Sunday, July 31, 2011

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part two)

No Doctor Who this week (don't worry about that though, I have pleeeeenty for the next few weeks) but I do have another British property to review, Harry Potter! No I didn't plan for the review to fall on Harry's birthday, although that is a nice coincidence, and unlike many other people, I didn't go back and reread all the Harry Potter books before this final movie came out or rewatch part one (I did just see that movie a few months ago and had too much to read). So I would say that this isn't going to be a review where I nitpick over the changed details but there were actually a few scenes that either didn't make sense in the movie (showing that something had been cut, even if I didn't recall what) and I do remember a few important scenes being different so I guess this will be a bit of a nitpicky review after all!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

Summary: Continuing directly where the first part left off, Harry, Ron and Hermione finally have a lead on how to kill Voldermort and destroy him for good. This goal will need even more allies than they already have and will bring the story to a conclusion where everything really began, Hogwarts.

The Good: Just about every character who made an apperance in the last book showed up in this movie which is rather impressive (not all of them got speaking time but Harry Potter still has a huge cast). For the characters who did have a chance to speak it was really amazing to see just how far all of the younger characters (and many of their actors) have come and even the adult characters feel so much more fleshed out and different from their earlier appearances. The central plot in Harry Potter is a simple one, the classic good vs evil scenario, so it's the characters that have made this story so memorable. Rowling did write a very interesting plot withe plenty of twists and turns but in the end she'll be better remembered for creating such a fantastic setting and her characters more than anything else.

The Bad: As mentioned earlier, there are a few times in the story where some of the side characters end up in strange places with no explanation given (such as, how did Luna get back to Hogwarts?) and it's annoying to see that little, establishing explanations like that got cut for even more action scenes. That's another problem, there was a good bit of action in the later part of the book but the movie adds much more to it for no real reason. There already was enough in the book, the movie was certainly long enough and it would have saved them money if even a third of those scenes had been cut. In the end, this movie and part one really need to be watched back to back (or at least within a day or two) in order to balance the talking and the fighting since neither of them fully stands on their own.

The Audio: It's amazing that the scores for all eight movies that each movie has had some new music yet everything feels so cohesive. Nothing in particular stood out to me in the movie (except when they used the main Harry Potter them, I believe it's "Hedwig's Theme", from the first movie in the credit music) because it all felt like Harry Potter music, music I've now grown up hearing. That's a good sign, that the music is so recognizable that the audience doesn't even notice it in the movie anymore, and my hat is off to the composers for all their work.

The Visuals: The CGI in these movies have come so far since they started and, back when the Philosopher's Stone came out, the CGI has always looked good in these movies. The only part where the effects looked a little off was when the group was riding a dragon and you could see the characters and the CGI in the same shot, it didn't quite mesh. Other than that, the film was dark but still well lit enough to see everything and my only other complaint is that, while it looked like a few years had passed in the epilogue, the characters didn't look nearly 20 years older. The visuals were great and this probably would have been an interesting film to see in 3D.   

In one of the final scenes of the movie, there was a significant detail changed that I didn't like as much and I think that's when it hit me, I just didn't like this movie as much and for me it wasn't that satisfying an ending. So perhaps I will reread the book again soon, especially since I didn't have any trouble with the end of that story, guess it's a good thing I didn't stay up for the midnight showing after all.

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