Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and had already seen Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the movie theater, but I didnít want to read the novel until I had seen Part 2. Luckily, I didnít have to wait long. On July 15, 2011, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hit the theaters. I visited the movie theater the next day to check it out along with a multitude of other Harry Potter fans who couldnít wait to see this final chapter of their favorite novel series play out on the big screen.
When we last left Harry (Danielle Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), they had just escaped Malfoy Manor and buried their friend, the former house elf known as Dobby. Meanwhile, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) had finally gotten his hands on the most powerful magical wand in the world - the Elder Wand, once wielded by the now deceased Professor Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). The Elder Wand is one of three Deathly Hallows, magical objects that, if owned by the same individual, would make that wizard almost invincible.
As the story continues, Harry and his friends continue their quest for the rest of the horcruxes in which Lord Voldemort has stored a part of his soul. Harry is certain that one of the horcruxes is Nagini, Voldemortís snake. However, Harry is certain that the Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) is hiding one horcrux in the Lestrange vault at the Gringotts Wizarding Bank. The three friends devise a plan to get into the vault, using Polyjuice Potion to disguise Hermione as Bellatrix. Although the plan goes awry, they somehow obtain their objective.
Unfortunately, finding the next horcrux is not so easy - Harry doesnít even know what it is, just that it belongs to Ravenclaw and that it may be still hidden at Hogwarts. But Hogwarts is currently run by Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) and Harry Potter has a price on his head. How will he enter Hogwarts and, even if he does, how will he find and destroy the next horcrux when he has no idea what it is? And even if he does destroy this mysterious horcrux, will Harry and his friends be able to take out Nagini and Voldemort, or will a secret revealed bring an end to the fight against Voldemort and his evil army?
Now, if you donít have time to watch a lengthy film, you may have to wait until this movie comes out on DVD. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is three hours long, but the plot and action are so fast moving that the length of the film is truly unnoticeable. The final segment of the Harry Potter films is the darkest of the series with quite a bit of death. After all, this is the ultimate battle between good and evil. So, if you have young children, you might want to have them watched by a babysitter while you see the film.
The final chapter in the Harry Potter series features a great deal of action what with all the fight scenes. There quite a few secrets revealed in this film as the mysteries about Harry Potter and Voldemort are brought to light. Many of the older characters return in this film and I found it especially enjoyable that Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), formerly a timid and awkward boy, comes into his own in this film, becoming quite the hero by the filmís ending. Some of the old magical locations make a return here as well, such as the Chamber of Secrets and the Room of Requirement.
Special effects are a must in a film heavily steeped in the world of magic and we are quite used to seeing things like huge spiders, giants, wraith-like creatures, magical beings created from wands and more in the Harry Potter movies. For Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 the special effects crew pulled out all the stops. There are magical and devastating fires, huge giants, gigantic arachnids, flying wraiths, magically destructive pyrotechnics and more in this film. My particular favorites were the stone guardians of Hogwarts who come to life and battle against Voldemortís army.
One of the special qualities of the Harry Potter films is that the powers that be made certain that each of the characters (with the exception of Dumbledore due to an unforeseen death) were portrayed by the same actor in every single film. Thus, we get to see these actors, especially the young ones, grow up with each film. I found this to be quite clever - it helps the audience become bonded with a character, especially the younger audience who may find themselves growing up with the kids from Hogwarts.
That day in the theater, when the filmís end credits began scrolling, people started clapping. A friend I went to the movie with said that the film very closely follows the book it was based on with a few minor changes. Iíve enjoyed every single one of the Harry Potter films and found Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 to be a terrific way to wrap up the series, but be forewarned: Do not leave the theater until they scroll the credits as some folks almost did at my theater. Just because the movie screen fades to black, doesnít mean that there isnít a bit more movie to see. Avid fans of the book will know exactly what Iím talking about when they see the film.