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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Jul. 14, 2011by:
8 10

PLOT: Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) are back for this final installment of the HARRY POTTER franchise, in which Harry finally has one last showdown with his long-time nemesis, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

REVIEW: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2, picks up right where the last film left off, with Harry mourning the death of the beloved house elf, Dobby, who died saving his life. Within minutes, Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to track down the final Horcruxes, which will allow Potter to vanquish Voldemort (played with downright iconic malice by Ralph Fiennes) once and for all.


While DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 was a very solid movie, some criticized it for being a little slow, with the plot feeling a tad stretched out in order to separate the lengthy book into two films. By comparison, PART 2 is paced like lightening. Within a half hour, weíre plunged right into the Battle for Hogwarts, so the film canít be accused of wasting any time.

At 130 minutes, with credits, DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 is the shortest film of the franchise, and also the most action-heavy, with it being almost wall-to-wall in action. Itís certainly the most exciting and darkest of the series so far, handily earning the PG-13 rating the series has matured into. This increasingly dark streak is probably my favorite thing about the direction the last few films have taken under director David Yates. It makes sense though, as just like the star trio, the audiences have grown up since the first film came out a full ten years ago. While I never read the books (I maintain that Iím a decade too old to have really gotten into the series), for a generation of fans, this is a seminal series, and with DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2, it ends on a high note.

Iím assuming that a lot of readers have read the books, but if not, Iíll try to keep this spoiler free. Suffice to say, the Battle For Hogwarts carries a lot of weight, and a lot of beloved characters, including many students (who are after all- children), donít survive it. Yates makes the battle very gritty, with a surprising amount of gore, and very real stakes evident throughout. For my money, he nailed it.


Just as important are all the young actors who, without exception, are excellent. In past reviews of the series, Iíve raved about how Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint have grown into wonderful actors, but here- even some of the bit players get their moment in the sun. This is particularly true for fan-favorite Neville Longbottom, played by Matthew Lewis- who had the audience I saw this with erupt into cheers more than a few times.

That said, my favorite moment of the film is the great showdown between Molly Weasley (Julie Walters), and Bellatrix Lestrange, played with wicked relish by the terrific Helena Bonham Carter. For anyone whoís read the books, you wonít be surprised that their brief, but great battle rocked the house.

However, I have one problem with THE DEATHLY HALLOWS as a whole. As good as both films are, I really feel that, as a film, the decision should never have been made to split them in two. I can certainly see why they did it, as not only would keeping chunks of the book that would have been cut, please the hardcore fans- but financially, itís a brilliant move. The last one made a billion dollars worldwide, and this will do AT LEAST the same. Why have one billion dollar film when you can have two?

However, splitting them up keeps the final installment from having the punch it should have had, as we jump right into the action. Granted, the last film had MORE than enough character development, but unless you watch both films back to back, PART 2 feels a bit like walking into an epic thatís half over. If it had been one extremely disciplined three-hour-plus films, DEATHLY HALLOWS might have been some kind of genre masterpiece. Rather, as they are, the films are very good, rather than being as transcendent as they could have been.


Still, I think this is an argument that will carry more weight with the non-Potter devotees like myself. Regardless of whether you worship the series or not, DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2 is a great send off, and a fitting final chapter to a series I initially dismissed, but later surprised me by becoming something that feels essential. There arenít many franchises that have been as consistent. On the whole, HARRY POTTER hass been a great series of films, and a major accomplishment for all involved.

Extra Tidbit: The 3D is quite bad though. Yates's dark take and Eduardo Serra's cinematography really don't go well with 3D. The visuals are mangled- and if at all possible, this is REALLY one to see in 2D. Cheaper, and in this case- better.
Source: JoBlo.com

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9:31PM on 07/16/2011

I disagree.

Sorry, Chris. Though I like your review, I think that keeping the movie as an "extremely disciplined" 3-hour film would have severely compromised the strength of the story. There was a great deal to cover in this story, for the sake of wrapping the series up, and from someone who has read the entire series, it is obvious that only the most essential storylines were kept in this final chapter, both in parts 1 and 2. To subtract anything more for the sake of time constraints would have
Sorry, Chris. Though I like your review, I think that keeping the movie as an "extremely disciplined" 3-hour film would have severely compromised the strength of the story. There was a great deal to cover in this story, for the sake of wrapping the series up, and from someone who has read the entire series, it is obvious that only the most essential storylines were kept in this final chapter, both in parts 1 and 2. To subtract anything more for the sake of time constraints would have destroyed the integrity of the plot. I strongly believe that in this case, you could not have both brevity and plot integrity. It just wouldn't work.
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11:11AM on 07/16/2011

here here!

" Rather, as they are, the films are very good, rather than being as transcendent as they could have been." EXACTLY my thoughts on this one. Good but not great.
" Rather, as they are, the films are very good, rather than being as transcendent as they could have been." EXACTLY my thoughts on this one. Good but not great.
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6:15PM on 07/14/2011
Great review this time & yes i am pumped to see the final potter film. I did feel there was no need to bring up the fact it was split in two films, whats done is done & unneccssary for the review, simply review the movie itself & leave any other opinions for another day.

Keep in mind i am in my early 30s & i have enjoyed each film in this series & never really felt these are simply kids movies. I guarantee every Potter fan already knows the story & the reason for the movie being split. Also
Great review this time & yes i am pumped to see the final potter film. I did feel there was no need to bring up the fact it was split in two films, whats done is done & unneccssary for the review, simply review the movie itself & leave any other opinions for another day.

Keep in mind i am in my early 30s & i have enjoyed each film in this series & never really felt these are simply kids movies. I guarantee every Potter fan already knows the story & the reason for the movie being split. Also let me say the review is solid & great for recommending the movie, just the ciriticism for the split was not needed.
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11:09PM on 07/14/2011
The criticism for the split is entirely warranted in the review.
Oh, I see, every HP fan already knows about the movie being split, so that's like 100% of Earth's population. It's ludacris to believe that there exists people who are not HP fanboys.
The criticism for the split is entirely warranted in the review.
Oh, I see, every HP fan already knows about the movie being split, so that's like 100% of Earth's population. It's ludacris to believe that there exists people who are not HP fanboys.
2:07AM on 07/15/2011
never claimed to be a fanboy my friend as I have not read one book in the Harry Potter series, my post is based on the appreciation for the films alone.
never claimed to be a fanboy my friend as I have not read one book in the Harry Potter series, my post is based on the appreciation for the films alone.
4:14PM on 07/14/2011

haters on reviews..

i think reviews like this are one of the reasons i come to this site.

usually right on point on how my friends and I see films.
i think reviews like this are one of the reasons i come to this site.

usually right on point on how my friends and I see films.
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+0
3:40PM on 07/14/2011

2 Movies=DAMN RIGHT

I love that this movie is getting solid reviews. It ends such an influential series on a great note. I am a little disappointed to see the direction this review took. I have been a HP fan from the very beginning. Growing up and evolving with these books, I definitely understand the importance of the DETAILS. I can understand someone's point to make it "flow" into one movie. HOWEVER, if you had 1/3 of an idea about how much information is actually packed into the last book, you would understand
I love that this movie is getting solid reviews. It ends such an influential series on a great note. I am a little disappointed to see the direction this review took. I have been a HP fan from the very beginning. Growing up and evolving with these books, I definitely understand the importance of the DETAILS. I can understand someone's point to make it "flow" into one movie. HOWEVER, if you had 1/3 of an idea about how much information is actually packed into the last book, you would understand why they decided to split it up. It was the ONLY WAY to do this book justice. Again, you give a great review, just don't harp on something that was in the end necessary.
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11:20PM on 07/14/2011
The criticism is unjustified because the split was needed? Brilliant.
The criticism is unjustified because the split was needed? Brilliant.
+0
3:32PM on 07/14/2011
Very good review but I'm just a bit worried how they are going to fit all the emotional scenes that are left in just 2 hours.
Very good review but I'm just a bit worried how they are going to fit all the emotional scenes that are left in just 2 hours.
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6:23PM on 07/14/2011
2 hrs is quite a long time actually, seems to be the right way & not overdo the way Return of the King did, not that im knocking LOTR.
2 hrs is quite a long time actually, seems to be the right way & not overdo the way Return of the King did, not that im knocking LOTR.
3:22PM on 07/14/2011
with this series coming to a close, there is only one magical conquest for Harry Potter fans to accomplish: go out, get a life, and lose your virginity, nerds!
with this series coming to a close, there is only one magical conquest for Harry Potter fans to accomplish: go out, get a life, and lose your virginity, nerds!
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6:26PM on 07/14/2011
so uncalled for & immature, im 33 yrs old & was married when these first came out. Had no problem getting laid either.
so uncalled for & immature, im 33 yrs old & was married when these first came out. Had no problem getting laid either.
7:17AM on 07/15/2011
The nerds have postponed their virginity loss until the two hobbit films come out. duh
The nerds have postponed their virginity loss until the two hobbit films come out. duh
2:10PM on 07/14/2011
Hey chris glad you liked the movie, inspite of its flaws and i agree about the splitting of the movies feeling a little jarring but hey cant wait for the next review
Hey chris glad you liked the movie, inspite of its flaws and i agree about the splitting of the movies feeling a little jarring but hey cant wait for the next review
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1:27PM on 07/14/2011
Terrible review. How are you a professional writer?!
Terrible review. How are you a professional writer?!
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2:08PM on 07/14/2011
dude shut the fuck up
dude shut the fuck up
2:47PM on 07/14/2011
Heard of something called constructive criticism? If you're gonna complain, at least have the decency to specify what he did wrong, as a matter of fact I thought this was an excellent review that represented the film in many ways (I saw it last night).
Heard of something called constructive criticism? If you're gonna complain, at least have the decency to specify what he did wrong, as a matter of fact I thought this was an excellent review that represented the film in many ways (I saw it last night).
6:27PM on 07/14/2011
whats a professional writer, talk about an oxymoron.
whats a professional writer, talk about an oxymoron.
-13
1:19PM on 07/14/2011
As a person who only watched the movies I gotta say part 1 was pretty horrible. It is good to see though that the majority of reviews for part 2 are good.
As a person who only watched the movies I gotta say part 1 was pretty horrible. It is good to see though that the majority of reviews for part 2 are good.
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+5
1:08PM on 07/14/2011
So I guess from your review, it is a good thing that I am seeing Part 1 on the big screen right before Part 2 at midnight. Gotta love AMC sometimes.
So I guess from your review, it is a good thing that I am seeing Part 1 on the big screen right before Part 2 at midnight. Gotta love AMC sometimes.
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10:40AM on 07/14/2011
The movie is great, and I'm please to see some of the other heroes have some screen time AT LAST (like Neville does here), but it doesn't change the fact that they were SO MUCH forgotten in the other movies of the series.
The two disappointing things in this movie are the 3D, as you said, and the fact that Drago's related subplot was greatly erased from the film...
The movie is great, and I'm please to see some of the other heroes have some screen time AT LAST (like Neville does here), but it doesn't change the fact that they were SO MUCH forgotten in the other movies of the series.
The two disappointing things in this movie are the 3D, as you said, and the fact that Drago's related subplot was greatly erased from the film...
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10:22AM on 07/14/2011

Who dies...

Please tell me? Anybody worth seeing. I really wanted harry to bite the dust. :(
Please tell me? Anybody worth seeing. I really wanted harry to bite the dust. :(
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9:23AM on 07/14/2011
Great write up CBum! I giggled, my review of the film went up (on another site) at the same time as yours, and here I thought I had beat you to it hehe.
Great write up CBum! I giggled, my review of the film went up (on another site) at the same time as yours, and here I thought I had beat you to it hehe.
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8:19AM on 07/14/2011

Can't wait to see it!

BTW, Armond White is a douchebag. Just wanted to throw that out there just in case it hasn't been said enough times.
BTW, Armond White is a douchebag. Just wanted to throw that out there just in case it hasn't been said enough times.
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8:19AM on 07/14/2011

An honest review...but...

I really can't wait to see this finale tonight at midnight. Epic I'm sure. But, the one thing I'm a little shocked about is you are the only critic I've heard (literally the only one) say that you disagree with splitting the final book into two movies. I can't imagine what they could cut from the 5 plus hours of Dealthy Hallows filming (granted I haven't seen part 2 and part 1 did drag a little in the forest scenes). But, it's nice to get another opinion I suppose. Glad you liked it.
I really can't wait to see this finale tonight at midnight. Epic I'm sure. But, the one thing I'm a little shocked about is you are the only critic I've heard (literally the only one) say that you disagree with splitting the final book into two movies. I can't imagine what they could cut from the 5 plus hours of Dealthy Hallows filming (granted I haven't seen part 2 and part 1 did drag a little in the forest scenes). But, it's nice to get another opinion I suppose. Glad you liked it.
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