Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II Review

Finally, it ends.

After more than a decade of Harry Potter adorning our silver screen, J K Rowling’s sprawling creation finally meets its maker.

And not before time either, as the good will this eight film behemoth had created through some entertaining earlier instalments was being fast eroded by the first two acts of the final play.

Fortunately, for anyone who’s managed to live under a rock long enough to still not know how it all ends, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II lives up to the weight of expectation.

Picking up right where the first part of Hallows left off, we find Harry and chums on a beach having just buried a friend who died to save them.

Without time to dwell on this, Potter and co move forward with their plan to find and destroy the remaining horcruxes; the seven articles Harry’s nemesis Lord Voldemort, aka the man with no nose, has squirreled his soul into for anyone out there who isn’t obsessed with potter lore and has a life.

This includes me, well at least the first part anyhow.

Their quest leads this trio of childhood friends on a fantastical journey where they encounter goblins, fire breathing dragons, ghosts, trolls, bloody great big animated stone statues as well as friends old and new.

Of course, it’s all leading up to an inevitable duel between Harry and his dream brother Lord Voldemort.

Miraculously, I’d managed to avoid finding out the exact end of Harry Potter til watching this final film.

Something to do with threatening to remove the larynx of any soul morally bankrupt enough to want to spoil the surprise.

Of course, you know how it will end; you just don’t know how this will happen.

The most notable difference between Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II and the rest of Rowling canon is the full on departure from previously child friendly storylines.

These films have evolved along with their adolescent protagonists and audience, even if there were some painful teenage years along the way, so that now we finally have a fully formed grown up movie to match.

As if to ram this point home, we are treated to a rather gratuitous cleavage shot of Hermione doppelganger Emma Watson rather early on in proceedings.

If you weren’t sure these kids were adults before, you are now.

Thankfully, the acting skills of the three not so young leads also appear to have blossomed.

As anyone without Potter blinkers on would no doubt testify, there have been some distinctly creaking moments through Hogwarts halls over the years from the child cast. But this is not something Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II suffers from.

Even the heavy and often insular material feels light as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson show us that now they can take centre stage without need of the films’ stellar ensemble cast to create dramatic tension.

Time whistles by as taut action scenes are now mixed with a purpose and sense of direction that was absent in earlier films to anyone who wasn’t a fan of the books.

Alloyed to some spectacular 3D effects and the result makes Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II the most engaging and enjoyable of the series, ensuring the franchise goes out on a high point.

It’s not perfect by any means, and there are still some glaring incongruities that the script offers up; but this is an indication of J K Rowling’s limitations as a writer, which has been displayed on numerous occasions throughout these films, rather than anything else.

Logic and reason are two qualities notable in their absence from Rowling’s plot devices, which risked undermining the credibility of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II final denouement.

Luckily for her, the execution of the final film by director David Yates and his special effects team makes up for Rowling’s obvious literary deficiencies.

So at last it all ends.

But Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II is so entertaining; I’ll be reliving the final magic once more before it vanishes from the big screen.

Jonathan Campbell

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  1. […] enough about me, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II is the most exciting film of the lot; but the final two films really should be watched as […]

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Dates ‘n stuff

July 2011