Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011)

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"In the second installment of the two-part conclusion to the überpopular Harry Potter series, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), continue their quest to vanquish the evil Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) once and for all. Just as things begin to look hopeless for the young wizards, Harry discovers a trio of magical objects that endow him with powers to rival Voldemort's formidable skills."
"It’s over; no more Harry Potter movies are coming to a theater near you. It has been over ten years and that entire time we were able to have a fantastic cast assemble that played all the main roles without change (with the exception of the death of Richard Harris). It has been a great ride for many fans and also a somewhat disappointing one for the novels purists. With this book end to the young wizard’s franchise, the audience is treated to a fun-filled, action packed finale.The movie starts where the last one ended, at Dobby’s funeral. Then Harry decides that he must question the old wandmaker about the Deathly Hallows and Griphook the goblin about getting the next Horcrux. They then start the next adventure breaking into the unbreakable Gringotts bank to get the next Horcrux thanks to Griphook’s help. After a double cross by the goblin and a close getaway on a dragon, the three main characters must then get back to Hogwarts to get the final Horcrux and the only means of destroying all Horcruxes. As they do, Voldemort knows what they are doing and is none too excited about it. Now it is time for his big attack on the school to get to Harry. So it bounces back and forth from then on, battle, exposition, battle, exposition…

I did not like these films when the first two came out. I saw it with a friend both times who was very into the books. The first one I thought was all right, while I really didn’t like the second one. I somewhat liked the third, but it wasn’t until the fourth that it finally clicked for me. I saw it for what it was, a story about loyalty in friendship, uncompromising good versus ultimate evil and putting others before yourself. It was then that I started to like the movies, it was also then that I started to the books, only to find myself fly through them one after the other. So I may not have started out as a Harry Potter fan, but I ended up one and am sad to see this franchise end with this film.

What a great way to end this franchise. It was almost perfect in its execution, splitting up action and needed scenes of explanation to bring together a rather fast paced film. This last film seemed to hit all the right notes it needed to in bringing about emotion in the viewer, whether it be sadness, nostalgia, exhilaration, or whatever. Be warned though, this is not a movie for kids anymore. It is very violent and showed certain things that would make younger kids a little uncomfortable.

The themes that have made this such a popular franchise are simple ones; heroism, sacrifice, friendship and loyalty. These all shine through the screen up until the credits role, whether it is Neville Longbottom’s unwavering heroism or commitment to his friends to Harry Potter’s willingness to sacrifice himself when called to do so. Harry Potter never really reaches those themes that were so intensely put forth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it tries and it does work well. I love being able to see these themes strongly portrayed in an industry that usually likes to present relativism and other horrible themes as ones that should be sought.

The acting was all fantastic as well. Warwick Davis does a great job as Griphook. He is great; playing a conniving goblin who betrays Harry Potter after Harry has treated him as an equal. It was good to see that he was able to let loose some acting chops rather than just be a spectacle. Daniel Radcliffe, Rubert Grint and Emma Watson all did fantastic jobs creating characters that will be fondly remembered for years to come. Ralph Fiennes does a fantastic job playing a villain that shows fear amidst his plans falling apart and yet still brings the creepy. The hands down performance goes to Alan Rickman as he gives a heartfelt performance to Severus Snape and it is awesome to see. I can’t stress how much the casting for these films were practically pitch perfect. There were scenes of forced grandstanding speeches, but it does not take away from the film if you’re able to overlook them.

Since the very first film there have been many who have gripped about parts being left out of the book, which I understand to a point. Some have let it even make them hate most of the films. I didn’t like that they took out two of my favorite parts of the books, but I got over it. There are time constraints to films and that goes doubly so for films based on books with over 500 pages. You can only do so much, but it never should have taken away from the joy of the film I always thought. Jurassic Park the book had a better ending than the film, Fellowship of the Rings left out a much beloved character in Tom Bombadil, but these were still great films, the list goes on though. The point being, it had to be done and though I would have loved extended cuts like The Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson finally gave us, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I loved each one of these films and may dream of what could have been with the ignored scenes, but we got a great franchise nonetheless."


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