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Wednesday, July 20, 2011



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a 2011 fantasy adventure film directed by David Yates that serves as the eighth and final film in the Harry Potter film franchise. This film picks up where Part 1 left off, with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) kneeling before Dobby's grave. However, we quickly get to the action as he and his friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) attempt to find the remaining horcruxes in order to defeat Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). I could probably go into more detail about the actual specifics of the plot, but I'm going to refrain from doing so rather than attempt to explain all the intricacies of what transpires on-screen. Because I haven't read any of the books in the series, I feel as though I would butcher any real attempt at explaining the storyline here, so I'll simply stop at this point because I think I've given you everything you really need to know going forward. It's a battle between Harry and Voldemort, and that's exactly how the film plays out.

Now as I previously mentioned, I have not read any of J.K. Rowling's books, so I don't have the deep and intimate knowledge of the Harry Potter storyline that fans surely have. Because of this, my level of excitement for each film has been dramatically lower than that of your average Potter moviegoer. Still, I've found most of the films in the franchise to be rather entertaining, with The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Order of the Phoenix serving as my personal favorites. Those of you who have been reading me for a while will know that I didn't review Deathly Hallows: Part 1 very favorably, which I something I alluded to in my breakdown of the trailer for Part 2. I had my concerns heading into this final chapter, and I can honestly say that they were only slightly alleviated.

While I thought that the screenplay was a little less confusing this time around, I didn't think that there was anything truly "epic" being brought to the screen. I'm sure had I read the novels, the closing moments would have spurred a number of emotions, but without that prior knowledge, I think it fell a little bit flat. Still, there's quite a lot to like about the storyline, and I've always been a sucker for stories coming full circle. When you have an eight-part film franchise, it's very difficult to make them convincingly decent after a while, but at the end of the day, I think that director David Yates crafted a solid film that works on a number of levels. Some of the dialogue is spotty, but at its base, there's a good foundation and enough twists and turns to keep your uninitiated viewer guessing.

If there's one thing that I've always applauded about the Harry Potter films, it's their ability to draw fantastic actors into the fray. The cast list for the franchise is a laundry list of A-listers who all bring great performances to the screen. I've had my issues in the past with Radcliffe's ability, and he didn't really wow me here, but he does well enough to make him convincing until the end. I've always been fond of Watson and Grint in their roles, and they finish out the series just as strongly as they entered it, even if they've taken more of a backseat than usual. I could probably go into a great amount of detail in talking about each individual here, but I'll save that for a later date. There's just too many big names to mention here and now, but know that I was, and have always been, a fan of the acting in the Potter films, and Deathly Hallows: Part 2 does not disappoint.

On a quick side note, I thought the music in the film - this time composed by Alexandre Desplat - fits perfectly once again. He took John Williams's original score and made it fit the darker mood of this last film, and he should be applauded.

At the end of the day, I thought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was a very good film that puts a stamp on a fantastic franchise. Could it have been better? Probably. Seeing as I'm only viewing the films as films, not adaptations of a beloved novel franchise, I can only see what they give me. There's no room for me to read between the lines and see what's going on in the background because I don't know what's there to see. Were I a Potter fanatic, I'd probably review this one more favorably, but as it stands, I think it's a serviceable film that ends things on a high note.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B+1 Thumb Up

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