It All Ends!
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in Review

Related: CG, Film, Harry Potter

Movie Review: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the triumphant end to a decade of Harry Potter's magical epic adventures. It also denotes the end of an era. Although Harry will forever live within our imaginations through the series' novels and DVDs … it still signifies that … as the movie's tag line reminds us … It All Ends!

Does the movie live up to the pre-promotional hype? If you are a fan of the Harry Potter novels and/or movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will leave you satisfied (and yes, a bit weepy) with its dignified ending. However, if you have never read a Harry Potter novel, nor watched one of the previous seven films created from the legendary saga by novelist J.K. Rowling … don't bother purchasing a movie ticket, you'll be hopelessly lost! Instead, borrow, rent, or buy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (at the very least), before viewing part 2.


Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and the Elder Wand
©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R.

Without apologies, the last movie in the series does little "hand-holding" for non Harry Potter fans. In fact, if you think you can sneak in after the opening credits … don't! The movie starts exactly where its predecessor left off, with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) plundering the tomb of the former Hogwarts headmaster, Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Before the opening credits roll, a victorious Voldemort displays his find, the Elder Wand … the most powerful wand in the world, which is also one of the treasured Deathly Hallows (the Cape-of-Invisibility and the Resurrection Stone being the other two).


Hermione (Emma Watson), Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), and Ron (Rupert Grint)
©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R.

Of course, the film's familiar trio of heroes … Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) … once more band together. As in previous films, their collective goal is to exterminate Lord Voldemort: this time once and for all! They continue the plan that was set-in-motion in HP7 Part 1: to destroy the remaining Horcruxes that encase different parts of Voldemort's soul. With the Horcruxes destroyed, Harry can then fulfill his destiny … killing Voldemort, and thus, abolish the world of pure evil.

Harry Potter fans can thank screenwriter Steve Kloves for staying faithful to the vision that J.K. Rowling put forth in her novels … with, of course, the obligatory condensing and tweaking of plots and storylines that all books-into-movies must undergo. Although it's a classic tale of good overcoming evil, writer Steve Kloves and director David Yates went to extraordinary lengths to keep the story fresh.


Vault Protection Dragon ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R.

Even though this was the final episode in a long reign of films, the cast and crew continued to honor the Harry Potter fans by paying special attention to even minute details. For example, there was a scene depicting the most magnificent dragon that CGI artists have ever created. As the dragon crashed through a crystal ceiling, the glass tore tiny holes in the dragon's wings. As always, within the Harry Potter franchise, it's the little details that make such a big difference.


Fighting Stone Knight ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R.

On the subject of visual effects, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was, without a doubt, the best-of-the best in the series. Although the movie was released in 3D, I opted to see the 2D showing (as I'm so over 3D, but that's another story). Even so, the visual effects were pure perfection ... so much so, that I defy even the most skeptical viewer to logically distinguish what is real and what's imagination.

In The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, dialog often took precedence over action. Not so in Part 2, where the action-packed battle scenes propel the plot. Where in the past films, Hogwarts was decked-out in beauty, in the final episode, the beauty of the infamous School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was showcased in its destruction.


The Final Battle at Hogwarts ©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R.

Like its predecessors, The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was laced with the perfect dash of humorous moments to ease the death toll (which was unusually high). Yes, favorite and beloved characters died, walls crumbled, familiar settings burned. Iconic symbols were resurrected and then immediately destroyed.

Yet, for the nearly non-stop action, the most memorable moments were the select scenes of quiet reflection. One of the best came through flashbacks involving Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) and Harry Potter's mother.


Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman)
©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R.

Towards the end, with death and destruction abounding, Harry is left pondering a question posed to young heroes throughout the ages: "Does fighting for freedom have too great a price?"


Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) faces off with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes)
©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R.

Oh, and before you go to the theatre, don't forget to bring a hanky or two. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is overflowing with tear-jerker moments that will make even the most stoic moviegoer dab his or her eyes and sniffle. I personally wept (quietly, of course) for nearly the full two hours and ten minutes … I dare you to leave the theatre dry-eyed!


5 out of 5 wands

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: official website
  • Director: David Yates
  • Screenplay: Steven Kloves; based on J.K. Rowling's novel
  • Rated: PG-13: for sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.
  • Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Formats: 2-D, 3-D and IMAX.

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All supporting images are copyright 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R. All rights reserved.


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July 18, 2011

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