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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (A Movie Review)

Updated: May 15

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2


Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Robbie Coltrane, Bonnie Wright, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Julie Walters, Tom Felton, Jason Isaacs, Helen McCrory, Maggie Smith, Ciarán Hinds, John Hurt, Warwick Davis, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Clémence Poésy, Domhnall Gleeson, David Thewlis, Natalia Tena, Jim Broadbent, Katie Leung, Jessie Cave, Afshan Azard, Isabella Laughland, Anna Shaffer, Georgina Leonidas, Freddie Stroma, Alfie Enoch, Dave Legeno, Chris Rankin, David Bradley, Emma Thompson, Miriam Margolyes, George Harris, Kelly Macdonald, Geraldine Somerville, Adrian Rawlins, Gary Oldman, Hebe Beardsall, Ellie Darcey-Alden, Benedict Clarke and Arthur Bowen.

Screenplay by Steve Kloves.

Directed by David Yates.

Distributed by Warner Bros.  130 minutes.  Rated PG-13.

And so it ends.

Arguably the most popular film series (and certainly the most complex one) in recent history clocks out at eight movies and almost 20 hours of fantastic magic made in just over ten years.  (Taking into account the time it took to make the original film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which originally came out in July 2001.)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 closes things out pretty definitively and satisfyingly.  This finally really is the end (as it is quite unlikely that JK Rowling will ever revisit the world of Hogwarts again), and the film does not hide from that finality.

Yet, while I have mostly enjoyed the movies I’ve seen (and in interest of full disclosure, I’ve only seen six of the eight movies), I have to admit to being a tiny bit underwhelmed by this chapter – as I have been with most.  Not that I didn’t enjoy the film, I did, but I never quite understand all the hype.

The Potter series has seemed to me to be imaginative, mostly entertaining, but often difficult to embrace and periodically kind of dull.

Particularly the epic battle scenes between good and evil over Hogwarts Academy in this final installment made me squirm in my seat.  If you’ve seen one massive army of supernatural sorts laying siege on another, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  This stuff reminded me way too much of the horribly dull final Lord of the Rings movie and dozens of other fantasies.

I have always been much more interested in the relationships in the Potter world.  With the children (well, they are young adults now), this was still mostly intriguing stuff.  With the adults, less so – Deathly Hallows Part 2 suffers from the typical finale need to squash in as many iconic characters from the series as it can, and not giving any of them enough to do.

And oddly, for the event that all of this has been leading up to, the final showdown between Harry Potter and his nemesis Valdemort was a bit anticlimactic and muted.

However, the film was well-made, beautifully acted and full of the unbridled imagination that has been the hallmark of the series.

My final feeling about Harry Potter is about the same it always has been.  It is very good, but not great.  I mostly enjoyed the movie, but sometimes got bored.  It is a triumph of imagination and yet eventually gets a little repetitive.  I can see why it has become a global phenomenon, but I can’t personally embrace the series with the same awed dedication.

Then again, I’m certainly in the minority there, so I am not so foolish to deny the fact that maybe I’m the one who is wrong.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2011 All rights reserved. Posted: July 15, 2011.

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