We've watched Ron (Rupert Grint), Hermione (Emma Watson) and... oh... what's his name? Oh, yeah... Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) grow up, come into their own and become heroes, wand-slingers and (I'm guessing) IRON CHEFS!!!
And now... This is where it ALL ENDS! Will we finally unravel the riddle of Tom Riddle? Codify the Lore of Dumbledore? Witness Dragons by the Wagons? Face Gobs of Goblins? Wash away the Hogwash from Hogwarts? Interpret the Scape of Snape? See Bellatrix naked? Finish Rolling with J.K. Rowling?
The answers to those questions are:
When we last saw the Boy Wizard, he and his homeys were on the run from the Death Eaters as they sought out the Deathly Hallows in the hopes to destroy those pesky Horcruxes after losing the snipe hunt against sniper Snape and getting put off by Voldemort's Victory LAPSE!!!
And now, the final chapter is upon us! How is it? It would be a cliché to say "The Book is Better", right? That said... the Book is Better. In fact... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 shares a lot with the first film! No, I don't mean the first half of The Deathly Hallows... I mean that this final film shares the one lacking part of the whole series, man! Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (the film) was good, but all-too-often felt rushed... with even the non-readers realizing that large parts must be missing with the temporal leaps that zoom the tale forward by bounds and zounds in ways even Wells and Bakula would be proud of. "Harry Potter 7.5" has just as many skips in time, as we see how returning director David Yates and also-returning scripter Steve Kloves choose the most vital moments to explore, interpreting their favorite Peaks of the second half of Jo Rowling's novel while largely skipping over the valleys. It's as if even slicing the novel into two filmed parts wasn't quite enough to capture as much as they wanted to. To be fair, though, that's the case with any written adaptation. I mean, who among us can't agree that they wish this REVIEW was a little shorter, huh?
The beauty of this final chapter in the Cupboard-Under-The-Stairs-Saga is that what survives into the final print is still very effective, emotional and enthralling, largely due to the skills of the crew and the enviable skills of the exceptional ensemble cast, many of whose rear-ends, I'd gladly stoop down to place a smacker on (yeah, I mean you, Helena)!
The final battle between The Dark Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and our bespectacled hero Misssssssssssssster Potter kicks off right where the last one left off, with Harry and his two loyal best friends on the run from evil and cutting a swath through the ranks of the Death Eater hoardes as they slice up Horcruxes bury elves and bribe goblins.
As the plot rockets through time and we realize this is a battle to the death, one must wonder if the hero really can survive in a Wizarding World now practically controlled by Voldemort and his Death Eaters! Or might the falling victim in this final battle end up being "Only Mostly Dead"?
If you've read the book you already know the answers to all these questions. If you haven't... maybe you should before you see the movie.
However, the movie itself manages to be quite a fine film in its own right, showing how remarkably well-cast the first film was (most of the same actors have continued throughout the series) and how perfectly the characters and their alter-egos have matured with the series. Even rushed, so many of the very best and most exciting questions are beautifully answered and exceptionally realized on the screen.
It's great to go back through flashbacks and see Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) at his best and most complex, to get a great look at McGonagall (Maggie Smith) standing up against evil again, to see Sweet Ginny (Bonnie Wright) coming into her own as a woman and to see Alan Rickman delivering some of the best acting as Snape of the entire series.
And, while Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton and Helen McCrory, not to mention Warwick Davis, John Hurt, Robbie Coltrane, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, David Thewlis, Natalia Tena, Evanna Lynch, Katie Leung, Jesse Cave, Matthew Lewis all do make their appearances, these appearances feel like little more than cameos as the story fast-forwards its way through its promised ending and then nineteen more years into the future! Oh, all of these onscreen introductions are memorable and cool (and, for fans, borderline indispensible), most feel obligatory and tacked on, like a dog-food provision paper-clipped to a congressional bill about raising the debt ceiling (worth filibustering that one, no doubt).
In truth, though, this great adventure is, as it has been from the beginning, an ensemble tale! While focusing on the story of the great Magical Triad of Harry, Hermione and Ron and balancing this against the cold duel between Harry and Evil Voldemort, the filmmakers never forget that we didn't get through seven novels (and eight films) with only a small group of people. It's much easier in a full length book to flesh out these characters than it does to do the same in a full movie (or two).
Still, the film works well and it's a truly great time... but it's also a truly scary time. Perhaps more than any other film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is a hoary Horror Flick. There are parts of this film scarier than anything you'd find in The Chronicles of Narnia, to be sure, and pushing beyond even what we've seen in The Lord of the Rings! While Murder has been a part of the mystery of the series from the beginning, this final film ups the ante to all-out war, as well as MASS murder! We see bad guys tracking through pools of blood around islands of corpses, wizard-style gangland executions, vicious giant reptile strikes at human victims (and directly at the camera) and true depictions of fantastical evil. In short, it's a great thrill for the moviegoer... but might be best not shared with the little kids in the family... unless you want a repeat of the up-all-night aftermath of when Junior walked in on your Exorcist Marathon and asked "What's with the Crucifix?" Shudder!
Wonderfully, while this last film does explore some truly horrific and terrifying things, it also chronicles the true meaning of bravery, undying friendship and courage in the face of unspeakable evil. Because of this and many other things, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 succeeds in bringing tears to the eyes in the same places the novel does... and almost to as great an extent! Bravo!
And just as composer Alexandre Desplat knows when and where to incorporate the cues and themes from the previous music of John Williams and others, writer Kloves and director Yates know when to make this film into a "Best of Harry Potter" retrospective, giving the series a fitting end, and when to allow this film to be what it is... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2! And while often rushed and episodic, the film as it stands still manages to earn an admirable, nearly wizardly Four Stars out of Five! Harry Potter, as a story, has been given almost as successful and beautiful an ending on screen as it was given by J.K. Rowling herself on the printed page and if this cool movie causes people to want to read, or re-read, the novel(s) that led to it, I say mission accomplished. Now, if you'll excuse me, there's apparently a scheduled Pie Fight in Diagon Alley I've been invited to... and I want to be Bellatrix's towel-boy! I know there's good in her... I can feel it! I'll keep feeling till I find it, man! See you witches and wizards in the next sorting-hat chosen reel! BOOM, baby!!!
Man, some Wizarding Contractor
Is going to make some BIG bucks! Can you very believe the shape Hogwarts ended up in, man?
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You're going to need them when you find out about the fund-recovering tuition hike
Those dudes have planned.
Helena is Beautiful... and I do mean that in a Lecherous way... I want to fuck her! Purely bad!
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