‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2″ Review

I did not grow up reveling in all things “Harry Potter” like the current crop of college grads and twenty-somethings. But as an older (not that old, I hope) fan of the series, it was a big part of my life for the past decade. So, it certainly carries a certain weight when something of this magnitude finishes its final chapter.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have turned into adults before our eyes and the material they are asked to portray on-screen has become equally mature. Death has become a regularity since book four and now we’ve turned to all-out war.

The film begins right where the first installment left off. At the grave of Dobby, the brave house elf, killed in the waning moments of part one. The difficult part about turning “Hallows” into two parts; it made for a dramatic and emotional end to the first movie, but gets us off to a bit of a scuffle for the second installment. Harry hatches his plan for a Gringotts Bank invasion, but he must convince an untrustworthy Goblin to do it. Once he, Ron and Hermione break into the well-sealed walls, things really begin to take off, literally. A wild cart ride through subterranean caverns, a horcrux heist and an escape on a blind dragon shift the film into high-gear.

One big question for me heading into this film was how director David Yates would pull off the over-abundance of exposition from the J.K. Rowling book. He does it off brilliantly, taking several scenes involving Voldemort and lumping them together, creating a new one involving Professor Snape and letting others breathe as they did in the book.

Another significant change, the final duel between Harry and Voldemort. It’s just a few lines in the book, but it’s an explosive showdown in the film. I enjoyed the extra action here, although I’m a little suspicious that much of it was done just to appease the studio and their obsession for 3D. Of course, all the blasts and bruises between the pair make the ultimate moment of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s death a small letdown. But, that’s to be expected.

The finale of the most-profitable film franchise in history shines in many phases and it becomes brightest during scenes of emotion and tenderness. The origin story of Snape, the deaths of prominent characters and the triumph over pure evil all tug at the heartstrings. Did I shed a tear? Only the tweens sitting behind me and cheering every other moment know for sure.

Turning one bestseller into a hit movie is hard enough, let alone making seven into eight. I will hand it to all the directors and especially the acting trio of Radcliffe, Grint and Watson, they haven’t just accomplished something great over the past ten years, but something magical.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Harry Potter and have No Comments