If it's crap ... We'll tell you
This Article is Spoiler Free (for the latest movie at least.)
There is no nice way to put this. I did not like this movie. It’s not a bad movie. I’m not saying avoid this movie. But to me, this movie was on part with Star Wars: Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.
WHAT?! You can’t say that about Harry Potter!
Well I just did.
When long lasting series have a planned cinematic ending, this type of shit usually goes down. Too many sub-plots and character arcs need a conclusion, so the film rushes them all in at the last moment. There is no weight or gravity to anything. Many characters that were built up for 7 FUCKING MOVIES get a payoff of like two minutes each, except for Neville, who gets five, and Snape who gets ten.
That’s it. Some don’t even get that much time.
And there is NO EXCUSE FOR THIS. NONE. They had a whole extra movie to give these characters their due. All the actors returned for their roles, and it’s painful to just seem them do one or two lines of dialogue and move on. It’s like the film is saying: “Hey, these guys are here. Remember these guys? They’re fun. Remember all the good times to had watching them in previous films? Well, keep that feeling, because we’re not going to spend any more time with them. And we have nothing for them to do!”
There was no weight to any of the deaths, characters weren’t built up from this film or even Part One. They just show up and expect you to remember and still care for them. And if it wasn’t for the fact that the same actors were playing them, there isn’t any reason or reminder given why you liked them when they first appeared.
There is talk of this getting Oscar nods. I don’t see it. This isn’t the third Lord of the Rings’ film. It wasn’t epically planned or executed. The film feels really incomplete. Like it’s just crossing off its checklist of stuff it thinks people want to see before the series closes, and rushing through the result.
And it’s not like this is a bad story, it’s just that we’ve seen it before. And not just in the other Harry Potter films. I’m not even going to rate this as its own film because it is so clearly just the second half of one. But it was one that didn’t need to be split into two films. Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One again. Watch it and see how much stuff you could cut from it. Realistically, you could easily lose an hour of that film, and in this movie, another half hour could be cut. So what we’re left with was a much better paced 2.5 hour film. Of course the studios know that fans are sheep and that they’ll see both films, and splitting the film into two movies wasn’t going to keep anyone away who was going to see it now anyways.
Why charge once for one movie, when you can charge twice for two?
Because of the development in Part One, there is nothing left for the story to add here. All the twists had already been shown. What we’re left with is typical fantasy melodrama.
This film feels like a lot of stuff has been left out. Maybe there will be a nice director’s cut that will fill things in, or maybe it’s because the director, David Yates has a terrible habit of leaving out small scenes that would make these films better.
If you look at David Yates direction of the movies, all of the fun stuff that the other directors left in the background for people to find on repeat viewings had been taken out. But that’s a nitpick though. The real problem with his adaptations is that he leaves out some of the most powerful scenes from the book. Where was Dumbledor’s funeral? That was a great moment in the series. Oh sorry, you don’t get to see that vision onscreen. What you got was a half-assed lighter tribute for the students wands, that looked like it’d be more appropriate at a Pink Floyd concert than at a headmaster's funeral.
Look at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. How about the prophecy regarding Neville? Remember when that was mentioned and it set up his character for the role he played in this film? How about Harry’s talk with Nearly Headless Nick about death after one of his mentors dies? Oh right, that wasn’t shown onscreen. Despite that those were some of the highlights of that book. They were left out! Oh, they did that to cut the movie’s time, right? BULLSHIT! That film was the shortest in the series, and the seven minutes those scenes would have added could only have helped the emotional impact of Harry’s journey.
It’s probably safe to say that Yates isn’t solely to blame for this. When he started making the films, we didn’t know how the series would end. And he had to adapt much larger books than most of the movies before him. Plus he wasn’t as established a director when he took over the films, than all the previous directors in the franchise, so the studios probably gave him less slack. Not that that’s an excuse/justification for the final product.
Now that the films are done, I think that it’s safe to say that he’s my personal least favourite director of the series. I’m not saying he’s bad, just that he didn’t do as good a job adapting the books as those before him. In my personal experience, I’ve found the people who say that he’s their favourite director of the series have not read the books, and tend to like the stories themselves more than the direction, because he’s dealing with a more mature setting and source material.
The film isn’t a complete disappointment though. It is smart enough to keep the focus on Harry. It stays mostly accurate to the book, (although I think they just hinted at a revelation with Snape that wasn’t in the books,) and it gives clear closure to the series.
Unfortunately, the magic is now gone, it has been sucked out of the film franchise with an unnecessary extra film made more for draining your wallets than artistic intent. Again, it’s not a bad film, just a disappointing and flawed one. If you want to praise it, and say that it was everything you hoped for than please do so. But I probably had higher hopes, through watching the earlier films, there was a sense of wonder and fun and aw, like I was watching something really magical. This one just felt uninspired, and hollow.
Overall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 gets a matinee rating.
If you’ve watched all the other films, you’re going to watch this one anyways, just to see it through.