Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two (2011) – Review
July 19, 2011
With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two, legions of Harry Potter fans will now no doubt be drifting aimlessly through a sea of bittersweet closure. The culmination of the highest grossing movie franchise of all time, it isn’t just a movie. It is an event. Part Two has already broken the record for (among other things) highest grossing opening weekend of all time, and it raked in almost $45 million in midnight showings alone (also a record).
This final installment (directed by David Yates, director of the last four installments) is the second half of the two-part movie based on the final book in a set of books you may have heard of, called the Harry Potter series; and is the continuation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One. Part Two picks up at the very same scene where Part One ends, and barely stops to catch its breath until the epilogue. In this installment, Harry meets his nemesis for one final battle and the fate of the world (and all the characters we’ve grown to love or hate) will be decided. (I won’t really bother with any more of a synopsis than that, because if you’ve seen the other movies, you know what is going to happen, and if you haven’t, it probably just won’t make any sense.)
Compared to Part One, Part Two is an improvement. It doesn’t feel quite as much like watching half of a movie, and there is significantly more action, significantly more plot, and is significantly more interesting. (And the characters don’t spend half the movie camping in the woods aimlessly, which helps.) There is a sequence of dense flashback exposition, but it is necessary for explaining the nuances of a plot twist. (And, to be honest, it may have just seemed talky, because the rest of the movie is so relentlessly climactic.)
Despite the fact that the movie is just over two hours long, and is a continuation of another two-and-a-half-hour movie, the pace is almost feverish. The pace is understandable because it is the climax of a 7 movie storyline, and have you seen the size of the book?! Nevertheless, I felt like it would have been nice if they had added some of the content that felt rushed or overlooked in Part Two to Part One, and truncated the pointless second act camping reenactment that was so long and drawn out. Or heck, why not make it two and a half hours or even three hours instead of two hours? Nevertheless it was a satisfying culmination to the eight movie saga. If you’ve seen the other movies, no doubt you’ll be itching to see this one as well. And if you enjoyed the other movies, this should prove to be a suitably exciting and emotional conclusion.
While many of the previous Potter movies have been fairly capable stand-alone movies, the final two movies really do need to be seen as the bookend to the series as a whole, and viewers who haven’t read the books, or at least seen the other movies, will probably either be very lost, or emotionally uninvested in the proceedings.
The Harry Potter films have been consistently above average in quality, and while certain installments were better than the others and vice-versa, the Deathly Hallows: Part Two, and the rest of the Potter pictures are well worth the time. If you’ve seen the other movies, you owe it to yourself to see Part Two and finish off the series. But then you probably already knew that, didn’t you?
4 out of 5 zipped lips.
Have you seen Deathly Hallows: Part Two? Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment with your thoughts!