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

July 15, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – A Warner Bros. Pictures’ Release

http://www.harrypotter.com

Release Date: July 15th, 2011

Rated PG for violence, not recommended for young children, scary scenes

Running time: 130 minutes

David Yates (dir.)

Steve Kloves (screenplay)

Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling

Alexandre Desplat (music)

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter

Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley

Emma Watson as Hermione Granger

Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort

Michael Gambon as Professor Albus Dumbledore

Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape

Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood

Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy

Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom

Photo by Jaap Buitendijk  ©Warner Bros. Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.

(L-r) Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ fantasy adventure HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2.

Our reviews below:

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review By John C.

**** (out of 4)

The epic Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is an example of everything that a summer blockbuster should be, but more importantly proof of everything that a great movie can be.  A stunning finale to the beloved Harry Potter franchise, director David Yates thrills us with darkly beautiful action sequences and allows the final few scenes of the film to wash over the audience in a way that is deeply moving and ultimately unforgettable.  This breathtaking final saga in one of the greatest film franchises of all time will linger in the mind long after most other summer entertainment has been forgotten.

Our story starts the moment last year’s Part 1 left off, with the evil dark Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) having stolen the elder wand from the grave of Professor Albous Dumbledore (Michael Gambon).  Our beloved leading trio of Hogwarts alumni, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), are searching for the remaining Horcruxes, which contain pieces of Voldemort’s broken soul.  As this really is the last act of J.K. Rowling’s epic novel, I would not want to spoil any more of the story for those who have not read the books.

Side characters from the earlier films all get a memorable chance to shine, reminding us why we came to love the series in the first place.  Two of the best scenes that got applause at my screening were the overdue heroic moment given to the awkward Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), as well as the final scene with the enthusiastically creepy Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter).  We are also shown a lot more of Severus Snape’s (Alan Rickman) fascinating back story, proving that he is one of the most conflicted characters in the series.

The sort of praise that I have always lauded on the Harry Potter films has likely come to be predictable, but everything I’ve said before deserves to be said again of this final installment.  On every level, this is the sort of film that deserves multiple Oscar nominations.  The cinematography is breathtaking as it captivates the audience and allows us to be a part of the story.  The performances are uniformly excellent, both from the large supporting cast as well as the pitch-perfect casting of the three leads.  We have watched Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson come of age over the past ten years, starting as school kids and growing into three of the most memorable movie heroes of our generation.

Sometimes I’ve been a little to quick to use the word masterpiece, but after an epic run of seven beloved books and eight phenomenal movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 deserves that status every step of the way.  From the thrilling action sequences to the bittersweet final scene, this is the best movie of the summer and perhaps the year.  Forever in print and immortalized on film, Harry Potter will live forever as a defining classic of our generation.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review by Erin V.  

**** (out of 4)

Closing out the saga on-screen of Harry Potter’s fight against Voldemort’s dark forces, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 wildly succeeds.

Things are seriously amped up here from Pt. 1, with a ton of fight sequences.  I’m not really going to go into any plot here, because let’s face it – if you’re interested in the film, you’ve probably either read the books or at least seen the other films.  This is just the finale to the full story – and the final act of a story is something usually not detailed in reviews anyways.

I will definitely assure you that everything here is not only incredibly entertaining to watch, but great filmmaking.  The acting, lighting, cinematography, art direction, SFX, music, and of course story are all superb.  All put to screen in a worthy finale to an incredible series of well-made films.  If you go back and view the first movies, it is really striking in particular, how much the young leads have grown up over the series – just as their characters have.

We also get a nice wrap up of most of the (even more minor role) characters from the previous films in the final epic battle here.  But it’s the main characters that all really get their moments to shine – for those who’ve read the books, you know there are major plot twists revealed in this final chapter.  Also taking the story back to Hogwarts, allows us to revisit the locations from the earlier films – and with the characters, see it in a different light…this time as the backdrop to a war.  There is also an epilogue that nicely finishes the series.

It is interesting to note that while the other films spanned over a longer period of time (often that of a year), this one plays out all within the same week.  It’s not surprising though, since the rest of the year we saw in Part 1.

Many may have noticed that the last film ended on a far darker note – effectively in the middle of act II (a point where the villain often has the upper hand in stories).  For those that can, watching the first part of the final book’s screen adaptation closely beforehand will make the experience even better, as it is essentially all part of one 4 1/2 hour film (this film even opens with a briefer version of Pt. 1’s final scene).  On that note, if you haven’t seen the first part, don’t be surprised if you feel like you tuned into a film already part way through.

One of the best films of the year, certainly the summer blockbuster to beat, and a great finale to the series, HP7, Pt. 2 deserves to be viewed in theatres.  While it is in 3D and IMAX, I saw it in 2D and was content with that.  Save for a few scenes that the extra element would be cool for, many scenes would also be greatly detracted from due to the glasses dimming the already darker (yet artistically perfect) colour palette.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review by Nicole

**** (out of 4)

The Harry Potter films have captured the imagination of kids and adults for 10 years.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 provides an exciting conclusion to the film saga.  Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) must return to Hogwarts in order to dispose of Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) missing Horcruxes if they are to defeat him.

This film is one of the darkest, with Voldemort’s demonic legion attacking Hogwarts in order to kill Harry and gain control.  But there are still moments of pure magic, especially in the heartwarming epilogue.  Many characters from the earlier films return, in even more important roles than before.  One of the most endearing, Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), becomes a hero, which elicited cheers from the audience.

Everything about this film makes it a classic.  It has suspense, action and romance, as well as great acting, an exciting storyline and an excellent score by Alexandre Desplat.  Whether or not you’re an avid Harry Potter fan, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a satisfying finale to an epic saga that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review by Maureen

**** (out of 4)

All good things must come to an end, and what an ending this is.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 carries on seamlessly from last year’s Part 1.  The trio, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are in a race against time to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes and destroy evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) before he can destroy Harry.

This latest film tells the final chapter of this amazing wizard world saga with all the suspense, excitement and sentiment this adventure deserves.  With most of the action returning to Hogwarts, the many interesting and eccentric professors and students we’ve come to know over the years get to play major roles in helping Harry face-off with ‘he who shall not be named.’  The final wand-off between the two powerful wizards is spectacular.

While there are plenty of amazing visual effects and action sequences what really works in this film is the focus on the characters and story itself.  So many of the details are wrapped up in a way that even those of us who never read the books can follow.  The sequence where Harry oversees Severus Snape’s (Alan Rickman) memories is especially good.  The bond between the three lead characters is apparent and it’s great to see Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) finally get to shine.

The entire movie plays at a steady pace without even one moment that doesn’t seem to belong.  The beautiful score by Alexandre Desplat acts as a perfect backdrop to the quieter scenes and the more action filled ones.  The acting from all involved is as expected – absolutely perfect.  In essence, this is a near-perfect film.  What better way to wrap up a story that already is a children’s literature classic.  Fans of the series won’t want to miss this final film in theatres so they can say a proper goodbye to some old friends.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review by Tony

**** (out of 4)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 is a fitting culmination to the series, continuing exactly where Part 1 left off with Harry ending up back at what is left of Hogwarts in his quest to destroy the last horcruxes and his last showdown with Voldemort. With lots of action, the locations provide a welcome opportunity for final brief appearances by many of the characters from the previous films.

I avoided opening day crowds and saved money at a morning 2D screening. Although there were places where the 3D might have been fun to see, I was not disappointed, as the sombre tones in many scenes may have been even darker with the polarized glasses.

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Consensus: With thrilling action sequences and darkly beautiful visuals, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is anchored by uniformly excellent performances as it delivers an emotionally satisfying epic finale to one of the greatest film franchises of all time.  **** (Out of 4)

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