Your tween has been nagging you for months, perhaps ever since the credits rolled down the screen from the first Breaking Dawn movie. Your kid wants to see Breaking Dawn 2 -- desperately! So the big question is, can she (or he) handle it? You've heard about the "hot" vampire sex, and the heads rolling. Maybe you've read the book, too, so you know what's coming. Is Breaking Dawn 2 safe enough for, say, a 10-year-old?
Well ... that depends on many things. I think the movie might be too disturbing for very sensitive viewers. You should definitely be more concerned about the violence than the sex, I can say that much above the jump. For more, keep reading. But be warned: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Because moms like to be surprised, too, I'm warning you once again: SPOILERS! I have to get a little specific so you have all the information you need to make your decision.
So. In the book you know what happens, right? There's an epic battle. Even before that battle scene (which is something else, but I'll get to that), there's another violent scene where we see a child with a bloodied face -- bloodied because he's been attacking humans. That child is destroyed, thankfully outside the frame. But his mother, after screaming and pleading, is torn to bits. And you actually do see her head and arms get ripped off her body before everything is thrown onto a bonfire.
More from The Stir: 'Breaking Dawn 2' Movie by the Numbers (SPOILERS)
But that's just a taste for what's to come. In the epic battle scene you'll see the same thing over and over again -- this is how you kill a vampire, after all. I counted 12 heads getting ripped off bodies. All of it violent, but quick. It's almost cartoonish, which on one hand is a mercy, but on the other hand kind of desensitizes the viewer to the violence.
Not only that, characters we've become emotionally invested in -- over a whole series of movies -- are killed abruptly. And now for the SPOILER TO END ALL SPOILERS STOP READING HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT ANY MORE. The story doesn't end with these deaths. Let's just say ... things are not as they appear. So while your child may leave the theater weeping because the series has come to an end or out of utter sentimentality over Bella and Edward's beautiful love story, it won't be because some of their favorite characters met a horrible end.
As for the sex, well, I think there's less to worry about there. There's just one sex scene (and remember, these two are married). Edward rips off Bella's shirt, but you see this from behind so that her back is exposed. There's implied nudity, but mostly it's all just soulful gazing and kissing and soft-focus, bare-shouldered romance. There are plenty of references to Bella and Edward (and Alice and Jasper) REALLY liking sex and being extra-passionate lovers, but none of that is lewd and, really, isn't that healthy in a long-term relationship? Even if it's not realistic. If anything, you may want to have a talk after the movie about how truly rare it is to keep passion alive for decades, let alone for centuries.
For more information check out Common Sense Media's review of Breaking Dawn 2.
Are you planning to take your kids to see Breaking Dawn 2?