After 8 movies and a decade the adventure that is the Harry Potter movie franchise has come to a close. Fan or not the Harry Potter series has been huge, to the point of having topples Star Wars as the most profitable franchise ever. It’s fair to say that when Deathly Hallows was split in to 2 parts it felt like a cynical way to squeeze that much more profit out of a franchise that was ending. They had managed to fit the 6 other books in to a film a piece, even when they were long than Deathly Hallows. So was it justified?
Well at this point I’m going to assume everyone knows the story, at this point anyone who didn’t wouldn’t be seeing the film or interested in a review. So it seems have the makers of the film, for the past few films there’s been no attempt to gently introduce new viewer to the concept or the story, they simply get on with telling the story. No stops for exposition on what’s happened previously unless it’s actually relevant to the story. Picking up where Part 1 finished we start with a recap of the final scene, Voldemort is now in possession of the Elder Wand and is coming for Harry. If you were disappointed with the subdued pace of Part 1 then part 2 should rectify that for you, as with most of the Harry Potter stories most of the action is in the last third of the book, and this film is basically that last third. There’s big battle sequences, big effects set pieces, cameos from practically every actor who’s been in the series, emotional scenes that have left adults in tears. Basically this film really is the culmination of the entire decade. The scenes with Snape towards the end show why Alan Rickman was the perfect choice for Snape, brilliantly played through the entire series, it’s just a shame we don’t get to see more of him and though the regular background characters of the series don’t get a great deal of screentime in either part of Deathly Hallows it’s great to see some of the characters come in to their own.
The effects are very well done, and while the 3D conversion is one of the better ones I’ve seen and there occasional scene looks brilliant in 3D, the 3D is by no means a necessity and to be honest there are scenes where the effect doesn’t work well at all, and others where there’s an out of focus feel to the entire scene or a ghosted image of things too far in to the foreground or background. It also makes it have this dark, almost grey tinge to everything, which doesn’t do the already dark scenes in the film any favours.
Despite basically being a the second part of a 5 hour film there are still bits of the book missing or truncated. There’s no way they’d ever fit everything in, and some of it doesn’t really matter and of course if you only watch the films you wouldn’t notice their absence. But I heard people comment they were disappointed this or that wasn’t in the film, but personally I think the split paid off and we’ve ended up with a great end to the series with these 2 movies, it allowed them to fit in as much as possible, even if it was just a quick nod at the expanded version in the books. And if you’re even a casual fan I definitely recommend it. 3D definitely isn’t a necessity so don’t rush to spend the extra money if you don’t have to but it’s well worth the visit to the cinema.