Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Dir: David Yates
Warner Bros. Pictures
By this point you either will see or won’t see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and so it doesn’t really matter what I write here. Either you have invested two hours plus multiplied over seven films (not counting the sleepless nights poring over J.K. Rowling’s books) and you’re an automatic lock to see this final installment or you don’t care and have no reason to see the second part of the seventh part in the series. Or you could be like me, dragged along for the ride and not really caring one way or another.
So what can I tell you about the film? It’s probably the best entry in terms of excitement as 85% of it takes place at Hogwarts where Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and friends must face down Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his minions. For the first time, it feels like the stakes are real and that people may actually die. Well, it is the final chapter after all. Strictly-speaking, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 cannot function as a stand-alone movie. You’ve got seven movies of backstory at play here and director David Yates is only interested in moving the plot forward. But who in their right mind will see this movie without watching Parts 1 through 7.1?
So what else can I tell you? HP and the DH: P2 is definitely a huge step up from the interminable slog that was HP and the DH: P1. And unlike Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, there is no Jerry Maguire sense of completion going on here. Besides Harry and Voldemort, most of the other characters are reduced to mere cameos (Hermione and Ron are omnipresent but do little more than stare incredulously at Harry), although Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) should win some sort of MVP award for saving the day more than once.
The story of Harry Potter comes to a close and besides some thrilling action we also get to learn the intertwined histories of Harry and Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). And rather than skimp on that section, Yates actually gets closer to pathos during an extended flashback than any other moment over the past decade’s worth of film. But for those of you who have already read the books, you know that was coming.
There is one thing I can advise, since I have already seen the film and you most likely have not. This is the first and only Harry Potter movie where you have the choice to see it in 3-D or 2-D. For the love of God, DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE IN 3-D. I don’t care if they give you cool Harry Potter-shaped commemorative 3-D glasses that you can take home and cherish. Trust me here for a moment. By donning those magical glasses you may be gaining some depth of field, but you will be losing most of the movie. Much of the film’s final battle takes place at night and those glasses actually dim the film to the point that you cannot tell what is going on (plus you will be ponying up more for the privilege of wearing them). Let me reiterate: you will be paying more money to squint and wonder what is going on. Save your money and see the 2-D show. The rest of the films were in that format and so should be the final one.