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Harry Potter 7B thrills, charms, satisfies and, most importantly, ends
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This one's for the fans. But seriously, who else is going to see this?
If you've watched the previous Harry Potter films, you have to see this one. There's going to be an eternal debate over which movie is the best, but since they're all specifically leading up to this one, it's a no-brainer that this one is a must-see.
That is, if you care about the Harry Potter world.
But if you were dragged kicking and screaming to the previous movies, at least we can say that this one will end the torture.
That is, until Rowling gets tired of being only filthy rich and decides to write another book so she can own all of England.
After the last movie—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1—I reserved personal judgement about what I thought of the movie. I thought it was well made and exciting, but it was honestly only half a movie. Not a movie that ended with a strong "dun dun dunnnnnn" where they strongly hint that there's more to come. It was seriously only half a movie.
It's like buying the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring. Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is on the first disc, and Part 2 simply picks up where the last disc left off. The only difference here is that there's a Warner Brothers logo and a quick title screen. Other than that, they simply drop you right back into the action.
Now I can say that it was all worth it.
If you really need a synopsis, the movie follows Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (seriously, do I have to tell you who plays these guys at this point? Okay, it's Emma Watson). They've just escaped the clutches of the Malfoy Clan and are setting out to find the last of the horcruxes that allow Lord Nose-B-Gone to live forever.
There's more to it, but that's all you need going in. If you haven't watched the previous movies, you have no business seeing this one. And if you have, you know all you need.
The movie itself is very grand in scope, and there is a whole lot of wizard fighting. This is a significant difference from the previous installment where most of the movie was taken up with camping and infighting. Not that I didn't enjoy the last one, but this one completes it in a very real way.
And it's touching too. I'd read the books and knew what to expect on a story and character level, but I still was nearly brought to tears at a few important moments. And I just have to say that this is the movie that absolutely justifies Alan Rickman's decision to take the role of Snape.
But I have to agree with Roger Ebert's assessment regarding the use of 3D in this one. It doesn't need it and really doesn't fully utilize it. There are a few key sequences that do pop out and work wonderfully, but overall, it just doesn't justify the added price. It doesn't ruin the film, though, so if you are a die-hard 3D fan, it's your choice.
There's also a wizard battle here that almost starts to make you long for the nice short battle of Return of the King. Well, no it's not quite that long, but it does go on. However, it's mostly in the background of the story so really, it doesn't become as tiresome as it could.
And it's highly likely that the ending will leave you wanting ... more? Not that it's completely unsatisfying. But there isn't as strong an emotional release as you might hope for. But maybe that's the point. Yes they win, [oh, uh, spoiler alert?] but you have to consider the cost. True, the cost is worth it all, but it's still quite a cost. So, no, I don't think I'd change the ending, but there will be some that will want something ... else.
There is really nothing else I can say to criticize this movie. The effects are great. The overall pacing is appropriate. The characters are well defined and identifiable, though that is largely because of the weight of all the movies and books that came before.
I give this one 8 / 10. Though, I will admit that it's most likely that that rating is more regarding how it wraps up the series than the merits of the movie alone. However, since wrapping up the series is one of its merits, it's a bit debatable how wrong that philosophy is, right?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is rated PG-13 for plenty of action violence, including a considerable amount of death, some profanity (including one great moment where Mrs. Weasley tells Bellatrix exactly what she is) and a general overall intensity that keeps the tension high.