Harry Potter in Review: The Deathly Hallows (Part 2)
Cast: The gang’s all here!
Plot: After seven years at Hogwarts during which young wizard Harry learns the truth about his background and the Dark Lord Voldemort everything comes to a head when the Death Eaters descend on Hogwarts.
Review: I’m not as enamored with the Harry Potter movie franchise as some people. The books are simple reading bliss, but the movies have never managed to deliver on the source material (with the exception of ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’). Instead there are rather straight forward translations of the text, with the first two in the series being downright bland. Not to say that the series as a whole is a failure – far from it, they are highly enjoyable – but I’ve always felt that on the whole the represent a missed opportunity to make something exceptional instead of resting on the strength of the source material.
This highly anticipated and widely hyped finale does manage to live up to expectations, tying up all the loose ends and employing simple McGuffin’s that propel the characters through through the final moments. The battle between the people of Hogwarts and the Death Eaters is visually epic enough to create enough of an event.
Splitting the final movie into two still doesn’t seem all that beneficial as the narrative shifts jerkily from action to exposition, the whole battle could’ve been condensed without loosing to much information. And while the battle looks good, it lacks any real punch in the first half – Team Hogwarts spends more time setting up the defensive than it takes for Voldemort and Pals to bust through them, making it all seem kinda pointless. Something more akin to Helms Deep would’ve been welcome.
Apart from that the only gripe comes from the final clash between Glasses and Noseless – the ‘shoot powers into middle, they clash, then we grimace at each other’ routine has been done and done again, even just in this franchise. It’s a lazy way to show character emotion in a conflict, leaving other wizards, such as Goyles flaming animals, looking more impressive.
Overall a very satisfying conclusion to a series that creatively and artistically just keeps its head above water, yet entertains plenty. ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ remains the star of the franchise.
Score: SEVEN outta TEN