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Questionable Things We Noticed During The Final Battle In Breaking Dawn Part 2

"Twilight" fans aren't typically reading the books and watching the movies expecting Shakespeare. The franchise has been an unabashed, unapologetic paean to the concept of fated love since its inception. Some have seen fit to mock its dumb lines, sneer at its endless voiceovers, cringe at its portrayal of life as a teenager, and make fun of would-be moments of sincerity.

No moment in the books and movies, however, may be as far-fetched, ill-advised and just downright silly as the big battle in 2012's "Breaking Dawn — Part 2."

While the 20-plus minute showdown is a somewhat refreshing addition that doesn't exist in the books, the sequence is filled to the brim with exaggerated powers, out-of-place lines, and tactical snafus. The battle scene also boasts some morally questionable behavior on the Cullens' part, along with mistakes that shouldn't have made it into the scenes themselves, let alone past multiple editors. Did you roll your eyes at some of these bizarre moments? 

Are Twilight vampires actually bats?

Let's face it: Viewers need a healthy suspension of disbelief to get through the "Twilight" films. Yet, while much of the series inspires heavy eyebrow-raising, the attempt to make the "Breaking Dawn — Part 2" fake-out battle scene as epic as possible takes away from what could have been a brilliant, believably violent sequence of events. Instead, the movie takes things too far, exaggerating the franchise's in-universe vampire abilities to absurd proportions.

Sure, vampires can jump incredibly high. But can they jump that high? As soon as Alice's battle vision begins, Aro and Carlisle find themselves in a goofy-looking Thunderdome match that sees the duo all but fly into the air at a running jump — only to collide mid-air. But Aro doesn't leave his spot a good thirty feet in the air empty-handed. He reaches the solid ground with Carlisle's decapitated head in tow.

Vampires in the "Twilight" franchise can't fly, but chalking this scene up to nifty vampire leaping abilities is a bit much; the end result is uncomfortably strange and off-putting.

Karate chop master

Okay, which "Breaking Dawn" crew member was on a Kung Fu movie binge before filming this scene? Since "Breaking Dawn — Part 2" deprives fans of watching Aro rip off Carlisle's head, we get a much worse do-over. Not only can vampires now essentially fly when they jump, but a Volturi goon chops Jasper's head off in a comically ludicrous way.

In the past, taking off a vampire's head has been quite difficult to achieve, but the Volturi do it with ease; the whole thing is so bizarre it's hard to even muster up sympathy for a distraught Alice. 

Such moments are meant to be impressive, but instead do little to elicit emotion from the audience. Fans have watched the Cullens from the very beginning, and this scene isn't in the books, but any potential sadness is undermined by the none-too-subtle clues that the deaths won't stick. With a battle this preposterous, it's difficult to muster up any emotion beyond bewilderment. Does anyone else have Andy Dwyer's "Karate Chop Master" song from "Parks and Recreation" stuck in their head?

The Cullens use Native children in their army

Fans tend to see the Cullens as a peaceful family who are constantly being driven from their homes — but in reality, that's backwards. 

The town of Forks, Washington is home to the Native American Quileute tribe, which in the books includes Jacob and his father. At a surface level, Jacob's hatred of Edward seems like petty jealousy (which it is, at times), but digging deeper, he has good reason to despise Edward. Jacob wouldn't even be a werewolf if the Cullens stopped crashing in Forks — the wolf gene only kicks in for the tribe's teens when vampires are on their land. The longer the Cullens stay, the more children are forced into a lifetime of becoming wolves with little autonomy over their bodies or love lives. Bella had a choice to become a vampire, but the wolves did not.

The Cullens' continued use of the wolves to fight their battles is even darker when you add that perspective. The vampire family is doing almost the same thing as the Volturi: creating their own supernaturally charged army. In reality, the wolves want no part of vampire politics. Yet because of Jacob's creepy imprinting on Renesmee and because they need to protect their land, they're embroiled in Cullen drama once more.

There's also a problematic Native American aspect to this issue. The Cullens are a group of white vampires who refuse to vacate Native American territory and are sentencing these kids to a supernatural life they didn't sign up for — all while backing them up against a wall to fight their battles. Yikes.

Vampires are necking the wolves — but not like that

People may not know much about werewolf biology, but some things are simply too ridiculous to look past. Rules of logic suggest that if a supernaturally powered being crushes your insides, breaking your spine and seemingly your neck, you will die immediately. Yet when Volturi member Felix manages to squish Seth's insides in a scene that unfolds like a cartoon panel, the wolf has a dramatic, prolonged death scene. He takes a few last breaths as he twitches on the ground, and his older sister Leah howls in agony.

Leah never wanted to be a part of this battle in the first place — and with good reason. Now, she's just lost her brother to someone else's war (despite it getting retconned, it was a real possibility). Seth is the youngest of the wolves to partake in the fight, and he's barely even a teenager. The reason for the prolonged death is clear — the movie wants fans to feel the pain of a child all too happy to give his life for a fight that's not even his.

While there isn't a clear, definitive neck-breaking visual like there would be for a human, the two bone-breaking crunches make it clear that's what the scene is implying. An injury like the ones Seth sustains should lead to immediate death, but for the sake of drama — and later vengeance. That said, the wolves do magically contort their human bodies to shapeshift into wolves, which is even more physics-defying. So maybe just give this dramatic death scene to the wolves. They did earn it by dealing with more Cullen drama.

The Volturi are wearing black coats, Garrett

Both installments of the "Breaking Dawn" films focus so much on filler that there isn't much room for background on the Cullens' vampire allies. Viewers know that Garrett became a vampire during the Revolutionary War. To make up for some of the missing vampy history, as the Volturi make their way into his line of sight, Garrett says the line, "The Redcoats are coming! The Redcoats are coming!" 

Of course, this is a reference often credited to Paul Revere's midnight ride to alert Americans that the British are on their way to attack. Yet the line is heavy-handed, forced, and out of place despite Garrett's history. Sure, it's pulled right from the book, but it feels off here, especially since he's supposed to say it "mysteriously" — which makes no sense, to begin with. Did Bella pass fifth-grade history? The origins of that line are not exactly subtle. But instead of saying it mysteriously, it sounds like a goofy proclamation. Yes, Garrett turned during the American Revolution. Please stop trying so hard. 

Another option would be to actually add some substance or intrigue to the historical mention. What if Emmett said the line instead, to tease Garrett, and Garrett responded with something like, "Actually, that's a misquote. He really said this." Now that would be interesting filler. But as it stands, the entire exchange is awkward and unnecessary.

Are you stronger than a newborn?

In "Twilight" canon, newborns are supposed to be stronger than older vampires, yet Bella needs Edward's help to take off Aro's head when she's only been a vampire for a few months. The fact that she drinks animal blood shouldn't matter, since the blood from her human body still fuels her vampiric need for blood. Gotta love supernatural anatomy.

Sure, Aro is the leader of the Volturi, and therefore very powerful, but once Bella is perched on his back with her hands around his neck, taking off his head should be easier for her than anyone else. So far in the series, his power has come more from his carefully curated magical army and fear than it does any extra brute strength. With his attack vampire Jane at the ready to put visions of pure torture into any vampire's head (except Bella), he rarely has to fight his own battles physically. That's not uncommon with fascist leaders, after all — and vampires are no different.

But given Aro's age, and Bella's newborn status, she should very easily be able to take his head off when she's in the position to do. That should be easier for her than the Volturi karate-chopping Jasper's head or Aro casually beheading Carlisle's mid aerial aerobics. Yet she needs that extra push from Edward to get the job done, which adds to a damsel element of the scene on top of the confusing physics. Even as a vampire, this franchise is still finding ways to make Bella helpless even though Edward does fail to behead Aro himself earlier.

A wardrobe change during battle?

Consistency is a pretty important rule for filmmaking, but the "Breaking Dawn — Part 2" battle scene falls short more than a few times. 

One thing that should be easy to get right before filming even begins is a consistent wardrobe. Every outfit needs to have multiple copies in case something gets damaged. But it's not just the actors who need exact replicas of every outfit. Stunt doubles need to perfectly match their acting counterpart, from the hairstyle down to their boots.

However, Bella's shoes change back and forth multiple times during the battle scene. Sometimes, she wears a very distinct heel on her boot, while at other moments she has flat boots with no heel. While it doesn't affect the plot in any way, this is a pretty glaring error that's noticeable multiple times throughout the prolonged sequence. It's hard to believe that this slipped past editors, making it worse because they likely knew about it and opted not to fix it. When Bella jumps up and kicks Aro and fights at the edge of the volcanic fissure, she's very clearly not wearing the heeled boot. Yet it clearly shows onscreen multiple times, including when she tussles on the ground with a member of the Volturi.

One explanation could be that Kristen Stewart's shoes didn't match those of her stunt double. Another possibility is that both of them started out with heels, and they changed them to flatter shoes due to the difficulty of fighting with heels ... in the snow. If that's the case, they likely didn't have time (or the budget) for reshoots. The moral of the story? Stop having women wear heels in fight sequences unless their name is Buffy (the vampire slayer).

Renesmee hands Aro a vision

A less noticeable technical glitch comes when Renesmee puts her hands on Aro to show him a vision. The placement feels off to begin with, likely due to the heavy amount of CGI added to Mackenzie Christine Foy to make her look otherworldly. If you watch the scene closely, her hand seems to change position much further up his face when the scene cuts away to a different angle, only to go back to where it was at the beginning of this exchange. She isn't touching his hair in the first moment, but she does reach it when the scene cuts away.

The entire sequence is creepy enough as it is, with a child showing a vampire three thousand years her senior the memory of her birth — that she somehow recalls. Despite his plans to kill Renesmee and officially start a war with the Cullens, Aro is disturbingly delighted by the vision.

Why do the Volturi let Renesmee leave with Jacob?

The Volturi need to fall back on Plan B after Caius kills Irina for falsely reporting Renesmee as an immortal child. While they may be power-hungry vampiric dictators, they like their subjects unaware of (or at least unwilling to fight against) their manipulative games to secure power. When people feel oppressed, they're far more likely to band together to take down a tyrannical government. If the Volturi can say, "Well, they attacked first after we carried out justice," then they can paint themselves as the heroes.

When that doesn't work, they move on to Renesmee. The Cullens have just proven that she's not an immortal child (a child turned into a vampire through a bite). But the Volturi are quick to point out that they know nothing of Renesmee's species, which could pose a similar risk to the immortal children who, at one time, threatened to expose the existence of vampires due to their impulse control. Given vampire history with these children, it wouldn't be difficult for the Volturi to convince their subjects that they had to kill Renesmee to be safe.

So why, then, do they so easily allow her to escape the scene with Jacob? No one tries to go after her, and Jane doesn't attempt to torture Jacob so someone can grab Renesmee. If the Volturi want the upper hand, all they have to do is make a real move against Renesmee before the battle begins. She's everyone's blind spot, and going to extreme lengths to save her might be enough for more than a few Cullens to make a sloppy mistake that can't be retconned in a vision.

No more vampire stakes

After giving fans arguably the most significant high stakes battle of the entire franchise, they immediately retcon it as Alice's vision of what might happen if the Volturi carries out the battle. Did anyone really think that the movie would get away with killing a bunch of main characters? 

Granted, it really should have been in the book. If you're going to make the body count zero for a battle that you spent half a book preparing fans for, the least you could do is describe Alice's vision. In fairness, given the lack of action in the "Breaking Dawn" book, the movie had to add in a battle scene to make it all worth watching. Who wants to spend an entire film watching characters prepare for a battle that never takes place?

Yet, the decision to kill off a bunch of characters and then immediately retcon it removes the stakes of taking up against a ruthless vampire regime. Viewers almost left the theater wishing Aro had comically beheaded Carlisle. At the end of the day, war has casualties — and as much as a writer may want to save beloved characters, a book or movie is nothing without actual stakes (besides the ones used for vampire hunting). The only character to permanently die is Irina, who bites the dust before the battle even begins.

Oh, they'll be back

Not only is the bait-and-switch battle annoying, but its aftermath is even more frustrating. Stephenie Meyer's refusal to sacrifice any of her characters means that she offered fans no closure. An ending like this won't settle anything when it comes to a power-taking group like the Volturi. She might as well leave off the franchise with a neon red cliffhanger as the Cullens hear the Volturi whisper, "We'll be back," all the way from Volterra.

A dictatorship like the Volturi isn't going to stop trying to kill or collect vampires powerful enough to take them on, so it's only a matter of time before another battle with actual casualties happens. Sadly, this is a battle fans won't see (unless Meyer decides to milk this franchise further). The old regime even notes this, and the Cullens ignore their warning that this non-battle won't solve anything. Aro even slightly pauses between "We will not fight" and "today," alerting everyone that he's biding his time before he makes another move.

Alice also showed Aro all of her cards. He witnessed his own death scene along with those of his guard. The Cullens are delusional if they don't think the vampire will scour every inch of that vision for weak spots and every moment where things go wrong. He'll train his guard on all of the Cullens' weak spots and immediately begin recruiting more vampires that can combat his enemies' strengths. As fans have seen before, Aro is a long-game kind of chess player. He may not have what he wants in this moment, but he'll undoubtedly be back in the future. He has forever to plan his next move, after all — and Bella won't have newborn strength by that time.