July 13, 2011
“You’re a different kind of wizard Harry.”
While many people, myself included were excited to finally see an epic battle by wizards, it’s actually the characters that give Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 the fitting ending the series deserved. We watched these characters grow, we care about them, and the little character moments are what separates this film series from a lot of today’s movies.
Harry is very different from the kid in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry was just this person who was always unsure of himself, always having to overcome great obstacles. Often, his plans would fail, but he managed to always overcome any challenge regardless; with the help of his friends of course. Harry is a man now, a great wizard, and a natural leader. He is ready to end this long battle, and has the abilities, and maturity to do so.
The films opens with a very somber tone, the events of Part 1 taking their toll on our heroes, but Harry, Hermione, and Ron continue the search for the remaining Horcruxes. This time the search is faster paced, and the film in general moves a lot quicker than most Potter films. The problem I had with the series was that they always had to cram a large amount of content into a two and a half hour run time, often making the films pacing go up and down like a roller coaster. The film makers were smart to split the final story into two parts, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 captures the emotion and blends the action seamlessly.
This film is a success because of the investment the audience has with the characters. Seven films of watching the affection grow between the characters gives the slightest nods between characters much more weight. There doesn’t have to be long winded scenes telling us that these characters care for one another. Sometimes all you need is a look, maybe a word or two and the audience understands. Speaking of emotional scenes, one in particular stands out, and gives that character the depth and closure the audience needed. It fits into the story nicely, and gives us a break in the action. It even brought some people around me to tears.
The overall final battle is mostly satisfying because of the emotional weight behind it. A lot of action is quick and takes place off screen; this is Harry’s story, so we follow him through Hogwarts often only catching glimpses of main characters in the battle. While I understand why this is done, I really wanted to watch the Order of the Phoenix fight the leaders of the Death Eaters. This is obviously filmed with kids in mind, so most of the killing is done off screen. We only learn about the tragic deaths when Voldermort calls a momentary truce, offering to end the suffering in exchange for Harry.
The battle between Harry and Lord Voldermort is one of the most satisfying fights scenes in modern cinema, but not because it relies on special effects, or highly choreographed moves. The fight is successful because of the proper lead up to it. David Yates, the director could have easily made this a huge special effects scene, with Harry and Voldermort running around shooting spells at each other, but the fight isn’t about that. It’s the journey Harry took to lead to this moment. Yates relies on all the previous films set up, and just like Vader vs. Luke in Return of the Jedi, it works.
The universe J.K. Rowling created is simply outstanding. It was made with care, and such detail. As the characters aged so did the story telling and film making. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 are the best of the series, and this film is a terrific ending for Harry Potter.
The screening I saw was in 3D, save your money. It’s not worth the post converted 3D. It makes some scenes way too dark, and doesn’t enhance the viewing experience.
3 out of 4 casted spells