Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt2

harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-2-harry-poster_486x718I’m not a massive Potter head. I have seen all the movies and enjoyed them, some more than others! Years ago, I read the first two books, so I guess I have quite a good knowledge of the Harry Potter world. I enjoyed the movie. It was action packed and well made. The audience cheered at all the big moments. I thought the first half of the film was brilliant fun but then the second half, though kinetic to watch, felt a bit flat.

There was an amazing action scene at the start where the trio of heroes break into Gringots Bank and some stellar British thesp acting from Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman and Warwick Davies. The kids were better than previous films. Daniel Radcliffe has sometimes seemed a bit wooden to me but here he holds his own up against the A-listers. Rupert Grint seemed bored with the whole thing for most of the film. Emma Watson is, for me, the best actor of these three, but they all have likeable screen presence now, like old friends.

Story wise, there was too much Voldermort and Harry. The other characters are all backgrounded, in the story, and literally in the staging. Ron and Hermione spent every scene standing a little behind Harry, one side or the other. Bellatrix, Snape and the Mallfoys, all lined up behind Voldermort. Hermione and Ron aren’t really given enough to do for most of the movie. Which is odd as, to me, they are the strongest characters after Harry. I have no idea who most of the minor characters are, some of them are given little moments, which are nice, but some hardly feature at all, and then we are supposed to care when they die. I was disappointed there wasn’t more of Hagrid, he is one of the best characters too. Neville Longbottom got far too much screen time. I thought some of his action stuff should have gone to Ron, who is more of a lead character.

There are lots of Magic McGuffins that need destroying or collected before Harry can defeat Voldermort, but somehow these do not add enough tension as they have no real function in the story. They all require convoluted explanations etc and there are so many of them it’s a bit like a video-game. I couldn’t help thinking of the simplicity of the Lord of the Rings, when all they have to destroy is the one ring and the parallel stories, help build tension to that.

There is a flashback and a dream sequence (or death/unconscious sequence) stuck in the middle of the action. These dispelled a bit of tension too. The flashback works well, but the dream sequence was decidedly odd, though there was a good speech at the end of it from Michael Gambon as Dumbledor. Both these scenes revealed twists regarding Snape, Dumbledor and Harry’s destiny, which were a little complex to follow for me in terms of character logic.

Overall I enjoyed it, but much like all the other Harry Potter films, it reminded me of Lord of the Rings, which to my mind is infinitely better. The only thing that is much better in Harry Potter is that the end is short and sweet, compared to LOTR where it is dragged out forever.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt1

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I saw this tonight. OF the movies, I feel like it was the best Harry Potter so far. This despite the fact that it doesn’t have an ending.

Voldermort’s power is growing. He takes control of the ministry of magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron and Hermione must go on the run and find a load of Horcruxes ( or was it Crackwhores?) the magical Macguffins they must destroy in order to kill Voldermort.

Mainly I think it’s better because of the structure. Unlike the other movies it doesn’t take place at Hogwarts and so can dispense with a lot of that Enid-Blyton-Jolly-hockey-sticks style plot and just go with a classic hero’s journey structure instead.

Also it focuses in on Ron, Hermione and Harry who are really what it’s all about and although there are still lots of extraneous characters, they are not allowed to hog(wart) the screen time from the leads. Who have all got much better as the movies have gone along and turn in really good performances.  Helped by a script that really focuses on the relationships between them. There’s also some great action set pieces and David Yates keeps it all moving with a sense of impending dread.

Some things don’t work so well. A few scenes came across like Lord of The Rings or King Arthur and I didn’t really give a shit about the death at the end. But overall it was really enjoyable.