After four films, three global superstars and more than $2.5bn, The Twilight Saga is coming to an end. With November’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the curtain is dropped on this popular franchise, and it will have left quite the legacy.
While never being a critical darling the series has created a legion of fans worldwide, started a new trend of tween cinema, and has made true A-List superstars in Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Love it or loath it then, The Twilight Saga has had quite an effect on mainstream cinema. Shiny vampires and all.
Adapted from Stephanie Meyer’s hit book series, The Twilight Saga has captured public interest in a way that few franchises do. It concerns young human Bella (Stewart) moving to new town with her father Charlie (Billy Burke) and falling in love with the mysterious Edward Cullen (Pattinson).
It soon transpires that he is a vampire, part of a family of ‘vegetarians’ who refuse to eat humans. Bella’s life is further confused when childhood friend Jacob (the perpetually topless Lautner) turns out to be a werewolf, and his pack has an on-going battle with the Cullens.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 hits the screens with a large media interest surrounding it. Indeed, with the rather public break up of ‘K-Stew’ and ‘R-Patz’ and their possible reunion being splattered across seemingly every gossip magazine in the world, people seem to be more interested in their publicity tours and interviews than the film itself.
But there are fictional plot strands to be tied up too. We have half-vampire babies, a new born Bella, the oncoming attack of the undead Royal family (the Volturi) and small matter of Jacob imprinting (read: falling in love but not in a creepy way) with baby Renesmee. Things are not well in the Cullen clan. With it being hinted that the ending will differ from the rather underwhelming conclusion of the book, Twi-hards worldwide will have to wait and see what will happen to their characters.
It seems however, that critical approval has always evaded this series. With an average Rotten Tomatoes rating of 38 percent, the franchise has lacked the support of reviewers. Along with this, there seems to be a lack of the sentimentality and sadness that surrounded the thematically similar ending to the Harry Potter series.
Stewart and Pattinson seem to both be focusing on advancing their post-Twilight careers, with 2012’s Cosmopolis and On The Road respectively taking the pair to a more serious and adult level. It seems that the saga will not be missed by some of its stars.
Regardless of this, The Twilight Saga coming to an end is a major part of this winter’s “cinema scape”. With the worldwide popularity and effect the series has had over the last four years, teen cinema will miss its flagship franchise. Swan and Cullen have truly come a long way since their first brief encounter in the woods of Forks.
Critically panned, yet loved by its audience, there will definitely be a Bella, Edward and Jacob shaped hole left in Hollywood after November.