As bad as Breaking Dawn Part 1, was, this one is not much melodramatically better. But you have to admit, Kristen is A-L-M-O-S-T acting in this one. I have to say, she is getting a teency bit better with each of the series. She is no longer making her trademark shirks and ticks and lookaways. Go, team Jacob.
The first two of the movies in the series were very strong powerful arguments for sexual abstinence before marriage. Yes, the entire vampire mythology became a metaphor for the Mormon author’s moral worldview in a way that I have never seen in Hollywood movies. Wait until marriage because it is a fusion of souls and bodies that is not to be taken lightly. Suck on that natural law, fornicators.
And then Breaking Dawn Part 1 was one of the most pro-life stories in movie history. Do not kill the baby, even if Bella dies. Wow, those Mormons don’t win national elections with beliefs like that, but they sure can tell stories that resonate with the souls of the audience, when that audience does NOT have their political radars on. Ha, ha, Hollywood, you’ve been punked.
Part 2 is all about protecting the new child, the fruit of Bella and Edward’s union that appears to be a unique half-breed of humanity and vampirinity. The head vampire council in Italy does not like this “unknown.” For “unknowns” are what can expose them and have them all destroyed. They prefer having control by maintaining the “known,” so they want to kill the child and come, seeking a big battle with the vampires and now werewolves who protect her, the climax of the film.
What interests me in this story is the universal quest for immortality that resides in all of us. It is essentially an historical meme that still plays today, god and human hybrids. That’s right, the child, Renessme, or Ness for short, is basically a Nephilim. That is, the story reflects the ancient worlds’ notion of the gods mating with humans and bearing them offspring that are half human half god. Most ancient religions have this meme embedded in their stories. Genesis 6:1-4 talks about it as the divine sons of God in heaven mating with women and bearing them the Nephilim. I write about this storyline in my own Biblical fantasy novel series, Chronicles of the Nephilim. It’s all the rage these days, Nephilim and the end of the world. But it’s more than a fad, it’s a universal drive in human nature. That’s why it keeps coming back in stories and it works so well.
The idea reflects the notion that man seeks to be like gods. The vampires, as immortals represent this “shining glory” as their own skin shines in the daylight, and they live forever. In this mythology, they also have individual powers like the ability to control the elements or read minds or produce shields of protection. Sounds a little like superheros? Yep. Sounds a little like the ancient pantheon of gods? You bet. We recycle these stories because WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE, AND NONE OF US WANT TO. We long for immortality, the desire to be united with divinity. I think Genesis captures this inherent longing in man best as man refuses to submit to his Creator and instead violates the image of God in man. He does this through murder, as well as the violation of the heavenly earthly divide. He seeks to be like God and so falls from his exalted place over creation, only to hunger because of his fallenness that the Bible calls the sinful nature.
Now, this is where Stephanie Meyer’s Mormonism comes in. Mormonism believes that we become gods (the immortal vampires), and for women, the highest pursuit in life is to become a god through this divine marriage. They believe in eternal marriage. That is why the ending of the movie stresses the words “forever” in relation to the happiness and married love between Edward and Bella. They will live forever and be married in love forever. Now, we all use the metaphor of “forever” when we speak of love. I do with my wife. But Mormons believe this literally, in that eternal marriages are the culmination of us becoming gods and marrying and having our own planets to reside over forever. Sooooooo, it’s not quite the same thing to us “normal” people and our emotional exaggerations.
But don’t let that ruin the movie for you. The reason the story resonates with so man is not just because of the female pornography of it, but because it taps into that impulse, that desire that we all have to seek immortality in our fallenness.