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Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

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Wow! There, that’s my review. No, just kidding, but it does a pretty good job of describing how I felt about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  The movie, like everything, has its flaws, but it was a great ride and a fitting end to a beloved franchise.

Let’s start with the nitpicking flaws, just to get them out of the way, and then I’ll tell you what I loved about the film.  The first act of the movie where Harry and the gang brake into Gringotts to find a Horcrux is a little underwhelming.  It was a cool and exciting scene, and Helena Bonham Carter is brilliant playing Hermione who’s pretending to be Bellatrix.  However not much actually happens to drive the story forward, except that they find another horcrux and lose their only way of destroying them at the same time.  This is fine, but the thing that made this plot thread so interesting in the book is lost in translation here.  Apart from that there were a few instances throughout where more information about what was going on would have been appreciated.  Compared to the book, the movie does feel a little empty.

Even so, such flaws are mostly just nitpicking, and the movie managed to convey all the necessary information.  The only place where I felt the movie failed was in the delivery of Snape’s backstory.  It was such an important moment that the missing information felt too lacking.  It got the main point about Snape across, and Alan Rickman’s performance is probably one of his best yet (Which is seriously saying a lot) but that scene, I feel, should have told more of the story.

Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you why I simply loved this movie.

Once Harry gets to Hogwarts things pick up speed.  The crew is desperate to find the last Horcruxes as Death Eaters attack the school.  The battle of Hogwarts is absolutely spectacular!  I won’t try to describe it to you.  Just see it.  Here Harry’s struggle is summed up in Voldemort’s own words.  He says that Harry has let others die for him rather face Voldemort himself.  Through it all, people die around our hero, and he has to have the courage to do the right thing no matter the cost.  Amid the epic backdrop of the battle, that’s what really drives this movie.

There are other little moments that really count as well.  Harry’s relationship with Dumbledore is given closure, as are the romantic entanglements.  There are a few additions to the movie that weren’t in the book, but for the most part they’re nice touches, especially Snape’s final words, which I’ll let you discover for yourself.  There are also a few throwbacks to the very first movie, like its use of the original opening theme when Harry gets back to Hogwarts, and the final scene (The same final scene from the book we all knew was coming) is not just a send off for the series.  It feels reminiscent of the final moments of The Sorceror’s Stone, making the movies really feel like they’ve come full circle.

The final battle is also a sight to behold!  It manages to get in a few moments from the book that fans would surely have moaned over if they hadn’t been included.  It doesn’t quite match the Battle of Hogwarts, but Harry’s final duel with Voldemort is still a worthy scene.  Again, I would have liked a little more information as to what was going on in that scene, but it got the job done.

In the end, it is a thrilling and emotional ride that, like the last ride in a theme park before you have to go home, leaves us satisfied and sad at the same time.  I was thrilled at such a great roller coaster, but I am now sad to see the fun end.  Goodbye Harry Potter.  It was fun while it lasted.

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About Jason Richard