayal of a tougher version of Bella Swan.
According to Jessica Kiang of Indie Wire, "Bella (a positively glowy Kristen Stewart, who has genuinely given the series something of a meta-arc by simply growing more beautiful with each episode) finally gets to do something aside from be adored, and even participates in a fight or two (in defense of her family and child, of course, but still, where Ms. Swan is concerned we'll take what empowerment we can get). In that regard it continues the incremental upward trajectory of Bella's character from blank, self-pitying nonentity to, you know, a person of somewhat independent thought, and this can only be a good thing."
"A doozy of a finale to a series that, until now, has largely taken its dramatic cues from its maddeningly inert heroine," said Variety's Justin Chang. "Not anymore: With Bella reborn as a bloodthirsty, butt-kicking vampire mama, this second of two Bill Condon-directed installments clears a low bar to stand easily as the franchise's most eventful and exciting entry."
Rebecca Twomey of Marie Claire UK believes that the film may recruit new "Twilight" fans.
"'Breaking Dawn Part 2' really is the only 'Twilight' you need to watch, even if the first four films didn’t convince you to become a Twi-hard, the final piece of the pie may just encourage you to take another bite …"
But not everyone joined in the chorus of praise for the film. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian was far from impressed with the highly anticipated romance.
"'The Twilight Saga' signs off with a tentative whimper, which turns into a conditional bang, which turns out to be a different, provisional kind of whimper."
The pop culture phenomenon has been spoofed in the film "Vampires Suck" and on shows such as "Parks and Recreation," and "Saturday Night Live."
Based on the reviews published so far, "Breaking Dawn: Part 2" may be the best reviewed film in the series. Of the previously released films in the saga, "Twilight," the first installment in the franchise and "Eclipse," the third in the series, received the best reviews.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the first three films earned rotten scores that fell under fifty percent. While "Breaking Dawn: Part 1" was largely panned by critics and has a score of twenty five percent rotten, the latest film currently has an 83 percent fresh rating.
"Breaking Dawn: Part 2" is expected to become one of the top-grossing films of all time.