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Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Overall Score: 7.75/10
And so now, the journey ends. Matched in equal measure with whimpers and bangs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 concludes in a manner equal to that of the film series itself - just fine. Never reaching beyond into that upper echelon of greatness, nor being bogged down by the sorrow filled world of rubbish. They are compliments to the novels that gave birth to them, and little more. Solid compliments, don't get me wrong. They are in every phrasing exactly what fans could want. Unfortunately because of this, they often find themselves wanting.
Deathly Hallows Part 2 picks up right where Part 1 left off (I know - shocker), as Harry, Hermione, and Ron plan their next move while Voldemort comes to the realization that his greatest secret has been unveiled. The game of chess is in full motion, and now is the time for everyone to move into position before the end is truly at hand.
Perhaps the most joyous aspect - for me anyways - to return to this installment of the series was a delectably thick slice of dark humor which had faded in Part 1 of the films. A sense of light hearted cheese mixed into tragedy which was always one of my favorite ingredients of the series. So, with a sense of urgency the film glides (or jerks) us from scene to scene, working its way to the epic finale of epicness (to steal a tagline from Scott Pilgrim).
However, lamenting that one part would deprive us from the overall scale of the final battle - which is quite awe inspiring. A beautiful array of neon colors flashing throughout the dark scenery just illuminates the tension and intensity of the event. With many of our favorite characters returning in a collage of background characters running, screaming, and fighting for their life. We recognize their faces, remember the scenes of theirs brought a smile to our face, and continue on to the next.
Which brings me to something I struggled with. The entire time Deathly Hallows Part 2 was playing, I couldn't shake this uncanny feeling that I'd been through this before. I did try, oh did I ever try, but no matter how hard I did, it just wouldn't fade. The memory of Matrix Revolutions. A big battle leading up to an over the top final battle with an obscure switch up of an ending, none of which really makes all that much sense. Granted, DH P2 is beyond compare a better film (in part because it has the novel accompaniment to fill in the gaps), but I couldn't help but leave both thinking the same thing - "there should have been more." More exposition, more time to say farewell to the characters, more time dove into the final battle. Forgive my greediness, but one cannot help what they want.
Of course, getting what you want and liking what you get are two entirely different things. And I did quite love what I got. The tragic tale of Snape (Alan Rickman + super makeup for the win), the lovable presence of Minerva and all the Hogwart's staff, the coming of age of our main characters, and Ralph Fiennes absorbing all the scenery with each twitch and panic. There's such an assortment of wonder and beauty to behold in this adaptation. An exuberance of cheer and loss blended with an enduring dedication to hope.
It is never easy saying goodbye to something that has been with you as long as this, but like all things one must travel onward and like the characters themselves - look to the future.
Directed By: David Yates
Written By: Steve Kloves
Novel By: J.K. Rowling