Just got back from the cinema with my daughter who I took for a girlie treat as she had such a brilliant parents evening. Considering it has only been out a very short while, the cinema was surprisingly quiet, though I guess when there are two showings per hour, it may get spread out. I have only twice been to the cinema and been witness to the phenomenon of people clapping during and at the end of the movie (after all we are in Britain), but this movie caused the audience to do so.
Having read the books, I was expecting the fight scene to be pretty good, but I wasn't expecting the gasps and the claps. The Volturi are very good at menacing, except perhaps Michael Sheen as Aro who plays insane very well, yet still manages to be threatening - psycho anyone? The new vampires are very good too, dracula one and two a tad bizarre, but the ones with abilities make up slightly for the fact that my favourite character (Alice) is not in as many scenes as I would wish her to be (loved her ability in the books and I think Ashley Greene plays her very well). My daughter has always found Carlisle to be her favourite character and she still held on to that at the end of the film. I loved Billy Burke (who plays Bella's Dad Charlie) in all of the movies and again I think he stole the movie in the scene following Jacob's revelations.
The gore factor was upped as were the fights, so I am sure there will be plenty more for the boys to convince them to want to accompany the girls, though the romance was still there and there were many nods to the previous films in the franchise. I did find the CGI used for Renesmee very distracting and unnecessary as Mackenzie Foy was enough like Kristen Stewart (KS) to carry it off and if I'm honest, I would love there to be a movie that did not have to revolve around KS. I never thought her acting was particularly good in these movies, though she was convincing in Panic Room, and she was painfully bad in this one. Quite a few of them seemed more over-the-top in their characters, except maybe for Edward (Robert Pattinson), Charlie, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), Alice, Rosalee (Nikki Reed), Carlisle (Peter Facinelli) and Esme (Elizabeth Reaser) and I missed seeing Mike, Jessica, Eric and Angela (though we did see them briefly in the credits).
As my daughter liked 'everything about it' I think it may be a fitting ending for most fans, though I still think there were enough nods and characters left for spins offs to be possible. Having said that though, please, if the powers that be do decide to make spin off movies, let them be about the new vampires with abilities and KS free. 7.5/10