Beauty, danger, supernatural forces and, yes, ripped abs aplenty abound in the final movie installment of the "Twilight" saga. Heroine Bella Swan wakes from her human-to-vampire transformation after also giving birth to her first child with new husband, Edward. Though Bella enjoys the strength and speed she now possesses, she must also learn to temper her physical and emotional desires. Self-control is a theme that runs throughout the film, perfectly aimed at its teen fan base.
The larger conflict is that Edward and Bella's baby is half mortal and half immortal, a rarity that brings rival vampires, the Volturi, sniffing for answers, but mostly looking to satiate their thirst for human blood.
Diehard fans (aka Twihards) won't stay away from this movie no matter what any critic says. Nevertheless, the characters are flat and the plot is simple.
Anyone between 13 and 21 will swoon for the sappy sentiments and will cheer on the tough, mostly female, leading characters. For viewers jumping in for the first time, it helps to know the previous stories leading up to Breaking Dawn Part 2, but like any soap opera, it's possible to quickly pick all the story lines up.
The film is rated PG-13 for sex and violence. In one steamy sex scene newlyweds Edward and Bella consummate her new life as a vampire in characteristic soap opera fashion. The violence builds throughout. Vampires in the "Twilight" world can only die if their heads are ripped off and doused in flames, which there is plenty of in this movie.
I do wish parents would take movie ratings to heart. There were many young children and even babies at the show I went to. As of this writing, mothers continue to post Facebook pictures of their barely double digit-aged daughters camped out at the weekend's midnight premiere.
In the end, kids under 13 really should be kept from seeing this movie.
Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Julie Samrick is a stay-at-home mom of four young kids and the founder of Kid Focused, a site devoted to children and family issues. Subscribe to the free Kid Focused newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox and connect with us on Facebook too. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.