19 November 2012 2:01 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This fifth and concluding film in the cinematic franchise based on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga begins in medias res and will be wholly unintelligible to newcomers. As advertised in the semi-trailer that ended Breaking Dawn Part 1, it leads up to an epic confrontation on a frozen lake in the American northwest. On one side are vampires from all over the world dedicated to peaceful coexistence, led by Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a newly initiated vampire herself, mother of a precocious child and married to the vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).

On the other side are the Volturi, a sinister collection of unreconstructed black-cowled vampires from wicked old Europe, led by a grinning Martin Sheen, looking more than ever like Tony Blair. There are decapitations and other atrocities on both sides, but with sleight-of-hand the film manages both to have its Armageddon and to postpone it. On past form, devoted Twilight fans will love it. »

- Philip French

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