Watching Deathly Hallows Part 2, I was struck with both a feeling of nostalgic awe and of being underwhelmed. The Harry Potter movies have always been technically impressive yet never perfectly composed. Some films in the series worked better than others, while others merely kept us at bay. Not totally mesmerizing but always, always memorable. In short, they were valiant interpretations of the books done with a lot of enthusiasm, care and modern movie magic.
For me, personally, that all changed when I saw this one. Deathly Hallows Part II might not be the very best of the series (to me that is always the first film) but on the whole I think it is a better film. More polished and more sure of itself. It stands on its own two feet as a credible dramatic work of art. Something else happened to me when watching this movie (like a lot of people I think). I felt an overwhelming sense of emotional fulfillment. The feeling of being at the end of an era. To be sure, the end of a kind of movie making; the end of childhood itself.
The Harry Potter movies, for better or worse; ARE the great cinematic classics of our current generation. Seeing them all together at a fixed glance, it becomes very clear to me now that these characters will remain in our movie going subconscious forever. That their plights are our plights. Their struggles, our struggles. Their emotions are the ones from our childhood. The one's we experience in adulthood too. These are the movies we will show our children and beyond. And every year at Thanksgiving and possibly Christmas.
This is the eighth movie in the series but Harry (as a grown man in the film's final moments) makes it clear that our hearts never left the Train Station of 9 and 3/4 when we first saw him as a young boy. In these moments we are allowed to be children again and see the world through his new eyes.
In the end it becomes very, very clear. Life is new and so are the ideas of imagination and magic. Harry Potter is as crucial to the pantheon of cinema as characters like Dorothy, King Kong, and Luke Skywalker & Frodo.
David Yates has done the unthinkable, or at least reminded us why these things are so important. He has made the movies magical again.
(see my same review here also on my Yahoo Movies account--by HonestMan)
I love this movie. Great visuals, amazing performances, powerful writing and emotional resonance. This deserves the praise. I loved the battle scenes. They aren't just focused on one battlefield, there's set pieces that make up the whole scene. However, the best part is the emotion. I was pretty misty. Dan, Rupert and Emma are really good now, as well as the others. Alan Rickman was mind blowing. The Prince's Tale was fantastic. I loved how Harry vs Voldemort was a 7 minute fight, not a 15 second duel. Well done, Yates. You've ended my childhood with a bang.
Not only for the movie, but also for the book the final chapter in the series always had huge shoes to fill, but not only that. How do you close a franchise so well known the past 10 years that has had so much influence on an entire generation.
My original plan was to review the Deathly Hallows as one experience, but Deathly Hallows Part 2 on it's own is an experience that more than deserves to be set apart. The movie basically begins right after the first part ends, and reminds the viewers that this is a continuation of the same story arc, but where Part 1 already had it's moments, Part 2 takes it all much further, and also to grounds more familiar from the earlier movies. It is best viewed however when first having seen Part 1.
The movie takes viewers to places we haven't seen since the earlier moments, and really shows how Hogwarts and it's surroundings are put together. The movie really makes Hogwarts feel like home, and it's really heart-breaking to see what's happening in and around it, especially if you've followed the entire franchise.
The story really brings the entire franchise to a thrilling end, interlocking every movie together and revealing the entire story as a whole, making the entire franchise connected to each other, really making it all feel complete. The movie manages to answer so many questions whilst not feeling cluttered or rushed, the obvious advantage of having the story split into two movies, leaving Part 2 with a much more emotional, action-packed finale. Part 1&2 do leave out some things that were present in the books, but even without these things this chapter in the series remains on top.
The cast really went out on the performances in this chapter. Our main trio, Daniel, Rupert and Emma have really managed to come off as natural as possible performing their roles, and with their 10 years of chemistry, you really feel as if you've taken this journey with them all along. The majority of the cast really pulls this off aswell, though the majority is thanks to their dedication to the franchise.
Visually the movie is stunning, the color palette is similar to the first part, but really works well for the movie and fits with it's tone. The effects themselves are what you'd expect from a Harry Potter movie, high quality and really awesome visuals. Whereas Part 1 had a lot less of these magical moments than the other movies, Part 2 is a full-on war in the world of magic, and it's visuals show precisely that.
The soundtrack of the film is quite amazing, and really flows with the emotion and visuals of the film. Alexandre Desplat has really created a fitting score, using his own new themes along with themes from the original John Williams scores, namely Hedwig's theme, which is used very effectively.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in my opinion is by far the best entry in the franchise, and really gives an amazing finish to an amazing franchise. It's been 10 years, and it has all led to this ground-breaking, breath-taking ride. I hereby award Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a 9.5. (It is advised to at least see Part 1 before viewing, the whole franchise would be advised to really get everything.)
Separately i'd like to do my view on the 3D of this film, as i do not find it fitting to put this together with the review of the film itself. The film was not filmed in 3D, and instead was converted to 3D in post production. The films has some good moments, but these are overwhelmed by a lot of moments where the 3D is very so so. There is some depth, but the film would have benefited tremendously if having been filmed in 3D rather than converted. I would not recommend the 3D version. Only view the 3D version if it is in IMAX, where the size and sound really make up for it.
Other than a few very small details that I would have liked to have seen (that I won't mention or hold against the film at all), Harry Potter wraps up in nothing short of 'grand' fashion in The Deathly Hallows Part 2!
Yes, for the most part my expectations were met and then some, as The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was truly a memorable bookend to one of the best movie series of all time. Exciting, thrilling, moving, breath taking and extremely satisfying are but a few adjectives that I'd use to describe how I felt while watching this world wide phenomenon that is 'Harry Potter' come to a close. I must give serious kudos to all that have been involved in this wonderful project over the years!
I really loved this film series and will truly miss looking forward to watching these wonderful characters and their engrossing adventures on the big screen! Nice to see a summer sequel finally come through in such rousing fashion! Take note Michael Bay this is how to make a 'good' summer blockbuster!
Can't wait to see this one again... I'm in line already!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Directed by David Yates
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith
Warner Bros. | 2011 | 130 min | Rated PG-13 | Released Jul 15, 2011 (Theaters)
The Film 4.5/5
I'm a fan of the Harry Potter franchise. I have read all of the books and own the first seven movies. My favorite in the series is the Prisoner of Azkaban, while I rate Deathly Hallows Part 1 as the weakest entry.
It seems that Part 1 moves slowly and contains too many insignificant scenes. In contrast, this final installment feels a little rushed. It runs about two hours before the credits start to roll and tries to cram in the final showdown, while tying up as many loose ends as possible. Some of the threads are resolved using rather clumsy exposition and deserved more screen time. My final quibble involves the use of quick cuts to increase the sense of action. The story was good enough to do that on its own and I didn't feel that it was necessary to turn some of the scenes into something resembling Bourne.
Although the movie isn't perfect, it's still a fine way to end a thoroughly enjoyable franchise.
I can't imagine that this final entry will be seen by many people who avoided the first seven movies, and that's a good thing. The story picks up right where Part 1 ended and introduces us to many of the characters from the first seven movies. It wouldn't have much impact as a standalone movie and it's not supposed to. I'm interested in seeing the two final parts together to see whether Part 1 works better. In fact, I'll watch all eight movies when the final Blu-ray is released.
The story follows Harry, Ron and Hermione in their search for the remaining horcruxes. The first hunt is a spectacular affair which is heavy on the special effects and action. I'm aware that many viewers will not have read the books, so I'm not going to spoil anything. If you read the final book, you'll be aware of which sequence I'm referring to.
For anyone who complained about the absence of scenes involving Hogwarts in Part 1, much of the action takes place at the school in this concluding part. What struck me is how different Hogwarts looked when we were first introduced to the world of Harry Potter. Gone are the vibrant colors and whimsical interactions with ghosts or paintings. Instead, be prepared to enter a dark setting. I mean that literally as the setting is extremely dim for about 95 percent of the movie; think Gotham City for a comparison.
Another thing that I noticed is how much the acting has improved. The main characters were around 11 years old when the franchise was born, so they are about 21 now. Radcliffe held his own in scenes involving some of the best British character actors of their generation. Watson and Grint played their parts well, and it's a tribute to the original casting that the franchise has developed as well as it has.
It should be noted how important some of the supporting actors are to the success of the franchise. Can you imagine anyone other than Alan Rickman as Snape? His story is one of the most interesting in the series and sees a fitting conclusion. I'm also fond of Maggie Smith's portrayal of McGonagall and love her role in the final installment. You'll see actors that have appeared infrequently given a little recognition, and they deserve it.
I watched the movie with a large audience made up of children and adults into their sixties. Although the sense of evil was always present and the setting was dark, the audience found plenty of scenes worthy of laughter. It's a truly entertaining movie.
The movie might have improved if 30 minutes were added so that everything felt less rushed, but it could have affected the tension if we were given more chances to breathe. The sense of scale reminded me of some of the battles seen in Lord of the Rings. Replace Voldemort's minions with orcs, and there were quite a few similarities.
Fans of the Harry Potter franchise, and I am among them, will be pleased with the way everything is wrapped up. After a disappointment in Part 1, the conclusion was worthy of the story created in the first seven movies. To see who lives, who dies, and what happens to the survivors, you'll have to check it out for yourself. I thoroughly recommend the experience.
The Blu-ray release should be spectacular, despite the grim setting. The explosions and battle scenes will rock your home theater.
You may have seen this review of mine around the forums already.
I quite luckily got the chance to see this at an early screening on July 7th.
The writing of this review is quite sad for me. One of the things that I would sadden me before watching the film was thinking that itís going to be the last, the end of Harry Potter as we know it. Writing this is only driving home the fact that itís all over (at least the film adaptations of the books).
First impressions after the film? Brilliant.
Director David Yates, who also directed the 5th, 6th and 7th films is back to direct the final. This pleases me because these 3 films are my personal favourites out of the 7 that have came out first so I think itís fair to say that I was expecting big things from this. Iím very pleased to say that heís pulled it off ending the series in a fast paced, well written Part 2.
The film (in case youíre wondering) picks up straight after where Part 1 ended, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has the most powerful wand in his possession and heís finally ready to succeed in what he tried to do over 15 years ago. He finally has the power to kill Harry Potter.
I wonít go into much more detail in what happens as most people will have read the book and I donít want to drop spoilers! Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) need to seek out and destroy Voldemortís remaining Horcruxes. This is the only way they have a chance of stopping He Who Must Not Be Named. Their final journey takes them to places we may have not seen recently or remembered, places such as Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Along the way they encounter a variety of creatures, both friend and foe from dragons to spiders, death eaters to old friends and of course, the Dark Lord himself. Will Voldemort succeed? Or will good trump evil? For those who havenít read the book, this is your chance to find out.
What I especially love about this film and Part 1 is the direction in which theyíve taken, adding more cheesy lines and (for example in Part 1) that dance sequence. I feel that these small touches bring the films closer to our hearts and help us to connect with the film a lot easier. Sure they leave out a lot of information that the books provide, but thatís the same with all film adaptations! Theyíve got the main story down and where theyíve deviated from it it has been for the best. Not everything written down on paper will translate into visually appealing footage.
Part 1 to me also felt unfinished (well it was only half the book I suppose!), I mean in the way that it was long and never seemed to climax, sure at the end of Part 1 Voldemort gets his wand and leaves it on a big cliffhanger. Part 2 definitely adds the rest of that epicness that so many other films have towards the end. Itís full of action! I definitely believe that both Part 1 and 2 are best viewed with a short as possible gap in between. Otherwise itís like watching the first disc from one of the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings and not watching second disc for another 6 months!
This paragraph is mainly about the 3D so skip to the end if you don't care.
Visually the film is stunning. From the trailer alone you can see that this film has quite a lot of action in it, crumbling buildings, hundreds of spells and lots of fire. Everything looks great. From the wand duals to the dragons it all looks fantastic. Also this time around it is being showed in 3D and is the first (and [probably] last!) Potter film to be shown in this way. Now I was very sceptical about this, especially since they announced that the films (originally both parts) would be converted from 2D to 3D instead of being natively filmed in 3D. I believe that what they should have done was what they did with Part 1, scrap the 3D. Iím going to say that itís not great, at times itís pretty good, but never great. For the most part itís okay. Iím going to compare it with the last blockbuster film to come out in 3D, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The 3D effect is not even close to looking as good as what that film (shot in 3D) had. So Iím going to tell you now, 2D is the best dimension to watch this film in. If you still want to see it in 3D by all means do, the 3D doesnít take away anything from the film, but it doesnít add much.
I will end by saying that I definitely recommend this film for everyone, especially Potter fans. The ending that many thought could easily be done wrongly has been done right. Then when you think of Part 1 and 2 as the same film I believe that they are easily the best Potter films. This truly is a fitting ending for the boy who lived.
I went to an early screening of the film last night with my fiancee, who is a die hard Harry Potter fan and I really
enjoyed it. I have never read the books but as far as the films go they are great and this finale is a great
bookend to the series. The viewing was in 3d and just like others have stated the film should be watched in 2d.
The 3d was very underwhelming and I feel as though visually the movie will look much better in 2d. I highly
recommend this film as those who are up to date with the rest of the series are in store for one of the best films
of the summer.
I gave a 7/10. It certainly had some great moments. The Snape scenes along with the flashbacks I thought were very well done. I loved seeing Bellatrix being dealt with finally after what she did in the last one, and she was dealt with. It was alot of action, but it just did not have the magic of DH1 and not really close to Azakaban. Overall it a great series, the movie for me was almost too non stop action though.