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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

What She said:

She

I’ll be honest with you, there were moments in this movie when I had no idea what was going on.  But I have no one to blame but myself.  I did not do my proper homework.  I hadn’t read the final book since it came out, and I forgot to recap the last movie before moving on to this one.  And believe me, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 picks up pretty much right were Part 1 left off.  Once I got back into the groove of things, and realized what was going on (wow, are they still looking for horcruxes?), I started to really enjoy this movie. 

There were several moments of reflection—me remarking to myself how much these kids have awkwardly grown since the first movie; me noting how sad Hogworts seems now that Dumbledore is gone; and me wondering why any parent would send their kid there given all the death and utter lack of education that is taking place within the confines of the school. 

Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the end of all ends, an utter free for all as Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron try to save the wizarding world from the evil Lord Voldemort.  People are pretty much just running around trying to stay alive, moving from safe house to safe house, and hiding their families.  All the evil that is He Who Shall Not Be Named comes to a head, and the final showdown between The Dark Lord and Harry takes place.  And it’s nasty.  It was hard to tell who died and who lived, as kids were just getting zapped left and right.  Talk about a hands-on learning experience.

Of course, there’s some soul there, too, as we finally learn Severus Snape’s full backstory, albeit in a slightly confusing way.  From what I can remember, the whole final movie follows the book fairly closely.  The performances all around are strong, particularly when you consider how mediocre these kids once were at acting.  And the film seems to move quickly, despite being over two hours long; you won’t feel it. 

The movie brings to life the epilogue of the book, which I am convinced is the worst ending in literary history.  Fortunately, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 doesn’t dwell on it, seemingly understanding that it is complete and tacky absurdity that cheapens and is completely unnecessary to the rest of the plot.  That said, I still have my gripes (ie. dressing them in adult clothes and giving Ron a potbelly doesn’t magically make them look 19 years older.  Make-up department epic fail).

Overall, I enjoyed this movie, despite being a bit confused at times (my own fault I know).  You’ll enjoy the film if you come prepared.  If not, you’ll still appreciate the visual splendor of it all.

Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

When I first started this series (the books) I was as engrossed as anyone else who was reading them.  I didn’t read them 10 times a piece or study them from cover-to-cover, but I enjoyed the hell out of them and made sure I had the next book each time a new one was released. Then one day – and I don’t exactly remember when – I started to feel differently.

New twists and turns came, more secrets were revealed, and one plot device after another was introduced as yet another new way in which our three heroes foiled the bad guys plans once again. It began to feel like the ending of an episode of Scooby Doo. At a certain point, you can only take so much. It seemed as if it was all made up at the last minute. Now I didn’t expect Rowling to have written all 7 books at once, but if it feels like she was writing them on the fly, that’s not good.

I didn’t stop liking them; I still really like the friendship between Hermione, Ron, and Harry quite a bit. And the visuals in this movie were fantastic. But as time went on, I feel like Rowling backed herself into a corner. There was always a bigger secret, more bad-ass weapon, or some other insurmountable circumstance being placed against our heroes. It never mattered though, because there was always some secret passage, previously unknown ally, or some other silver bullet that appeared just when all hope appeared to be lost.

The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 picks up right where the first left off. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are still on the run, but are making progress in their hunt to slay Voldemort once and for all. Long-story-short, they end up back and Hogwarts.  Soon after arriving, Harry and Co. rally the troops in what is about to be the fight to end all fights. This was one of those moments I was talking about earlier. Why are there even children in school when it’s literally a hub for violence and death? But hey, the battle was pretty bad-ass looking, I admit that. Seeing the giants, spiders, and all other kinds of creatures help the Death Eaters storm the castle was pretty cool too.

The movie itself was fine. For what it was, I didn’t have a problem with the film. I simply grew a little tired of the source material. There was a time where I really enjoyed this series and eagerly awaited the release of each new entry. But I think this is a classic case of more not necessarily translating into better.

Rating: Thumbs half up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on December 12, 2011.