After ten years and seven films, it’s a near impossible task to wrap up the Harry Potter franchise. As someone who’s never read the books, I sat down for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 expecting to say goodbye to the gang in their graves or living happily ever after. Ultimately, the piece does find an appropriate spot on that spectrum, making for a great series conclusion. Then again, that’s great as compared to something that I hoped would be excellent – just short of excellent that is.
Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) are back and in the midst of their Horcrux hunt. With Griphook (Warwick Davis) the goblin’s reluctant assistance, the trio infiltrates Bellatrix Lestrange’s (Helena Bonham Carter) vault at Gringotts where they suspect yet another Horcrux containing a piece of Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) soul hides. From there, it’s on to track down and destroy the remaining items, both of which are suspected to be at Hogwarts.
The trio arrives back at school to find Snape (Alan Rickman) has assumed the late Albus Dumbledore’s (Michael Gambon) position. Once Harry arrives, Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith), Neville (Matthew Lewis), Ginny (Bonnie Wright) and all of his old Hogwarts pals abandon their efforts to simply submit to their new headmaster’s oppressive regime and join Harry to fight back. Soon thereafter, Voldemort arrives, massive army in tow, and the Battle of Hogwarts begins.
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There’s a lot to the world of Harry Potter. We’ve got all these spells with crazy names, people with crazy names, items with crazy names and for those who’ve never read the books or watched the films dozens of times, it’s impossible to remember them all. Having only seen the last film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, once, not knowing enough information to understand The Deathly Hallows: Part I was a major concern. Well, there’s no need to worry because as important as all of the details are, the quality of filmmaking is monumentally more important and that’s as evident as ever in this film. Director David Yates delivers such an entertaining, engaging and well-made film, you practically feel as though you’re part of the world yourself and it’s that sensation that not only clarifies nearly every detail, but it makes for an immensely powerful and all-consuming experience.
Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) are back, but not at Hogwarts. The search for Voldemort’s Horcruxes is now their top priority forcing them to leave their education and families behind. With the help of Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), Mad-Eye Moody (Brendn Gleeson), Lupin (David Thewlis) and others, Harry is smuggled to the Weasley’s house for hiding, but when their group is ambushed by Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Harry can’t bare to see his friends suffer on his behalf and attempts to venture off alone. That’s when Ron steps in and puts things into prospective; Harry may be the chosen one, but this situation is far bigger than him.
A short while later, the Wesley’s home is attacked in the middle of Bill and Fleur’s (Domhnall Gleeson and Clemence Poesy) wedding and everyone scatters. Harry, Ron and Hermione wind up together and knowing that everybody is surely in hiding, opt to take the search for the Horcruxes upon themselves. With just a few cryptic clues left behind by Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), they’re left to trek across the land in hope they’ll uncover more clues along the way.
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