It's strange to think that I've finally seen the last Harry Potter, and while there are fans there will be people making money off them with spin offs a re-releases. This marks the end of the real era of Harry Potter. My generation grew up reading the books and then a movie experience that was unlike any other. There has never been a movie experience quiet like this, when you think about it the money, the time, the cast, how many years of people's lives went into making this, it is one of the largest entertainment projects ever created, allowing the characters to visibly grow at the same time as the audience. In that respect it's reminiscent of an old family sitcom where the babies grow up into the socially awkward teenagers we are meant to relate to, just... with magic and death. For that reason alone Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2 should be seen, and even if it wasn't it's still a movie worth seeing.
If you haven't read the books or seen the previous movies no. Although well made, the movie is for fans and requires a certain level of knowledge. That said fans of the movie need to see this for closure. And no matter what I say that will happen, but you should see this in theaters, the cinematography is beautiful, the battles have a real sense of grandeur to them. Granted it is not on the level of the battles in Return of the King, but you do still enjoy and get sucked into the chaos of it all.
The restraints that rested on this movie meant that it was never going to be the best thing I'd seen all year, it was based on a book that felt a little rushed by the end and was basically a 20 minute set up into 2 hours of battle. Not to mention the most maddening epilogue that has ever existed. That said it holds up well. The actors have all evolved into their parts and I think the fact that the movies had been such a part of their lives that emotions come off as rather real. Especially in the supporting cast, Nevil, Luna, McGonagall and Snape were the real high points for me. The scene where the teachers prepare for battle is one of the best in my opinion, it really brings tension and a great feeling of dread for the upcoming battle. I even think the way they handled Snape's character was more emotional and far more sympathetic than it was in the books.
That said there were a few things that I didn't like, due to time constraints they couldn't really pay enough attention to the other students, especially those who don't make it. Perhaps they were trying to make it somewhat less dark for the small children but I would have liked the people who didn't make it to have more of an epic death. In fact no one actually dies on screen from the good guys. That I didn't like at all, characters, especially fan favorites should be given a glorious end but that's only something that really bothers me in retrospect. Finally the epilogue, to be fair to this movie, it handled it as well as it could given the source material. There is no a single person I have talked to who liked or could even stand the epilogue from the book, and the only reason people groan in the movie version is because they can't help but remember the book version. It is a little too sweet but would have been acceptable had people not been able to dissociate themselves from the original.
4/5 - Go see it in theaters Harry Potter fans, it needs to be experienced first hand.
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