As I mentioned in my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, some movies are the pure definition of critic proof. After 1,178 minutes of wizards, elves, goblins, giants, trolls and horcruxes (which ironically make more sense in this film without any explanation versus in the last film which took time to explain them at ridiculously confusing length), it has finally occurred to me that I simply just don’t care. Of course, I would never say that these films are made for me; they have an audience, and I simply just don’t belong in it. Over $2 billion domestically can’t be wrong, right? As was the case before, the story remains the same for this official Muggle with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Everyone has their “thing” when it comes to films. I’ve mentioned before that one of mine happens to be the Scream series. However, I also highly enjoy Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings (if you want to get into comparable franchises). I will never say that any of the Harry Potter films are bad films, because they are far from it. Slickly made, highly polished, newly converted to the third dimension for the big finale, they are grand entertainment for sure. But after the single triumph of Prisoner of Azkaban, the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s young-adult novels had yet been able to win me over. Every new film I walk in, cross my fingers, and hope for the best. Personally, it just doesn’t click with me. And that’s fine of course. Just don’t try burning me at the stake over it.
I would never compare these films to the abhorrent Twilight saga either. Those are terrible, awful, ludicrous films that spit in the face of myth, legend, and good cinema in general. My main nitpick comes with when someone tries to explain that my lack of enjoyment is based on the fact that I haven’t read the books. Sorry, this is a film; it is a totally separate medium. You do not have to, nor ever have had to, partake of one to enjoy the other. One is a book, the other a film. They are not the same thing and having never fully enjoyed the series, I am not about to start from scratch and read through the 4,100 pages of what I’ve already seen transpire up on the big screen. That would take way longer than 1,178 minutes I’ve already put into them. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing so.
Another problem is that everything tries to be so big, grand, and epic, thanks to director David Yates swirling cameras and Alexandre Desplat’s roaring score, yet having never read the books everything’s so transparent. There are no surprises. Everything has been completely telegraphed over the course of the last “seven” films. Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that as a non-Potter aficionado, a standard patron if you will, there should still be some element of that going in. And thanks to the leak of set photos, even the ending has been spoiled ahead of time. At a mere 130 minutes, I expected this to be the wham-bam thank-you-ma’am series finale that everyone was clamoring it would be. And for Potter fans it definitely is. But for the rest of us, thanks to Steve Kloves’ marauding screenplay, it turns itself into its own version of Lord of the Rings where the battle wages on, and on, and on. So needless to say, pick up your spoons, Boy Wizard fanatics, because you are going to eat this up, and really, that’s all that really matters in the end.
Photos courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures