Thursday, July 14, 2011


Directed by David Yates
Written by Steve Kloves
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint
Synopsis: Harry, Ron and Hermione final journey to search and destroy Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in hopes of defeating the Dark Lord once and for all.

It all ends here folks.  No more books.  No more movies.  It's over.  After ten years of movies, one of the most successful franchises in the world finishes its final chapter...and what a chapter to end on. This not for the casual movie goer looking for a random movie to watch for the weekend.  Kloves' script spends no time recapping PART 1 as we are thrust right into the story.  The momentum starts and goes full speed for most of the movie, except for a few choice character moments.

The anticipation for this film and the pressure for the filmmakers to get this movie just perfect is almost insurmountable.  As the finale to this epic series, fans will go in looking for a catharsis.  The feelings felt when many of us finished reading book seven will be heightened ten fold.  This film is satisfying and really quite wonderful.  For the hardcore fan who has followed the series since the books were released or the movie-goer who have seen all the films but have never read the books, this is as close to the perfect finale one can get.

One punch in the face was how dark, and I mean really dark, the tone of this movie is.  In the previous films, the story told of the war brewing between good and evil forces.  Even with PART 1, I never really felt the dire urgency of the trio completing their quest to find and destroy the Horcruxes because innocent people were dying.  However, with some selective images, Yates has created a truly terrifying magical world at war, and it's absolutely frightening.  The epic battle which consumes most of the movie is one of the most impressive battles I've seen on screen.  Danger is felt around every corner  The casualties are felt; Voldemort's lack of any human empathy radiates off screen; and this movie becomes a very hard PG-13.

With Kloves being so faithful to the original text, there are a few scenes thrown in, which die-hard fans will enjoy, but may leave others wondering why that scene was important.  Keeping a what appears to be a random scene/character in a movie because they may affect the plot later has always been a flaw of the series.  The material is so dense that it would be almost impossible to give the appropriate weight to everything.  Otherwise we'd be left with every movie being five hours long.  (Of course, many fans wouldn't complain, including this one).  It's difficult not to talk about the plot because some people may actually go in not knowing what happens.  Like the beauty of reading book seven the night it was released, I dare not spoil that discovery for anyone.  But yes, to all who are wondering, all of your favorite scenes and lines are in there.

All of the favorite British acting royalty is back in full force, including some scene stealing moments from Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, and the always merciless and nightmarish, Ralph Fiennes.  But let's talk for a moment about my favorite performance...Alan Rickman.  Whenever the series was initially cast, people always have their opinions on which actors would have been perfect for this role or that role, but I've never heard anything but "perfect" when describing Rickman as Snape.  His story is given the perfect amount of weight and attention that makes the culmination of his arc is absolute, hands down, best of the movie series.  Of course our heroic trio have come such a long way from the bright-eyed, campiness of the SORCERER'S STONE.   Watching them grow with their characters has been such a wonderful experience.  They've all come a long way, and each have justly portrayed such iconic characters.

After all the build up between 14 years of movies and books, it all ends in one of the best films of the series.  Both hardcore and not-so-hardcore fans alike will be pleased with the final stamp on this beloved story.

(Side note: pack some tissues.)

For forewarned that this movie will be shown in 3D.  Since it wasn't shot in 3D, the drab palette of the movie is even dimmer with the glasses.  The action isn't indistinguishable, but the 3D doesn't add much of anything to the experience.

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