Movie Name: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Studio: Warner Bros.
Release Date(s): July 15, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
The end is here! Harry (Daniel Radcliff), Hermoine (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) seek out the final Horcuxes in their quest to stop Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), but time is running out and a final standoff at Hogwarts could determine the fate of the world.
Directed by David Yates, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 brings the epic series to an end. Following Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the movie was released to positive reviews and box office records (much like every Harry Potter film). The movie was nominated Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
I always have mixed emotions about Harry Potter movies and books. There is a lot of stuff that the films have done right. They managed to cast strong leads for the children and for the most part, their acting skills have grown with their age. It also helps that they are surrounded by a strong reoccurring cast of characters supporting them made up of some of the best British actors. In this movie, many of the teachers are kind of sidelined by the plot. Actors like David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney), and Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) make little more than cameos in the big final battle. I thought the best bit of acting was from Helena Bonham Carter who had to channel Emma Watson’s Hermoine under the polyjuice potion.
From the third movie on (I feel Christopher Columbus’ versions of Harry Potter from the first two movies are a bit too rosy & “clean”), the set designs for Harry Potter have also been great. Here in the Deathly Hollows Part 2, the sets are really limited by the story and are basically confined to two locations (the goblin bank Gringotts and Hogwarts). The movie is only suppose to take place over a couple of days, so much of the sets are in the dark as it stands anyway. Hogwarts still looks nice but the rest of the sets seem pretty generic.
The main problem with this movie is the same problem with the book: the story. Generally, Harry Potter stories have some overall “why does magic work here but not there” questions that raise problems, but that is beside the point. The two Deathly Hollows don’t seem to have enough going on in each of them individually but would probably have too much for one movie. Rowlings never can kill her characters. The only decent death in the whole movie was Dobby in part 2. I hate the character but at least the death was genuine and was worth the vested interest the reader/viewer put into it. Characters like Mad Eye Moody (In Part 1), Fred Weasley, Lavender Brown, Remus Lupin, and his wife Tonks were killed off camera and lose the weight of the death…this is how it happened in the book but it doesn’t make it good. Bellatrix death at the hands of the Weasley’s mother just comes off as laughable and for seven books and eight movies, I really wanted more from Voldemort’s death than a little explosion.
The movie also has a bunch of explaining to do. There will be an action scene, then a lot of explaining, then another short action scene, then more explaining. A great example is the scene where Harry learns Severus Snapes’ (Alan Rickman) true motivations through viewing his memories. There is a little break with generic fighting, and then more explanation by Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). It just really messes with the flow of the movie, and the book was the same way.
I don’t hate this movie, but it has some serious issues. It does a nice job bringing a close to the amazing accomplishment in bringing a series to the screen. It kind of sucks that it was filmed in 3D (a pet peeve), and it suffers from the “lets make this scene really 3D”. Worth seeing, but a let down to a long series…much like the book.