Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is the second of two full-length parts. In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends here. — (C) Warner Bros
Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is not for the novice. As a matter of fact, to get the full dramatic and emotional benefit of this final chapter in the literary phenomenon’s translation to the silver screen, you had better be heavily invested in the series. You need to know the Order of the Phoenix from the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Chamber of Secrets from the Goblet of Fire. If you don’t know who the Prisoner of Azkabanor the Half-Blood Prince are, now is too late. Director David Yates and franchise screenwriter Steve Kloves are not in the business of bringing you up to speed. Instead, they’ve got a whole lot of ground to cover and they want to make sure the faithful are happy, all newbies and Potter pretenders be (politely) damned.
When we left our last trek through the Deathly Hallows mythology, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) had gained possession of the Elder Wand, and with it, the means of getting rid of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) once and for all. Setting his sights on Hogwarts, he intends to bring all who practice good magic — and support his nemesis — to their knees. In the meantime, Harry and his exiled buddies Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) are searching for more Horcruxes — talismans containing pieces of Voldemort’s soul. Destroying them will render the evil wizard vulnerable. However, the vile villain has gathered together a huge army of minions, Death Eaters, and Dementors, including Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), Lucius Malfoy (Jason Issacs) and his turncoat son Draco (Tom Felton) and their combined power and cunning may be too much for Harry and his allies to handle.
At its core, the Harry Potter series has always been the Hardy Boys with hocus pocus. Every installment introduced new characters and clues, the mystery of who our hero really is and his destiny as part of the hidden wizard’s community a combination of deductions and denouement. This second half of the Deathly Hallows finale is no different. In between the massive action set pieces — the break-in at the Goblin bank (and raid of Beatrix’s vault), the battle for Hogwarts, the last enchanted man standing showdown between Harry and Voldemort — we get lots of inquiries and clarifying Q&As. Our leads are always running into ancillary players with necessary information, leading to sequences which seem to stop the movie cold while calculated to enhance the emotional core of the journey. For the most part, they work.
On the other hand, Yates delivers the kind of visionary action the series has long lacked. The addition of 3D, while a bit gimmicky, makes the cave car journey to the vaults all the more harrowing, and the backdrop of a burning Hogwarts makes the sequences set there epic in scope. When Voldemort’s spectral Dementors hand around the school like lethal lost souls, we finally get the intense imagination other installments lacked. Of course, it all leads to a classic heroes and villains face-off, and Yates handles that material quite well. Fans will know where everything is going, but Deathly Hallows Part 2 still finds that rare ability to make one doubt the outcome, even though the conclusion was long ago decided.
Granted, there are a few moments when the conversations sap some of the film’s energy, and there will be purists who balk at the various omissions, composites, and shortcuts. Still, after ten years, eight films, and close to 20 hours of engaging storytelling, Harry Potter’s cinematic saga is finally complete — and the last act is just as compelling, if not more so, than the first.