Isn’t it great to know that some things get better with time? Over the course of 8 (or 7, depending on how you look at it) movies, Harry Potter went from begin an adequate, if rather uninspired blow-by-blow retelling of the books to a truly exciting, epic, and moving spectacle. This movie has got to be the crown jewel of the Harry Potter franchise. Not only is it the best, it’s the most badass by far. I mean, look at the trailer. It features a shot of Harry Potter grabbing Voldemort by the neck and literally pulling him off a cliff. And that’s not a dream sequence. Was it plausible? Not entirely. Was it awesome? I’m still not sure, but I won’t say it wasn’t.
I’ve got a new Harry Potter drinking game: take a drink every time Voldemort goes NYEEEEAGH!
In some ways (not all, to be sure, but some) it’s actually better than the book. For those who may have forgotten (who am I kidding?) the story revolves around Harry Potter attempting to find the hidden parts of this pasty, noseless lich’s soul so he can kill him and rid the world of Ralph Fiennes’ over-the-top acting. There are seven of them all told, and each one comes with its own series of traps and dangers. Sort of like a video-game honestly. Those video games you played as a kid, where you had to get all the whatever before you could advance to the next stage.
You know the ones.
He also has to figure out what the Deathly Hallows are, because this old jackass named Dumbledore, who’s supposed to be wise or something, decided that instead of just leaving Harry a note explaining what the Deathly Hallows are thought it would be really amusing to leave him a bunch of cryptic clues instead. Well, you know, it’s because having to figure things out is a character building experience. And apparently building character is more important than saving the world and stopping innocent from getting murdered by the Ku-Klux Nazi necromancers that feed people to giant snakes.
Anyways, in the books, Harry displayed an uncanny (read: unbelievable) ability to locate Horcruxes that would have made Sherlock Holmes green with envy. Either he’s got a photographic memory or something’s pretty fishy. I mean, at one point in the seventh book, he manages to remember a crucial random crown he saw lying around in a room full of junk two books ago. I guess he is a wizard, but still…
In the movie, the screenwriters made the smart decision to give Harry the power to sense horcruxes, which makes so much more sense. You still have to suspend your disbelief a bit, but it’s not so much of a stretch.
Of course, I’m pretty sure there are some parts of the plot that don’t even make sense if you haven’t read the book. Harry tells a ghost he wants to destroy her mother’s crown, and suddenly she wants to help him, when before when he just wanted to find it, she gave him the cold shoulder. You’d think that would make her want to help him less. Care to explain, movie? No? Ok. Also there’s something about a broken mirror that belonged to Sirius Black and was given to Dumbledore’s brother. I am trying hard to remember if this mirror ever made an appearance in the first 6 movies.
So some of those little details this movie seems to hinge on make a lot more sense than they did in the books, and some of them make no sense unless you’ve either read the book or actually remember every prop used in every Harry Potter film and its significance (unlikely). But honestly, these plot points aren’t going to be what start huge internet flame wars. The thing the fans are going to complain about the most is the subplots, which, admittedly, got shafted pretty badly.
The best part of the seventh Harry Potter book has got to be the character development. Especially the character development of Dumbledore and Snape. Their backstories provide the emotional backbone of Deathly Hallows. So it was a shame to see Dumbledore’s story get cut out almost completely. Snape’s , too, felt a bit rushed, but I suppose they didn’t want to break up the big battle with a half-hour segment featuring a digitally face-lifted Alan Rickman. Understandable. The brief flashbacks that made it into the movie are moving enough that it isn’t that big of a loss.
Deathly Hallows Part 2 has a lot of action, but when it does try to be heartfelt, it succeeds. Well, unless it’s a scene in which people are touching their chests and talking about their friends living on “in here.” Believe it or not, the screenwriters actually had the balls to use a line that cliché not once, but at least three times. Might have been more that I missed.
A word about the 3D. Yes, this movie was originally supposed to be in 2D, but, like every other action movie of the last two years, it jumped on the 3D bandwagon on the last minute. But movies post-converted to 3D have never been as good as movies filmed that way to begin with, and even in those movies action scenes tend to become pretty darn hard to follow. Especially with shaky cam, dear god. I, being in Granada where only one movie theater was showing the film, did not have a choice, and only narrowly avoided having a seizure. Sure, the 3D is fine when they’re just standing around talking, but as soon as things start going down, good luck telling who’s shooting at who. The movie’s huge night battle is especially bad, since the glasses darken the already dark screen, making everything a headache inducing blur. The added spectacle of seeing Avada Kedavra flying at your face is just not worth the pain.
Anyway, Voldemort attacks Hogwarts and epic **** ensues. Unfortunately, the good guys have a big disadvantage because they seem to have lost the ability to turn into smoke and fly, even though they did it in the fifth movie while the bad guys all can turn into zooming black clouds of destruction. Wait, I always thought wizards needed brooms to fly. Why do they have brooms again? Also, why are they always running away from stuff when they know how to teleport. And for all you fans who are about to say “you can’t apparate or disparate inside the Hogwarts grounds,” don’t even start. Because Voldemort does it like 8 times. So there. I’m convinced that if I pay enough attention to this movie, none of the magic will actually make any sense.