Part 1 of Breaking Dawn was a let-down after Eclipse -- where Eclipse had a smooth, satisfying build in intensity up to a crescendo and a calm, pleasant dip towards a happy ending, Breaking Dawn part 1 was... er, lumpy. That's the best way I can put it. The points of drama were disorganized and incoherent, and most of the time Edward and Bella talked to each other, it seemed like they couldn't get on the same page about whether they were doing a fairy tale thing like usual or whether this was real-life-now-but-seriously.
The imprinting thing was a little less creepy than I was expecting, but it was still really, really creepy.
Up to this point, my top 4 Twilight movies were Eclipse, Twilight, New Moon, and this one. New Moon edged this one out because it had more Michael Sheen.
I'm putting this chunk below the fold, because it contains spoilers and it literally came out a couple hours ago.
I just want to start by saying that the thing at the end where basically everyone dies was NOT. MOTHER. FRACKING. OKAY. I was sad when Carlisle got killed. But when my partner, sitting next to me, sobbed, "This isn't what happens!" I became suddenly very open to the possibility that the writers had decided to end the movie version of the series with everybody dying. Yeah, we got trolled hard on that one.
Bella's development as a vampire was pretty cool, and I really enjoyed the gathering of all the different vampires from around the world. My favorites were the one who hates European rock, the one who lived in the attic, and the Russians.
They managed to scrape most of the creep off the imprinting thing across the bulk of the movie, but then they dumped it all back on when Jacob asked Edward if he should call him "Dad." Seriously. So creepy. So, so creepy.
Final thoughts on the whole thing
This was the first, and will probably have been the last, time I ever saw the Twilight movies. That said, they aren't horrible. They're not cinematic masterpieces, but few movies are, and it wasn't painful to spend a whole day watching them -- especially having gone in with expectations as low as mine were. A lot of the characters were likable, even if the main trio weren't super-engaging, and they were very pretty. And the action was good. These movies have great fights.
They're also still really problematic, and promote a really unhealthy set of relationship styles and expectations. I'm not thrilled about the idea of teenagers getting their ideas about love from this movie. I remember a lot of mistakes I made figuring out how relationships worked, and how many of them were inspired by the bad impressions media gave me -- for a lot of those kids, it will probably only mean a little more unnecessary pain, and for some of them, it could mean backing themselves into some really bad corners. That whole part is no fun to think about.
Now, I want to sleep. I've been in a movie theater for thirteen hours.