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Review – Movie – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

I am not going to do a review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.  There isn’t any point, this si the 8th movie in a connected overall story and it’s the final chapter.  Even if it were total garbage, people who want to see it will see it.  Instead I will give some thoughts on the movie and the story and the series here in lieu of a true review.  If you want a review, here it is, this movie is pretty much everything you’re probably expecting.  If you’re read the book there will not be any surprises and it’s generally handled pretty well.

I’m going to go and complain now of the rest of the post.  Also for shortness and simplicity, I’ve generally been calling this “Harry Potter 7.2”.

Because I don’t have any sort of method of cutting out spoilers, I’m just going to throw this graphic as a divider.  Anything below this graphic is fair game for spoilers.  This includes the previous movies and books.  If you’re read the books or don’t care about spoilers, then feel free to plunge ahead.  In fact if you’ve seen the movies and don’t want to read the books it may be slightly educational.

So most of my beef with this movie come from two issues.  First, the stuff they had to cut from the film and the series in order to fit into the time period of a movie and second, the fact that Deathly Hallows is kind of a crap story.  I’ve dug up my thoughts when I finished the book and actually most of the things I mention there will be echoed again here.  In short, the movies come off as a Cliff Notes version of the books.

I’ll just go ahead and start with some point on why this story sucks.  The book itself, is like 75% “Really boring camping trip”.  Fortunately, this was all pushed into the first Deathly Hallows film.  They did a great job of compressing all of the boring parts into a 5 minute sequence held together by the constant noise of Ron’s radio.  This was in the first film though, and I’m looking to focus more on the second film, so I’ll move on to the Deathly Hallows themselves.  Rowling seems to pride herself on her “clever misleading titles”.  The Half Blood Prince for example, had nothing to do with but heavily implied it was talking about Voldemort.  It ended up being Snape of course which was also something that was built up to nicely in the 6th Book but ended up being a completely throw away 5 second moment in the 6th movie.  The Goblet of Fire was a pointless plot point as a much larger plot involving the school Tournament deal. 

The Deathly Hallows, are almost completely pointless and throwaway.  A MUCH better title probably would have been Harry Potter and the 7 Horcruxes or even just Harry Potter and the Elder Wand but that would have not been “clever” enough I guess.  The story spends a fair amount of time on the Hallows but other than the Elder Wand, they are completely pointless.  This is even MORE so in the film. 

The Resurrection Stone, locked in the Golden Snitch almost in-explicitly, only shows up to allow harry to get one last hurrah from his dead parents.  A lot of time is spent glorifying James Potter and his friends whom Harry idolizes despite that pretty much all of their backstory points to James and Sirius being a couple of dickhead assholes on the level of Draco Malfoy.  The stone shows up and summons their spirits and Harry discards it haphazardly into the forest.  What is the point again?  Also if the Snitch only opens to Harry’s touch, how the hell did the stone get inside the thing in the first place.  Not mentioned in the movie either, the Resurrection Stone was the jewel on Gaunt’s Ring the Horcrux that cursed Dumbledoor in the 6th film.

The fact that Harry owns the third Horcrux, the Invisibility Cloak, is never ever mentioned in the film nor is the part where Harry was descendant from the original owner.  Considering the name of the film is “The Deathly Hallows” you’d think it would merit at least a passing mention.

My biggest complaint with the movie series as a whole, and the ending, is the cutting of Neville as the “Second chosen one”.  I forget which book it was in, but basically, the prophesy could have referred to one of two boys who shared the same birth date, Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter.  This was why Belatrix tortured Neville’s parents into insanity.  This seems trivial until the end of the Deathly Hallows, when Neville uses the Sword of Gryffindor to kill Nagini the snake and the last Horcrux.  This essentially, kills Voldemort. 

This has the incredible impact on the story of instantly converting Harry Potter from “Chosen One” to “Red Herring”.  Forget stupid misleading book titles, this plot concept is really clever.  This whole book series is devoted to covering up the fact that Neville Longbottom is the Chosen One.  Because this subplot was cut, it takes away this great plot point completely.  i can forgive pretty much all of the cuts besides this one.  The only real logic I can push is that when the corresponding movie was released, the 7th book had not been written yet so they didn’t know how important it really was.

Some other points that I wanted to touch on. 

Right at the very beginning, Luna Lovegood is hanging out in Hogwarts with the other students in the school when Harry arrives.  This was very shortly after Harry and Co, and Luna, who had been being held prisoner in the Malfoy house by the Death Eaters, had just made a miraculous and showy escape.  You’d think that considering how hell bend on destroying and finding Potter the Death Eaters were, the moment Luna showed up back at Hogwarts, they’d immediately pick her up and interrogate her until she cracked or worse, died.

The Snape/Lily sequence was handled very well.  I was pleased with this and it’s probably my favorite part of the whole movie.  It’s also one of my favorite parts of the entire series.  Snape goes from being a total jackass to completely sympathetic.  It would have been a bit nicer had they had even a short bit, maybe at the end of the scene where Snape is crying over Lily’s body in the Potter House where he is a bit more explicit in the fact that he loves her absolutely.  Maybe he could, you know, actually SAY IT.  An interesting side effect though, because the movie gets vague on the details, you end up with the heavy heavy implication that Harry Potter is the product of an affair between Lily and Severus Snape.

It’s a good thing the series is over because most of the main cast is really starting to show their age.  Neville looked OK for most of his scenes but there was one shot at the very end where he looked like he was like 30 years old.  I have no idea how old the actual actor is but it is a bit of an issue.  I do commend them for keeping everyone consistent for the most part.  I think possibly they had someone different playing the Werewolf Death Eater guy.

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