Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2

This time last week I didn’t know a horcrux from a patronus. I had attempted to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer/Philosopher’s Stone in the past, only to fail to ever finish it. I was a muggle; happily oblivious to the whole world of magic that the Harry Potter universe had to offer. Through sheer persistence, a friend of mine finally got me to break down and agree to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. Not wanting to be a wet blanket or hate the film out of my complete ignorance of the series, I crammed for the premiere. In a matter of only a few days I watched all the movies… and accidentally became hooked in the process. But this isn’t a review of the entire series of films, so lets get to the task at hand.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 is good and will likely be held as the best film in the series. Unlike previous movies, Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 moves at a decent pace and doesn’t waste time meandering about. Harry and friends have a lot of work to do with a short time to do it. Without fail there will eventually be a three hour or more “fan edition” DVD release of the film, but the editor and director should be applauded for cutting nearly everything that is non-essential to the plot in this theatrical version. I’m sure I missed out on some great backstory and a few heroic deaths, but I didn’t walk out of the film feeling cheated by the depth of the story.

Despite being a story that started out for children, Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 is by far the darkest film in the series and doesn’t pander or talk down to children. Beloved and bemoaned characters alike die, familiar places that we fell in love with are destroyed and great sacrifices are made. Through the entire Harry Potter series it has been promised that Voldemort is a powerful wizard capable of terrible acts, so it’s nice to see that both J.K. Rowlings and the makers of this film refused to pull punches when it came time for the dark lord to shine.

The visual style of David Yates is still a perfect fit for these later films in the series. Gone are the whimsical reds and gold of Christopher Columbus, replaced with the blacks and blues of a dreary world that is living in sadness and fear. Yates also has an amazing eye for post-production effects. The magic battles, especially between Harry and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Nosed, are crisp, colorful and kinetic. Not since Ghostbusters have I ever been so entertained by multi-colored beams of light dancing across the screen. Everyone that worked on the visual end of this film should be commended. From the makeup of the creepy looking goblins to the people that worked on the lighting effects of the wands, everyone did an amazing job.

Of course the acting is the best in the series. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have literally grown up in front of our very eyes and have been learning their trade from some of the greatest actors of all time. If you haven’t learned a thing or two about acting after staring in eight movies with the likes of Maggie Smith, Alan Richman, Gary Oldman and all the other wonderful actors that have appeared in the series, it might be time to pack it up. That said, everyone does a great job. Be it acting or legitimate friendship, the three main characters of Harry, Ron and Hermione seem to have a great chemistry on screen. Even some of the “lesser” stars, such as Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom, are able to steal the screen whenever the principals are foolish enough to let them step out of the lineup. Overall it is a great ensemble effort by an amazing cast.

While some people will question the legacy of other franchise (I’m looking at you Twilight), it’s clear that Harry Potter will be enjoyed for years to come. And even though the ending may come off as a little too “they all lived happily ever after” for some, this is a more than suitable finale to a beloved film series. So put on your Cloak of Invisibility and grab your wand one last, it’s time for us all to graduate from Hogwarts together.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

One Comment

  1. Posted July 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am so anxious to watch this. Thanks for the review… it was just what I wanted to hear. 🙂

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