Film #87: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PARTS 1 & 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1
3 out of 5 stars
If you are a casual follower of the HARRY POTTER series like I am, this 2 ½ hour windup of the series will confound and confuse you in any one of a dozen ways. Names come and go and, for me, they held little significance. But like STAR TREK, STAR WARS, or TWILIGHT fans, this shit is legend to its fans. Visually, HP&tDH is a smart looking film. There is SO MUCH money thrown onto the screen that even the little moments are kind of cool to look at. But make no mistake, this is not SORCERER’S STONE - meaning this is by no means a kid’s film. Characters die and there are some pretty frightening imagery in here. The plot though… is so convoluted and drawn out (most of the film, I think, is about Harry, Ron, & Hermione camping) that I found myself checking my watch on several occasions (not a good sign). But still, as a technical achievement, this is one neat looking film. Potter fans will lap this all up as expected. Little kids jumping in for the first time will be terrified. Non-fans will come away just scratching their heads and asking “What the hell just happened?” Well-made, but a bit too twisted up in its own mythos for my tastes. It’s worth seeing just for the visuals.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
3 out of 5 stars
Wrapping up any multi-installment series is tough. Wrapping up one the size and scope of the Harry Potter franchise is a feat of Herculean proportions. But, after ten years, Warner Brothers is finally bringing the tale of Harry, Hermione, and Ron to a suitable closing. As each installment has been released (and its core audience has gotten older), the overall story has gotten progressively darker. I mean, people die in this film. A LOT of people die in this film. Visually sumptuous, the climatic entry in the series lives up to expectation and then some. Sadly though… there are several points in this film where the kinetic energy developed is allowed to dissipate and the story suffers for it. It’s not that I wanted a “run-n-gun” story with PART 2, but… given that PART 1 was SO slow (I referred to it at the time of its release as a 3 hour movie about camping), I just wondered whether the whole thing could have been wrapped up in a single 140 minute film. Both entries in the DEATHLY HALLOWS have large chucks of run time in which each character simply stares off into space and ponders what’s happened. Sure, that shit works in a book, but this is film… and film is action. That all said, PART 2 is still an enjoyable send-off for the gang (especially if you’ve already sat through the other films in the series). I will say though… the film’s epilog is absolutely ridiculous as the young actors are painted up to look older. Sadly, they end up looking like a high school drama department’s rendition of INHERIT THE WIND instead. Still, a visual treat and an enjoyable watch nonetheless.