By: Lawrence Foster
Rating: 9 out of 10
To movie fans and Harry Potter followers the day was bittersweet, as the final installment in the wildly popular film franchise made its way to the big screen.
A decade after the Sorcerer’s Stone brought the wizarding world to the silver screen, the second half of the finale The Deathly Hallows, brings the cash-cow franchise to a close, but does it do the series justice?
I am happy to say indeed it does.
The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (DH2) has everything a Potter fan could want and is the epitome of what a summer blockbuster should be. But, as I said above it is bittersweet. The sweet is the sheer awesomeness of DH2. The bitter is from the gaping hole the film leaves in the movie world. For 10 years I have always been able to look forward to the next Harry Potter film. Now, there is no series that will come close to filling that void, but that is another story entirely.
The focus should be on the epic sendoff that is DH2, which picks up right where Part 1 left off and rarely slows down. In fact, the only real slow part came right at the beginning when Harry convinces Griphook to help break him, Hermione and Ron into Gringots, and he talks to Olivander.
Really when I thought about it, the previous seven movies were the climb up the highest mountain on a roller coaster. The climb is fun, but the closer you get to the top, the more anticipation builds for the inevitable climax of the drop. The DH2 is the proverbial drop and once Hermione drinks the polyjuice potion to become Bellatrix, the rest of the movie is one continuous “drop.”
That drop quickly moves to Gringots and after a magical and breathtaking escape to Hogwarts. That’s when the magic really happens.
In case you are just a Harry Potter movie fan and haven’t read the final book, I won’t spoil anything but know that the battle scene’s at Hogwarts is on an epic scale.
As is the case with any real war, casualties are inevitable and even though many of the deaths happen off screen, when we see our favorite characters lying on the ground lifeless, it is very emotional. In fact, that is solidifies the greatness of this movie and the series as a whole: The ability to draw emotion from the death of characters from a fictitious world, which is no small feat.
The film can accomplish that because all of the actors from the big names of Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Dan Radcliffe to the smaller names like Devon Murray to James and Oliver Phelps, have devoted the last decade of their lives to making the wizarding world as real as possible. That type of dedication is nearly unheard of, but is what sets the Harry Potter series apart from other franchises.
The most emotional part of the movie is Severus Snape’s final scene. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read the book, but let’s just say Alan Rickman does a masterful job of showing the audience the real Snape. The infamous epilogue appears in the film as well and as a huge fan of that, I was stunned by the quality of it.
With all this praise I am heaping on DH2 it would seem as if it would be receiving the highest score possible. As a huge Harry Potter fan, I wish I could, but the film isn’t without its faults.
The biggest problem is the running time, because that would have fixed a lot of other problems. For one, the battle between Harry and Voldemort seems very rushed. After 10 years, I would have liked to see a longer battle between the two enemies. The battle between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix could have used a bit more screen time.
Another thing a longer running time would have fixed is explaining the relationship between Dumbledore and his brother Aberforth. That is one of the best parts of the final book and didn’t get fleshed out enough in the film.
Other than those small gripes, the film was amazing and a served as a perfect swan song to the Harry Potter franchise.