Monday, July 18, 2011

Movie Review - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

So it's over. Harry Potter 8, aka Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Now, something that I may or may not have mentioned on here before is that I'm a huge fan of the Harry Potter books. I love them. My dad read the first 4 to me when I was too young to read a huge novel, and I devoured the rest within days of them being released. They are, undoubtedly, my absolute favorite books in the whole wide world. I wouldn't say they're the best books ever written, but as far as sheer enjoyment I got out of them, the books are my favorites. Ever. They, in a nutshell, were my childhood. They changed who I am. I wouldn't have half my love of literature if it weren't for those books.

The movies however, I'm not quite as attached to. Mind you, I still like the movies a whole heck of a lot, but they weren't a defining part of my childhood like the books were. So, since we're now on the shockingly high number of 8 total films, let me give you a brief run down of how I liked the last 7.

Sorcerer's Stone - Loved it
Chamber of Secrets - Loved it
Prisoner of Azkaban - Liked it, but not quite as much as the first two.
Goblet of Fire - Still good, but probably the weakest of the films.
Order of the Pheonix - Fairly good.
Half-Blood Prince - Loved it.
Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 - Absolutely loved it. Virtually the perfect adaptation.

So, now with the final film coming (at least until Rowling decides she needs a bigger money pit) there would be large shoes to fill. Book seven was my favorite book in the series because it took place outside of Hogwarts and showed us the rest of the wizarding world, plus it still ended in a satisfactory way for everyone.

I went to a midnight release of Harry Potter 8, since there was no way I was letting my favorite books in the whole wide world's movie series end any other way. So how did the film series end? A high note? A low point? Somewhere in the middle?

That. Was. Awesome.

Seriously, what a perfect way to end the films. A near-perfect adaptation of the books. It was great! I'm not surprised, since the last film was absolutely great, but this one was a great adaptation of the series.

The film stayed true to the books, though it did stray slightly at a few moments. The only slight variations I noticed (keep in mind I haven't read the 7th book since it came out, so I'm slightly sketchy on some details) were that they neglected to clarify why exactly Voldemort chose some of the Horcruxs he did. However, that's understandable as they only had two hours to fill.

The movie is mostly action, as it's based nearly exclusively on the final battle from the last book. It never feels too actiony though, and knows just when to give the audience a chance to breathe, without giving them enough time to quite fully catch their breath. I'm reminded of The Dark Knight, another film which is paced similarly, being almost entirely action, but still having a great plot. The action is great! The effects are great! Virtually every scene is a sheer joy to watch!

All of the actors brought their A-Game. The actor who plays Neville Longbottom, Matthew Lewis, has proven to me that Rowling could easily write a whole book that was book seven as written from Neville's perspective. He was a lot of fun to watch, and reminds the audience that really, Neville is just as much one of the heroes of those books as anyone else, and a true Gryffindor at heart. Luna, Hermione, McGonagol, they were all great. Daniel Radcliffe was good as ever as Harry Potter, and Ralph Fiennes was really rather frightening as Voldemort. Another real gem, perhaps even the best performance in the film (certainly the one that got the closest to bringing me to tears) was Alan Rickman as Snape. Those who have read the books will know that Snape has a very interesting moment in this film, and Rickman portrayed it perfectly.

It's probably the darkest of the films, which is fitting considering it's based on the darkest book in the series.

It was the best kind of adaptation, the kind that makes it feel like the movie is coming to life in front of your eyes. Mind you, the books are still, and will always be, better than the movies, but this is probably the best film in the entire series.

Bottom line, if you're a Potter fan you've probably already seen this movie. If you aren't a Potter fan, you can probably still get a lot of enjoyment from seeing the nonstop action this film brings.

Play me out Starkid.

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