July 14, 2011 Leave a comment
What an amazing journey it has been for the entire cast and crew of the Harry Potter franchise. The past ten years have been full of unforgettable theatrical experiences, in what is sure to be forever known as one of the greatest cinema franchises of all time. Today, the final installment of the Harry Potter series releases in theaters worldwide, and, as expected, the series goes out in the best way possible. Just a fair warning: I am going to absolutely do my best not to spoil elements of this final journey to Hogwarts as much as possible. In order to properly review the film, however, there will be some elements that I have to briefly describe. If you do not want any element of the film spoiled, come back to read the review after you’ve seen it.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 picks up exactly where Part 1 left off. He Who Shall Not be Named is becoming stronger. Harry, Ron, and Hermione, who spent two hours in Part 1 walking around in circles without making much progress, continue their quest to find the “horcruxes” that contain pieces of The Dark Lord’s soul. Part 1 really served as a set-up for this epic finale, and in retrospect, that set up was well needed. Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling, the author behind the series, wanted to capture practically every moment of the novel as much as possible, and they opted to split the book into two movies. Good idea, since the first movie had a lot of fluff and set-up that needed to be accomplished. Story wise, this last installment captures every element necessary to end the series, and tie up any loose ends for those who did not read the books.
Visually, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is, without a doubt, the best looking film in the series. Expect a lot of action in this final installation in the series. The main premise behind the film is the climactic Battle of Hogwarts. The special effects in the movie are absolutely superior. This is nothing new to the Harry Potter franchise, but in this particular movie, the special effects become larger and more widespread than ever before. There are several new spells that you’ll find throughout the movie, and the magic behind these spells are unlike any you ever imagined. There’s even one moment where the Bullet Time effect that made the original Matrix movie so famous, occurs in the magical world, and was one of several effects that kept me on the edge of my seat.
The real golden treat here is the acting. Seeing Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint portray our protagonists over the past ten years has been somewhat amazing–I am roughly the same age as the three stars, so watching them grow up is, in essence, like watching myself grow up again. The maturity of the three main actors has been somewhat spectacular, and their performances in this final installment of the epic series will definitely make them viable options in many future roles. Their character development into this final installment has been remarkable, there’s no doubt about that.
While the main cast is spectacular on it’s own, the supporting cast is just as great. Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), and Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) all return to give inspiring roles as Hogwarts staff. Their performances are absolutely stunning, showing their more human characteristics. My particular favorite of the Hogwarts crew is Rickman’s portrayal of Snape. In previous installments of the franchise, Rickman has always been a stone-faced, dark character with little emotion. In the finale, Snape shows a lot of emotion, and the transition between the two personalities is simply spectacular. Maggie Smith, as McGonagall, hasn’t had as big of a role as she could have in prior movies. This time around though, her portrayal of McGonagall gets much more attention, and her dedication and fear of coming events really shows. She is a fine British actress, and watching her character develop is nothing short of captivating.
Other supporting cast give great roles as well. Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix LeStrange), and Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort) all give inspiring performances that prove their worth as the greatest actors and actresses in Britain today. I really liked Matthew Lewis’s development in particular. The character of Neville always got a lot of laughs from me, mainly due to his clumsiness (which I can relate to). His maturity in this role really shows here, and with this performance, he has the potential to go very far in his career. The others really do an outstanding performance as well. All of the actors have developed their characters in the series so well, it’s almost like it’s they are really the characters they play. It’s very sad to know that their roles as these characters will never grace the screen again (if she doesn’t write another book, which I think is a possibility).
Action wise, this movie is absolutely packed full of it. I was on the edge of my seat for practically all of the two hours I was sitting in the theater watching it. Right from the start, the action begins. There are very few parts in the movie that have nothing happening. The return to Hogwarts (which didn’t appear in Part 1, if I recall correctly) was much needed, even if the traditional classes and magic that usually occurs in the movie was replaced with something more like your favorite action film. There are lots of explosions and fires in this movie (which can be somewhat saddening, seeing Hogwarts being essentially destroyed), so for the extremely diehard fans, there may be some tears (there were quite a few people doing just that in my theater).
In the end, this final installment of the Harry Potter franchise is actually the best of them all. David Yates, J.K. Rowling, and the entire cast and crew did no wrong with this final installment of the epic series, in one bit. Seeing the final moments of the franchise come to life is absolutely surreal after this ten year journey, and seeing our favorite characters appear on screen for the last time is saddening to both themselves and the viewers (you can definitely see it in the actors in the final scenes) was simply amazing. The film lasts 2 hours and 10 minutes, and it went by quickly, but there’s so much packed into it, you’re gonna want to see it again. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is an absolutely inspiring film, and is absolutely deserving of a perfect score. I am very proud to bestow the film with the first ever Digital Lust Platinum Award, and a final score of 5 stars out of 5.