It won't disappoint the legions of "Twihards" who turned out for midnight Friday shows at theaters all across the country, including the Quad-Cities.

But "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" is not as much of a, er, howling success as its predecessors.

This is the first part of the two-part finale that is drawing hundreds of thousands of fans to the box office. And even though it isn't quite as substantive as the prior movies, fans will appreciate seeing the characters and, in particular, a couple of pivotal events they've read about in the novels.

The first of these, of course, is the wedding between human Bella and vampire Edward (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson). The script doesn't dally here: Right away, we know that invitations have been sent and that Bella is trying on shoes. Still, Edward is having second thoughts for Bella's sake, and he reveals to her some disturbing information about his past.

The wedding scene - and this doesn't count as a spoiler because I simply don't know anyone who would go to see this movie without expecting the ceremony to take place - is simply gorgeous. Stewart is stunning in a dress that's bound to be the choice of brides for years to come, and Pattinson is at his handsome best as he waits for her while she walks down the aisle.

The rivalry between Edward and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) heats up because Jacob, who loves Bella, too, suspects that she is doomed. Intimacy between a vampire and a human is complicated to say the least, and it could be fatal for Bella.

Nonetheless, the wedding goes off as planned and the couple takes off for a tropical paradise where they spend their honeymoon playing a lot of chess (I'm not kidding) and, well, being together. Their intimacy results in a major development that poses a threat to not only Bella, but also to the werewolf and vampire clans.

The chemistry between Pattinson and Stewart is as solid as ever. Sometimes, though, the dialogue and situations that are serious events in the books become silly onscreen: Especially ridiculous is a scene with arguing, telepathic werewolves.

Pushing the "PG-13" rating to its limits is a childbirth scene that is grisly and unnerving. The "Twilight" series has never pretended to be for children, and this episode is even more adult than the other ones.

And here's a tip: Don't leave the theater as soon as the credits roll because, after about a minute, there's another scene that links this film to the grand finale waiting for fans a year from now.

 

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