Monday, July 25, 2011

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Directed by: David Yates
Written by: Steve Kloves, J.K. Rowling
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord's three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.
I think that this was the hardest thing I've ever had to rate. Also the hardest thing I've ever had to review. I was thinking about not doing it because I was so unsure (and also a bit lazy) but I wanted to tell you guys what I felt about this movie.

I liked it. I really, really did. But I think I went in with expectations that were a little too high. Because it wasn't as epic as I was hoping. Maybe (actually, probably) because it wasn't what I was picturing in my head when I was reading the book. Plus I read too many high-praising reviews. Not that I'm not giving high praise to this film. It was good, really. I'm just saying I shouldn't have read other reviews.

I went in without even seeing Part 1 of the film series, so I was slightly off-track when I first started watching. The film felt really short. There was a ton of action, great acting, and even some humor that lightened up the mood occasionally (Yeah, Neville!), but when it was over, it didn't seem like two hours went by at all. It felt condensed.

I still really enjoyed the movie overall, which is why I'm now going to go a bit into the details. This review will have a TON of spoilers, so if you haven't read the book/series yet, I suggest you stop reading this review, and go read the book. By the way, I will be using the word "epic" quite a bit in this review, considering the fact that it is Harry Potter.

One Very Important Warning: DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER. If you already have, well, that sucks, but if you haven't, DON'T WATCH IT. There's a reason I didn't put it in this review. When I was talking about the movie being condensed, I'm quite serious when referring to the trailer. The entire movie was practically shown in the trailer. So. DO NOT WATCH IT.

McGonagall: Lady, you are possibly my most favorite professor at Hogwarts ever. Scratch that. You are. The last movie? Talk about epic. My friends and I were cheering for you when you confronted Snape and when you called down Hogwarts to protect itself. Also, right before that, the part when Harry and the Order of the Phoenix stepped out had me really excited. It made me feel good. TAKE THAT, SNAPE.

The Crying: I shamelessly admit the fact that I cried. Twice, in fact, with a tearing up once. I was prepared, after reading several reviews, and brought along tissues in my purse. I cried when Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked into Hogwarts to find one of the Weasley twins dead and Tonks and Lupin lying there together. I really wish Tonks and Lupin had a bigger part in the movie, other than their deaths. I think they deserved more. I also cried, of course, during the infamous Snape scene. I think everybody who's read the book/watched the movie knows what I'm talking about. Alan Rickman's portrayal of Professor Snape was always one of my most favorites in the movie series. He did very well, especially in the final movie. And Snape is also another of my favorite book characters. Quoting Hagrid, I venture to say that he was "seriously misunderstood." The tearing up actually happened before both of these scenes, but I feel like I have to rant about it, so I need more space. It was during that short little scene when the two Weasley twins were standing on top of Hogwarts castle some time in the beginning, and George asked Fred if he was "doing all right." Okay. WHAT KIND OF CRUEL FORESHADOWING IS THAT? Was that intentional? Did they really do that? WHY? Oh, Fred. I loved the Weasley twins so much. I was sad when they left Hogwarts. I was absolutely devastated when one of them died. 

Harry's After-Death: Pretty satisfactory. I'm not so into floating-between-life-and-death scenes anywhere, so this one I didn't really have any feelings about. However, that bloody-Voldemort-baby thing was extremely gross.

Neville Longbottom: This kid is awesome, man. Although I found that one part with him rather hilarious. When he was lying down in the hospital injured, and then he suddenly rose up from his cot with a face that was like "I THINK I'M GOING TO GO SAVE THE DAY TODAY." I just pictured him saying that. Of course, he did save the day. He picked up that little toothpick (that is a sword) and decapitated that freaky snake.

The Malfoys: These people have always been a touchy subject for me. They confuse me. But when Narcissa saved Harry, I couldn't help smiling. Guess there's some heart in them, after all. Even if they have really awkward hair-dos. Plus, when they simply walked away from the battle, I felt myself cheering for them again. Malfoy and his mom holding hands when they walked was just so sweet. (Plus Tom Felton is kind of attractive.) 

The Hogwarts Battle: I felt like the movie focused more on Harry and the Horcruxes rather than anything else that was going on during the movie. The shield thing in the beginning that the teachers created had me excited and going, but after that, there was little fighting. Once again, I wished they at least showed a bit more of the wizards who died in battle, as a tribute or something. I also just realized that there was no house-elf scene. Do you know how much I loved that scene in the book? I practically jumped out of my chair and started cheering when I was reading. I LOVE epic rescue scenes where people just swoop in and go "OHEYTHERE. WE'RE HERE TO HELP."

The Epic Mrs. Weasley Scene: Frankly, this was a disappointment. The famous one-liner that Mrs. Weasley gives is in there, but I felt like the scene was a little downplayed. I was hoping for a little more epic-ness in the scene. 

The Voldemort and Harry Showdown: Simple, short. Another not-as-epic-as-I-was-hoping scene. I'm sorry, guys. Once again, I regret reading all those reviews, and feel like I should've just went in completely unbiased and unthinking. But as I recall, if memory doesn't fail me, this scene should've occured in the Great Hall in front of everybody. But instead, they decide to have a quiet little get-together outside of Hogwarts. They did make Voldy's death rather gruesome. But then my friend and I started joking about vampires and burning all those little flakes, and it kind of ruined the moment.

The Epilogue: This was a scene that really made the film seem condensed. I wish the epilogue was longer. The book epilogue was done rather well, especially with the hilarious comments from Ron. (Also, what about Tonks' and Lupin's kid?) But the film epilogue pretty much just showed Harry and his family (plus the little "The Sorting Hat listens to you" conversation), Ron and Hermione and their family, and Draco and his family. That was it. Few words exchanged. Plus, Hermione looked the exact same as nineteen years ago, just saying.

The Music: Of course, being the musician I am, I have to shine some light on this, too. The later few movies in the series didn't use the original soundtrack and the famous "Hedwig's Theme" that we all can probably sing in our sleep. BUT. This movie, bless them, ended with that theme and music, and that fact in itself probably made me like the movie a whole lot more.

The Movie Series Overall: This is an obvious. The movies will never, NEVER, be as good as the books. But I still really, really, really enjoyed the films as magic and action films (as in, ignoring the fact that they're based off of books), and as a visual for my favorite series. There were a few things in the entire series that bothered me, and I feel like I have to bring it up. Namely, Harry's eyes. I'm sorry. But Daniel, you have blue eyes. Harry has green. I'm not quite sure why they left out such an important fact. Does that bother anybody else? Is it just me? Also, we never got to see Peeves the Poltergeist. WHY? He was fantastic! There are some other key points, but I can't remember them right now. It's been a while since I read the series, and I will have to re-read them again sometime in the near future.

And that is it, guys. There was not a single dull moment, and it was full of explosions and fighting and enough epic-ness that satisfied me to the point of giving it almost five stars. I mean, it's Harry Potter, for crying out loud! That in itself gives it four stars. Then the actual movie is the final star. I don't think I'll be going in for a re-watch, but I'm interested in buying it. I want to watch it again, only with a clean slate. No influencing from other reviewers or friends. Plus I couldn't concentrate this time because I really had to go to the bathroom.


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