Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
Director: David Yates
Writer: Steve Kloves
Based On: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” (Novel Series Book #7) By: J.K. Rowling
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith
Country: UK & USA
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Time: 130 minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
USA Release: 7/15/2011
On DVD (USA): 11/11/2011
Yes, after 8 movies from 7 books, countless hours of reading, watching and enjoying everything now is unfortunately over. But like anything good it must come to an end, and it will be sad not only because of the movie, but everything the series itself has brought to all of us over the past decade. It will be hard to say goodbye saying it always is, but it’s never really goodbye now is it? The books, movies and the beloved characters will always be around and will always be apart of us.
In the epic finale, we find Harry, Ron and Hermione just where we left them in the previous movie, But now they are discussing a plan, a very tricky plan to get into Gringotts bank, and with the help of Griphook, they are well on their way. But like any of their plans they hit a few major problems, but thanks to Hermione’s quick but totally mad thought they escape, Horcrux in hand and soon are on their way to Hogwarts. There they see that things have changed and Hogwarts is nothing like the school they had left a year ago. With Snape now headmaster, things are darker and punishment is a must, and the kids have all banded together to stay strong. However with Harry and the gang now there, the battle is only beginning as Snape finds out and now has Voldemort on his way. But Snape isn’t their for long, fleeing after Professor McGonagall stands up to him. And as the students and staff take back their school they start making any barriers they can to withstand what is coming their way as to give Harry some time to find what he needs. Nevertheless as the battle begins to heats up, and the barriers start to fail, it’s up to Harry to stand up and take his destined past to Voldemort for the final showdown.
With this being the final Harry Potter adventure, it’s a bit hard to cast any stones at it, even if there are only a few. Unfortunately one of the wondering thoughts is pacing, although everything is wrapped up nicely it just seemed at times to be moving a bit fast, and I’ve noticed I’m not the only one who has taken notice to it. Not to say that it was a flaw of the movie, because it wasn‘t really, it just seemed that maybe adding a little extra time (since this is the shortest of all the Potter movies at 2 hrs. 10 mins.) would have allowed for things to be more lasting. That aside I though David Yates brought the fans of the series another great movie, Yates was always something I felt made the franchise stronger, not just because of what he brought to the series but the fact that he has stuck with directing since the 5th movie, being the longest reigning director of the series, a title that was original held by Chris Columbus with the first two movies. Another thing I was sad to not like is the epilogue, but it wasn’t the epilogue itself I didn’t like, it was the make-up effects on 2 of our 3 heroes, Ron and Hermione. The thing that got me was that Harry and Ginny both had the right age look to them where as Ron and Hermione both didn’t look like they aged one bit in 19 years, other that that the scene was fine. Just like everything else I very much enjoyed the cinematography, however I liked it better in part 1, only because it seemed we could breath a bit more since they are outside of the castle with more landscapes and more room to explore. But since this is more action oriented then part 1 I have nothing to complain about because the sequences were superb to watch and with every wand wave you feel like your apart of it. And with the color palette and grittiness added, you get a real sense of everything happening and it leaves it looking like the what you pictured it to be in the book, total chaos. As far as the music goes, it’s was just as wonderful and fitting as the others, brining the scenes to other levels at times.
Now I have to say my hat is off to Steve Kloves who has written every movie since the beginning except for “Order of the Phoenix”. And while other movies with less going on need a team of writers, Kloves was alone penning brilliant scripts to match Rowling’s series. I don’t think we could have asked for a better writer, who brought us a neatly wrapped series of scripts that gave us adventure, action, mystery, friendship, comedy and even a little romance, and he did not fail to give us all of that in this epic finale. Yes, there are times when some key elements of the story were missed but Kloves to the most part covered the essential parts and gave us great movies. As for the cast of supporting actor some of whom have been very low key throughout the series, have their moment to shine in the final movie. For example Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) and Mrs. Weasley (Julie Walters), the latter until now surprisingly never really being seen doing magic. Also the change from Neville who seemed to get more and more confident since being part of the DA (Dumbledore’s Army) becoming one of the big heroes of the movie. And while everything is going on we learn the true nature of some of the characters, like the Malfoy family and Professor Snape. As well as the characters they play the actors all brought out top notch performances that sometimes brought tears to my eyes. But like in all of the movies, the most important thing is our 3 heroes, who we have watched grow up with us over the past decade. Just as their characters have changed and learned over the past decade, so have the 3 actors, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, all have gone from some what inexperienced actors to some of the most promising. Having only dipped their feet into other projects during the years of Potter, they are now having the opportunity to loose the safety net and really show us what they can do. And I think we are all looking forward to that.
Overall, like any movie, it has a few flaws, but the general effect is something that will leave you very satisfied. The action is at its all time best and actors we have seem very little of over the years make a center stage appearance in this last chapter. It is a must see for wizards and muggles alike, if you have followed the series thus far you better not miss out on seeing the finale unfold on the big screen. And a word to the wise I would avoid seeing this in 3D (although I didn’t see it in 3D) unless you like extra dark pictures with probably little to no real 3D images and paying more, just see it in 2D the way you have for the past decade.
As sad as it is, it all ended July 15 (2011) and as sad as it is, the series is done coming to the big screen ever year or two. But we are left with a decade of memories of midnight book releases and screenings. And the thought that there has never really been anything like this, a book to film series this long, with this much invested time from it’s fans is something we can have to celebrate because we got to be apart of it all. Everyone born from now on will never understand what happened from 1997 to 2011, even some that are alive now will never have the same experience we all have had. I want to thank J.K. Rowling, all of the directors, actors and everybody behind making this a great part of my childhood, something that will be with me forever.