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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The second part of the two-part finale to the Harry Potter franchise released in 2011.

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The Boy Who Lived Faces His Fate

  • Jul 16, 2011
Star Rating:

It’s never easy saying goodbye. I can’t say that I grew up with the Harry Potter films – I was eighteen years old when the first was one released – but they have been a part of my life for ten years, and after that amount of time, anyone is libel to grow attached to what they’re used to seeing. Alas, we have reached the end. But I should not make this an elegiac fanboy essay. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, while easily the most mature and fatalistic of the series, is also terrific entertainment from beginning to end. As it nears the end, all the tension that had built itself up since the events of The Sorcerer’s Stone is finally released. The latter half of the film would rival some of our better action films; it winds itself up tight and keeps you in the grip of suspense. And just like its predecessors, it dazzles the eyes with a wealth of special effects. Sadly, almost none of them are enhanced by the 3D, employed exclusively for this film.
Adapted from the last third of J.K. Rowling’s novel, Part 2 plunges headfirst into a plot that finds our three teenage heroes – Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) – in one dangerous situation after another. Not so long ago, I would have said that they embark on a perilous adventure. But these are not the same kids that entered Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with fresh-faced enthusiasm. Adventure is a thing of the past; they’re soldiers at war. They’ve dueled evil wizards, fought against monsters, and witnessed many beloved people die, including Albus Dumbledore. They’re battle-scarred and world-weary. They’re still on a quest to locate and destroy magical objects called Horcruxes, which contain fragments of Lord Voldemort’s soul.

Their journey brings them back to Hogwarts, which is no longer an enchanting magical castle. It’s now the scene of the final battle between the students and Voldemort’s evil army. I watched in horror as the Quidditch stadium burned to the ground. I cringed at the sight of the Great Hall, now strewn with debris and the bodies of the dead and wounded. Was there any other way this could have gone? Harry has been marked, figuratively and literally, since he was born; it could not have ended without a fight to the finish. The question, which was on everyone’s minds since before the book was published, is which half of the pair will emerge victorious – in other words, who will live and who will die. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re a fan of the movies and intimately familiar with the books. I won’t let that stop me from giving teasing hints.
As with all the previous films, Deathly Hallows employs a wealth of British acting talent. Apart from the three leads, we have Alan Rickman as Snape and Michael Gambon as a postmortem Dumbledore, two characters Harry realizes he didn’t know as well as he thought he did. We also have Ralph Fiennes as the serpentine Voldermort, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall (never more gung-ho), Helena Bonham Carter as the hysterically evil Bellatrix Lestrange, Robbie Coltrane as the bear-sized Hagrid, Jason Isaacs as the sniveling Lucius Malfoy, John Hurt as the feeble Ollivander, David Thewlis as Remus Lupin, Gary Oldman as the late Sirius Black, Julie Walters as Mrs. Weasley, Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn, and Warwick Davis in a duel role as Professor Flitwick and, more importantly, as a cantankerous goblin named Griphook. New to the film is Ciarán Hinds as Dumbledore’s resentful brother, Aberforth.

The displays of magic in this film are, understandably, far less whimsical as they were in previous films. We see, for example, a curse that makes objects multiply should they be touched. We also see a raging inferno that takes the form of a snake before engulfing everything in flames, including one person. One of the first action sequences takes place in the cavernous depths of Gringott’s bank; Harry and his friends, along with Griphook, sit in a vehicle and speed down a twisted track that would be the ultimate roller coaster experience, were such a thing possible to build. Not long after, Harry, Hermione, and Ron escape on the back of a monstrous dragon. How that plays out, I leave for you to see.
How sad that I have no more Harry Potter chapters to look forward to (at this point, I rescind my wish to not sound like a fanboy in mourning). Like the Star Wars saga, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and even individual films such as The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, these movies have not only created entire worlds successfully but have also consistently told captivating stories and populated them with engaging characters. They belong in that rare category of films that completely immerse the viewer in pure imagination. I will forever be grateful to J.K. Rowling for writing the books, and for inspiring screenwriters Steve Kloves and Michael Goldenberg and directors Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, and David Yates for bringing her vision to the big screen.


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July 21, 2011
Nice review, Chris. I hope to watch this one in the near future myself.
July 21, 2011
Thanks for the comment. I hope you see it soon. It really is a good movie.
July 22, 2011
I was hoping to see it in between my travels this week or next week. I'm not sure if we will have time anymore. I guess I shall just wait and see. :)
July 16, 2011
great review, Chris. I'll be back to comment more once I've seen it in an hour or so. I skimmed your review right now as to not become influenced when the time comes to write my own review. Thanks, will be right back.
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review by . September 28, 2011
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review by . July 16, 2011
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About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #5
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is a 2011 epic fantasy film directed by David Yates and the second of two films based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the eighth and final installment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman, David Barron and Rowling. The story continues to follow Harry Potter on a quest to find and destroy Lord Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The supporting cast features Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter and Maggie Smith.

Principal photography began on 19 February 2009 and was completed on 12 June 2010, with the final day of reshoots taking place on 21 December 2010 marking the series' closure of ten years of filming. Part 2 was released in both 2D and 3D cinemas worldwide on 15 July 2011. It was also screened in IMAX cinemas from the same date.

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Director: David Yates
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Release Date: July 15, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Steve Kloves
Runtime: 130 minutes
Studio: Heyday Films, Warner Bros. Pictures
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