Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Posted: July 22, 2011 in movie reviews, movies
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

When the screen faded to black for the last time of the Harry Potter series, I was overcome with a sense of finality and sadness. The story that started on the big screen over 10 years ago was finished. And this final movie was a perfect way to say goodbye to the story I grew up with.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Starring: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes.

Premise: We finished the 7th movie with Dobby’s death and Voldemort procuring the Elder Wand. Harry, Ron, and Hermonie continue their search for the rest of the horcruxes that ultimately lead them back to Hogwarts. Back to where it all begin, and culminating to an epic batter where it all ends.

My Review: Watching the last Harry Potter really did feel epic. It felt like the end of an era. I joined the HP bandwagon late. I watched the first two movies before I even started on the books so Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have always been Harry, Hermonie, and Ron to me. By that time, books 1-4 had been released, which I devoured quickly. From then on, I waited anxiously, like everyone else, for every book, and every movie to be released. Most of the time, the movie didn’t live up to the book – which is to be expected. But these last few movies, Half Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows Part 1, and Deathly Hallows Part 2 have really done the books justice. But if you’re a fan of the books I suggest seeing the movies at least twice, because if you’re like me, the first time you watch you’ll be judgmental, waiting to see what favorite parts of the book they left out. The 2nd time around you’ll be able to enjoy the movie more. Promise.

Why am I telling you all this? So you know that I’m an avid Harry Potter follower. I have pretty much read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so many times that my friends tell me I can stop reading it, and just recite the book to myself from memory. Meaning you can trust me when I say: this movie was the perfect note for Harry Potter to go out on.

Part 2 belongs to Harry (Daniel Radcliff), Voldemort (Ralph Finnes), and Professor Snape (Alan Rickman). The rest of the characters, except for Ron and Hermonie, were merely secondary, paying homage, blink-and-you-may miss them, fan eye candy. And with the exception of the Weasley family, and Hagrid, I didn’t really have a problem with that.

Alan Rickman definitely stole the show. I couldn’t take my eyes off him and when he was giving his speech to the kids at Hogwarts, I was literally holding my breath. Only Severus Snape could say the words “Equally guilty,” with such malice, while final scenes of the movie showed such magnificent range for the actor. Also stand outs, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall and John Hurt as Ollivander. Maggie Smith is badass with two great lines that made you want to stand up and cheer, and John Hurt’s scenes with Daniel Radcliff were delicate yet powerful.

The action was unyielding and the special effects were amazing. Harry, Ron and Hermonie took quite a beating, and it was brutal – though at times I felt like it could have been even more brutal.

While this movie had some stand-up and cheer moments, it also had sentimental moments. Without spoiling anything, I will say that I did tear up near the end, first for sentimental reasons, then for heartbreaking reasons. When reading that emotional part in the book sent tears streaming down my face, this movie played the scene gently and delicately, giving me some tears (but not making me a sobbing mess like some movies…I’m looking at you Eight Below – yes, I said Eight Below, in fairness, I had just lost my 14 year old dog 3 months before I watched that.)

Overall, I feel Deathly Hallows Part 2 could have been a ½ hour longer. With a running time of 2 ½ hours I felt like it could have elaborated on a few of the bigger events. (I’ll touch on this later.) But for the most part, I felt satisfied, happy, then said realizing we probably won’t have any more adventures with Harry, Ron and Hermonie. And I think that means, this movie franchise was a success!

Rating: 4.5 Stars/out of 5

 

 



SPOILER/RANT LINE. DO NOT CROSS IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW THIS MOVIE PLAYS OUT. SPOILERS!!!!!



Parts That Should Have Been Expanded

The Duel Between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix. I felt like both of these characters where glossed over in the final movies and their battle should have been more epic. Molly Weasley did pull out all the stops with my favorite line of the series, “Not my daughter, you bitch.”

Fred’s Death. In the book, we actually see Fred’s death play out and the way Ron and Percy protect his body for further harm as the castle crumbles is heartbreaking. Especially the fact that Ron and Harry both witness this murder. I think that’s a big deal to a man, seeing your friend, brother, best friend’s brother murdered and it could have been touched upon more.

Harry’s Walk To His Death. I wish it played out like it did in the book. Where Harry puts invisibility cloak on and walks by his friends, and loves one, and even Ginny giving them one last look and really appreciating them. However that final moment with Ron and Hermonie, “I can go with you,” was utterly heartbreaking. Emma Watson, you got me girl.

When Harry First Arrives at Hogwarts. I wish this was drawn out longer. I really liked how it played out in the books where people kept coming and coming into the Room of Requirement, and welcoming Harry. Especially the Weasley’s that had been his family for so long. Then again, from a filmmaker’s POV, I can see how all of this can be a bit tedious and overwhelming and I guess costly…

 

Parts They Left Out, I Wish They Didn’t

Ron and Hermonie’s Kiss. Though the way they did it in the movie was sweet. It was also predictable. The book played it out nicely. Ron finally took into consideration Hermonie’s feelings by wanting to save the house elves that Hermonie had no choice but to FINALLY kiss him. Also Harry’s response to this is classic when he asks why now in the middle of death and destruction is the time for them to kiss. The movie, Harry didn’t really have a reaction to them finally getting back together.

Percy’s Redemption/Weasley Family Reunion: I saw the actor who played Percy Weasley from the previous movie in the scenes with the Weasley’s so I’m thinking this scene may have been cut. But him returning to his family after siding with the Ministry was one of the high lights of book 7. Especially with Lupin and Tonks trying to cut the tension my showing pictures of their kid.

Fred’s Death: (see above)

The Carrows, Harry’s revelation to Professor McGonagall: I loved Harry entering into Ravenclaw’s common rooms, waking up the kids, the Carrow’s spotting Harry Potter, the kids stunning one of the Carrows, a Carrow calling for Professor McGOnagall to figure out what happened, one of the Carrows spitting on her, and Harry defending her honor. The way the scene played out in the book between Harry and the Professor was brilliant. Neville did mention about the Carrows, but then we never saw the except for when Snape was giving his speech to the kids, but if you never read the book, you’d never guess that was them.

Hermonie, Luna and Ginny vs. Bellatrix and Kingsley. Mr. Weasley vs. Voldemort: In the book, before Harry reveals that he’s alive, he takes note of these two epic battles that are happening before him. I wish we had seen this because it shows that Voldemort also has no mercy for the wizards and he does indeed kill for himself. In the movie, he basically seemed to be hiding – also letting everyone else fight his battle for him. I wish we could have seen Voldemort kill off some of Harry’s Friends, just portray true EVILNESS, like the book did.

At the epilogue, I wish they had added the line from the book from Harry, “It did for me.” Regarding the sorting hat taking into account the wizards preference for House placement.

Parts I’m Glad They Added

Superhero Neville: Neville destroys the bridge leading to Hogwarts killing hundreds of the Snatcher types of villains in the process. It was a well-played out scene and it made Neville killing the snake all that much more victorious.

Snape’s Speech to the Students of Hogwarts: Alan Rickman performed this speech so eloquently. He dotted every “I”, and pronounced every syllable slowly and strongly. It was tremendous.

Professor McGonagall’s Feistiness: When Professor McGonagall says, “I’ve always wanted to do that,” after summoning the statues of Hogwarts to fight, everyone in my theater cheered. It wasn’t in the book but it was brilliant and Maggie Smith delivered that line just perfectly.

 

Other Random Thoughts

  • For this movie alone, I wish we had more time with the other loveable characters: Molly Weasley, Hagrid, the Twins, Bellatrix, but I think I also forgot that this 2nd movie goes with the first. So taking into account the 4 hours and 45 minutes of both Harry’s, it was an overall successful final movie!
  • I cried when Hermonie said, “I’ll go with you” in tears and then when Harry saw his parents, Lupin, and Sirus…I was a goner!
  • It was hard not to laugh at the ending. Hermonie still looked like an 18/19 year old when she was supposedly hugging her son. It just wasn’t believable. Not to say that I didn’t get that little feeling of nostalgia.
  • Anyone get misty eyed at the brief clip of the kids so young during Snape’s flashbacks?
  • Anyone get misty eyed when Professor McGonagall said, “Harry, it’s good to see you?” That woman is AMAZING!
  • It’s too bad Goyle had to die because Crabbe grows pot. Hope that actor thought it was worth it!
  • Harry Potter will always be better than Twilight.
  • Check out this link about the Potter Casts best memories from the past 10 years.
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Comments
  1. Leticia says:

    I didn’t read your post entirely, specially bits regarding parts they didn’t put on the movie – cause unfortunately I haven’t read the 2 final books just yet. But the fact that I ran accross a million people pointing out Alan stole the show (which is my opinion as well) makes me very happy cause it is to be expected people to try to boost up the performance of the main “heroes”.

    I promise to get back to this post after finishing books 6 & 7. Or the entire series again 😉

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