Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part II ***

Running time: 130 mins  Certificate: 12A

Synopsis:  Harry (Radcliffe), Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) are still searching for the hidden Horcrux, while Voldemort (Fiennes) plans to attack Hogwarts and finally kill the boy wizard.

 

After 10 years, the popular saga comes to the end and a lot has been riding on this moment for the fans of the films and books. The movie picks up from the first part which in itself was a rather drawn out, dull and lifeless entity .

 

Part 2 succeeds in correcting the mistakes of the previous installment, but is still a bitter disappointment on what should have been a really exciting finish to the finale. The problem for the most part is David Yates, who directed the previous three films. He can make a movie look great visually, but when it comes to pacing it is just all over the place with a lot of the comedic moments being badly timed. Not to mention the ending where even though it is several years later, it appears that none of them have aged at all and look like they should be going back to school.

 

The story also has problems with very little interaction between the characters, apart from Harry and Voldemort. There is also too much going on plot wise with many questions being raised and various  cast members having very little to do, especially Robbie Coltrane who appears briefly in a few scenes but serves no real purpose to drive the story forward.

 

The deaths of various characters also seems strange as we only know they have been killed once we see their bodies lying in Hogwarts, there are no scenes where it shows how they have died.  The showdown between Harry and Voldemort is also a huge letdown, which amounts to nothing more than over extended fireworks fight between two wizards.

 

That is not to say that there are not some great moments. The opening involving breaking into Gringott’s Bank is generally exciting, a flashback revolving aroung Snape is interesting and Potter’s frantic search for the Horcrux in Hogwarts is thrilling. The special effects and sets are as usual quite spectacular and believe it or not the acting is probably the best in the series.

 

The franchise has never really recovered from the bar raised by Alfonso Cuarón‘s brillant take on Prisoner of Azkaban. By keeping with TV director David Yates, the producers have turned a promising series into unexciting effects driven movies.

 

Another problem is splitting the final book into two films which is understandable from a fan’s point of view, but it clearly does not work as a piece of cinema. It could have been made as a 2 1/2  hour film by reducing the story of part one to the first hour. In doing this it would have been more intense and exciting conclusion, than just an average run of the mill blockbuster.

 

 

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan 

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