It Doesn’t End Here

18 Jul

For some reason, I never did get into the whole Harry Potter phenomenon. I only read the first book from start to finish, and have only seen the first and third movies. On a 1-10 scale, with 1 being muggle and 10 being wizard, I’d probably be a 3. But being a pop culture junkie and a sucker for hype, not to mention an avid reader of Entertainment Weekly, I felt not just obligated to see the final film in the series, but mildly prepared — no matter what my more obsessive fan friends said. And I’ve gotta say, even without all the background or emotional investment, I still thought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was great. So there!

Epic, intense, and really violent, HP7.5 is all about what the entire series has (apparently) been building to: The showdown between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe, who has grown into a very nice actor) and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), the evil wizard who killed Harry’s parents. Nearly the entire staff and student body of Hogwarts is on alert, and ready to defend the school and stand beside Harry. Talk about loyalty under difficult circumstances. This is no ordinary children’s movie.

I can’t pretend to appreciate HP7.5 on any level other than as a self-contained film, but on that level, it succeeds wildly. The story builds nicely, the stakes feel real (even if the whole thing’s a fantasy and we know who will win), the effects are convincing, and the acting all around is impressive. I can’t say I feel compelled after seeing HP7.5 to go back and watch the other five films I missed, but I didn’t feel lost during this movie either. This one is satisfying on its own, and definitely worth seeing, even if you’re like me and haven’t seen all the others.

Harry Potter is the boy who lived (no spoiler there), and based on how good the final film in the series is, I’m sure he’ll live on a whole lot longer. I’m giving Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 a B+.

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