The Twilight Saga: Treading Water would be more apt, considering how scriptwriter Melissa Rosenberg manages to expand 30 minutes of plot into two hours of anticipation and dread.

A climactic battle royale between the diabolical Volturi and the Cullens is certainly spectacular and director Bill Condon, who also helmed Part 1, orchestrates this special effects-heavy mayhem with total verve.

Airborne vampires and snarling werewolves tumble acrobatically across the screen while locked in mortal combat, their desperate struggles ended with a sickening snap of a neck or crude decapitation.

Were these brave warriors anything but otherworldly creatures, which miraculously don’t bleed when injured, the relentless on-screen carnage would merit a 15 certificate.

Substance is woefully lacking and there are only so many slow-motion smooches that can paper over the cracks before even the most ardent members of Team Edward and Team Jacob will start to look nervously at their watches.

Part 2 begins with Bella (Kristen Stewart) re-awakening as a vampire.

Opening scenes visualise her heightened senses: the sound of a spider spinning its web, the music of a passing breeze... She sees and hears everything, and then contentedly falls back into the arms of Edward (Robert Pattinson) Soon after, best friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) arrives and is taken aback by Bella’s rejuvenation. “I didn’t expect you to seem so... ‘you’... except for the creepy eyes,” he grins. Jacob then confesses to Bella that he has imprinted on their half-mortal, half-vampire offspring, daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy).

Domestic joy is short-lived when Edward’s cousin identifies Renesmee as an immortal child – an abomination under ancient vampire law. She reports her fears to the Volturi, the vampire counsel led by Aro (Michael Sheen), and the trouble starts.

Aside from the impressive final showdown, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 feels like the dying breaths of a cash cow being milked dry. Stewart and Pattinson stare dreamily into each other's eyes to an angst-heavy soundtrack of Green Day, Ellie Goulding, Christina Perri and Feist, and make gushing declarations – “I’m never going to get tired of this!” – that inspire wry smiles in light of tabloid revelations.

Lautner appeases fans with another scene of gratuitous nudity, while Sheen devours the very expensive scenery as the bloodsucking elder with an unquenchable thirst for slaughter.

A protracted montage of the leading couple in clinches is yet more filler but Condon does deliver one nice touch by individually honouring actors from all five films as he fades to black. Credit where it’s due. **