If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The time has come for "The Boy Who Lived" to face his fate, as well as the end of his highly profitable series. Deathly Hallows: Part 2 marks the end of a nearly ten year journey. As we've followed Harry Potter's foray into the world of wizardry, we've also watched young kids grow into capable actors (for the most part, anyway). This eighth and final film is the culmination of both fictional and real-world stories. So, how did it turn out? Not too shabby.
Continuing directly from the last film, Harry and co. are on the hunt for horcruxes; the only means of killing the seemingly all-powerful Lord Voldemort. The major change from Part 1 that is apparent from the beginning is the pacing. We're done with slowly scouring the countryside. It's time to kick some ass and blow shit up. This will be great for any person or robot that found themselves bored by "Harry Potter and the Neverending Camping Trip". The action is satisfying, while not being overblown. Everything fits in well with this universe.
The actors do a good job with their roles. Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson all manage to sell the emotional rollercoaster their characters find themselves on. Unlike some of the earlier films, they feel very genuine. Ralph Fiennes also turns in a great performance as You-Know-Who. I understand that many fans disagree, but I always liked his portrayal of the Dark Lord. Here, Fiennes captures Voldemort's deteriorating state, but never truly stops being menacing. One actor who finally gets to shine is Alan Rickman. His portrayal of Severus Snape has never been better, despite being only slightly less underused than in the last few movies. He actually managed to make me sympathize with him, which is something that never happened when I read the book.
If you are a Potter purist, there are a few things here and there that will bug you. I used to be one myself, and I know a lot of things about DH2 would have pissed me off back then. These days, I recognize that movies cannot follow the books verbatim. The movie gives us what we need for the plot to work. That said, there are a few things that I would have preferred to remain in. On the plus side, I felt that some things were actually improved in the film. There were also some things that should have been left out completely. Yes, that sequence is in (you know the one), and yes, its just as lame as it was in the book.
Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a worthy end to the Harry Potter saga. It does what it needs to do, and manages to do a little more. I highly recommend it.