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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2

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It's kind of an awesome time to be a New Yorker and a Harry Potter fan right now. Fans of the franchise for the next month have the opportunity to indulge in their love of the movie franchise by making the pilgrimage to see its stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) on Broadway. Radcliffe has spent the last year starring in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, while Rickman just opened the new Theresa Rebeck play, Seminar. If you have not gotten a chance to see your heroes in person hitting the boards, it is highly recommended that you try. If not, you can still show your love by grabbing the latest and final DVD adventure of the Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2, which will only be available till the end of the year before being pulled from DVD shelves.

The movie picks up halfway through the final book, Harry Potter and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Herminone (Emma Watson) are still on the hunt for the key elements to kill his foe, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). The story is an action-filled adventure as the two great enemies make their way to their ultimate showdown. Fans of the books will not be surprised by any of the plot's twists, the adaptations are extremely faithful to a fault almost. For those who have strictly followed the films, there are continuous gasp worthy turns where any further plot points revealed will probably give away something. Thanks to this film being the second half of the novel, it really takes off running at full-hilt without taking a breath.

The performances of each of the principle three actors is commendable. Particularly Randcliffe demonstrates considerable range from the awkward stilted child actor that we were introduced to in the first film. For those who have followed him grow as a performer it is deeply satisfying to see him bring the series to its conclusion, a young man all grown up. Watson and Grint manage to ease their characters' wayward romance to one of the more satisfying conclusions of the series. Rickman probably offers one of the more surprising performances of the film, while he has always been reliably ruthless as the sneering and domineering Professor Snape, he takes it to a whole new level of astounding. Here is the challenge to not see his final scenes of the series and not feel like you should be crying even if you are someone who "DOES NOT CRY" (all captials required) during movies. The entire supporting cast is commendable and there is a bit of fun at the end of the movie to see who has quick cameos, and who does not appear (spoiler: Rob Pattinson does not appear even though his character, Cedric Diggory, did in the book).

The series ends on a strong note in general. Director David Yates really kept the editing tight and told a strong visual story of how this war affected each character. Screenwriter Steve Kloves' script is tight, funny, includes all the essential lines from author J.K. Rowling's source material, and has subtle nods to the history of this decade in the making film franchise. Even for people who are not hardcore fans of the series it is worth checking out just to see how a well-made action/adventure movie can be made.

Grade: A

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