Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, the exciting conclusion of the adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s wildly popular children’s book series, is extremely satisfying both for fans and Potter newbies.
Chockful of wizarding world battle scenes, gorgeous and deadly special effects, and plot conclusions that drew sighs from the audience, the film satisfies on all levels. It is an incredible climax to a thoroughly engaging series, a masterpiece for director David Yates, and destined to become a film classic.
As we watch this last installation, and the actors and characters that have grown up before our eyes throughout this movie series – Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Emma Watson as Hermoine, and Rupert Grint as Ron - our collective heartstrings are tugged again and again.
Film makers were wise to cut this final chapter into two films, so that the plot elements that were necessary to get us to this story’s conclusion had their own well-deserved emphasis and weight in Part 1, and were not overshadowed by the extreme action in this final film, Part 2 – where the plot is one, long, well-directed spool of action, with almost every main character given a juicy, emotional scene of their own.
Dame Maggie Smith, as Hogwart’s Professor MacGonagall, in particular, is finally allowed to cut loose – and cut loose she does, with wand and eyes blazing. Ron’s mom, Mrs. Weasley <spoiler alert> gets to dispatch a major villain, and supporting character Neville (played by Matthew Lewis) comes into his own, motivated by the final battle, a magical sword and his declared love for another supporting character! Go Neville!
There were parts of this film that sped by so fast you wanted to hit the rewind button – but perhaps that is meant to make us all go back and see it again. It was good enough for a repeat.
Alan Rickman <disclaimer: one of this reviewer’s favorite Brit actors> was awesome as Professor Snape, and, as befitting his station, pivotal to the plot, and Ralph Fiennes as the uber-villian, Lord Voldemort, once again, chewed up every scene he was in, to good result. Helena Bonham Carter’s character has one of the strongest reactions from the audience I had seen in a long time, a true testament to her acting prowess.
FYI: This reviewer did not fork over the additional cash to see the film in 3D or IMAX, and was not disappointed at all. The special effects are dazzling, even in old-fashioned, lower-priced, 2D.
Four out of five stars. A very satisfying ending to a great film series. The audience the day I saw this film let loose more than a few cheers, and at certain scenes, there was not a dry eye in the house. Why not five stars? The film loses one star for the slightly weak reprise ending, which matches the book almost exactly. After all that non-stop action, it is difficult to have a better conclusion, but the movie seems to beg for one anyway. Safe for all family members over 10 years old. Many loud battle scenes and corpses lying around, many emotional scenes that may be too intense for six year olds. Best for fans, but good for almost everyone. Go see this one. It’s worth the price of (regular) admission.
Other film reviews you may enjoy:
Super 8– a spectacular film with outstanding performances, J.J. Abrams and Spielberg to boot. Jump in!
X-Men: First Class - best for fans of the series and of Jennifer Lawrence.
Thor- A lot of action, and Natalie Portman, make this film tolerable, but just barely.
Last Night– playing in limited release in theatres now, this film stars Kiera Knightly and Sam Worthington. A great flick. And a good date movie.
The King’s Speech- outstanding performances by Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter make this unusual, but powerful film, well worth seeing. I predicted that it had a high probability to sweep the Oscars, with Firth a shoe-in for Best Actor. It was gratifying to see him win it.
The Black Swan- Natalie Portman won the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Actress in her performance in this film and she deserved it.
Winter’s Bone- an astonishing performance by Jennifer Lawrence, for which she has received an Academy award nomination. Lawrence is set to star in The Hunger Game films.
The Infidel – a hilarious offering from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, available now for rental or instant download on Netflix.
Win Win – Giamatti is wonderful in this film, now available on DVD.
Never Say Never – Justin Bieber, his rise to teen stardom and his dedicated fans. An interesting documentary and concert flick, fun and entertaining.
Love & Other Drugs- best for older teens and adults. Rated R for a reason. Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are naked for most of the film.