Australian Council on Children and the Media

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

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Not recommended under 15 due to violence, disturbing scenes and themes, and sexual references.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
  • a review of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 November 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not recommended due to violence, disturbing scenes and themes and sexual references
Children aged 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Supernatural themes, violence and sex scene
Length 115 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Breaking Dawn, Part 2 opens where Part 1 ends with Bella (Kristen Stewart) awakening and eager to see her newborn daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). Bella meets her daughter and at the same time learns to her dismay and disgust that her close friend and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) has imprinted on Renesmee.

Renesmee grows at a superhuman rate, aging seven years in a matter of weeks. Life for Bella, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Renesmee is seemingly perfect until a disgruntled vampire from another coven sees Renesmee and mistakes her for an “Immortal Child”, a threat to the power and existence of the Volturi.

Alice Cullen (Elizabeth Reaser) has a prophetic vision telling that the Volturi Guard lead by the vampire king Aro (Michael Sheen) are coming to kill Renesmee and wipe out the Cullens. In a bid to stop Aro and the Volturi Guard, Bella, Edward and the Cullens seek out the assistance of vampires around the world.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

The supernatural; vampires and werewolves; revenge

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 contains brutal violence throughout and, while blood and gore are kept to a minimum, there are some disturbing images. Examples include:

  • Bella hunts a young deer. A mountain lion leaps at the dear and at the same time Bella lunges at the mountain lion and kills it by biting the lion’s throat.
  • Bella grabs Jacob by the neck, drags him through her house and punches him in the face and stomach with enough force to propel him through the air.
  • Throughout the film we see vampires using their powers to inflict pain, maim and kill. Their supernatural powers include: touch that inflicts electrical shock, telepathic thought to cause severe debilitating pain; a black cloud-like mist that enters the victim’s mouth and debilitates them.  
  • Throughout the film we see numerous vampires decapitated by both werewolves and other vampires (we see a number of heads held up and displayed and bodies ripped apart). In one scene Edward holds a standing vampire while Bella jumps onto the vampire’s back and squats on his shoulders. They pull the vampire’s head back until they tear the head from the body with Bella throwing the severed head onto the ground and then setting the headless body on fire. We see an extended image of the severed head lying on the ground with its eyes open.
  • We hear how children who were turned into vampire were too dangerous to be allowed to exist. We see a flashback image of a village in chaos and on fire with slaughtered bodies covered in blood and piled into a mound, and see a young boy with a blood covered face/mouth standing amongst the turmoil. The Volturi arrive and kill the child’s mother by ripping her head from her torso (the decapitation is very quick no blood and gore are depicted). The young child is then decapitated with his body also thrown on a fire - the actual decapitation is inferred rather than depicted, but we do see the headless body thrown on the fire. 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • We see numerous images of giant snarling threatening looking wolves. We also see a man transform into a giant wolf; the transformation is not gruesome but occurs in the blink of an eye from man to wolf. 
  • Several scenes depict a vampire that is able to emit billowing black cloud-like smoke from his hands which he then directs to enter the mouth and body of his intended victim.
  • A young girl perilously rides on the back of a wolf that is running from a vampire intent on killing her. 

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also very likely to be disturbed by the above-mentioned violent and scary scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned violent and scary scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Product placement

Volvo cars

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • After having sex, Bella tells Edward “You really were holding back”, the reference being to the time when Bella was still human.  We also hear Bella say “I can’t get enough” and “How are we going to stop?”
  • A man makes a reference to Bella and Edward’s passionate extended love making asking them “Done already?” and whether they broke a lot of stuff. Further reference is made to Alice and Jasper (a vampire couple) taking an entire decade to stop their initial love making sessions.   

Nudity and sexual activity

The film contains a couple of scenes depicting sexual activity and partial nudity. Examples include:

  • In one scene Jacob removes his clothes down to his underwear so that he can turn into a werewolf. 
  • One scene depicts Bella and Edward naked from the waist up standing side on to the camera. We see Edward’s naked torso and a partial side on image of Bella’s breast abdomen and shoulders. The scene ends with the pair embracing.
  • One scene depicts Edward kissing Bella passionately on the neck and Bella then throwing Edward on to a bed. Bella straddles Edward and he tears open the back of her top, exposing her lower back.  They kiss passionately.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Bella’s father drinks beer

Coarse language

There is some occasional low-level coarse language and name calling in this movie. Examples include:

  • Damn; hell; fricken’ statues; creepy blood suckers; idiot.

In a nutshell

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is a supernatural fantasy film based on the final book in the Twilight Saga series. The film is targeted at an older teen and adult audience with the film containing a high content of brutal violence and some sexual references which make it unsuitable for children and younger teens. It is likely to have a greater impact on younger viewers than reading the book would.

The main messages from this movie are about striving to overcome obstacles and reaching our full potential by becoming what we are meant to be.

 Values promoted in this movie that parents may wish to discuss with their children include:

  • Friendship and support: friends of the Cullen family from around the world come together to support Bella and Edward and protect their new daughter.
  • Acceptance: Bella’s father, while not fully understanding the changes in his daughter, accepts and supports the new Bella.
  • Self sacrifice: Bella, Edward, the entire Cullen family and a host of family friends from around the world are willing to risk all to protect Renesmee. Bella has made a huge self sacrifice by giving up her mortality to be with Edward.

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