Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2
Director: David Yates
Writers: Steve Kloves, J.K. Rowling
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Evanna Lynch, Helena Bonham Carter, Domhnall Gleeson, Warwick Davis, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Tom Felton
Synopsis: The final chapter begins as Harry, Ron, and Hermione continue their quest of finding and destroying the Dark Lord's three remaining Horcruxes, the magical items responsible for his immortality. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are uncovered, and Voldemort finds out about their mission, the biggest battle begins and life as they know it will never be the same again.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
The Final Battle Between Good Versus Evil In Arguably One Of The Greatest Climaxes In Cinematic History
It's been a long and arduous journey. One full of suspense, adventure, love, mystery, horror, betrayal, death, and redemption. However, like all great journeys, everything has to eventually come to an end. Whether you like the series or not, "Harry Potter" has not only gone on to set various box office records, but it's also been highly received over the years by both critics and audiences; thus making "Harry Potter" one of the most successful film series of all time. It seems like only yesterday, Harry was barely discovering the magic behind Hogwartz, and making new friends as well. To be honest, I honestly didn't care for the first film at all, as it came off as cheesy to me. As for the second film, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", I didn't care much for that one either, as it came off as more of a rip off of everything Warner Bros. did in the first movie; with a few scenario changes here and there.
However, when the third story was released, I became hooked onto the series since. As "Harry Potter and the Prisoner Azkaban" not only showed a much more darker side of the Harry Potter universe, but it also showed a vastly deeper layer to many of it's characters; moving away from the one dimensional stereotypes of the previous films. Unlike most movie series that often start out with a great story involving deeply layered characters, then slowly become watered down through each progressive sequel, "Harry Potter" tends to only get better with age. Like a bottle of fine wine, "Harry Potter" ages to perfection in this series, as the final climax of the movie is nothing less than spectacular.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II" essentially picks up where the last film left off, where we find our heroes wandering aimlessly for the remaining Horcruxes; which hold the key to Voldermort's immortality. As luck would have it, the key to Harry's dilemma resides in Hogwartz where it all began. However, as Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) discovers their plans, he launches an all out assault to destroy Harry once and for all. With time running out, Harry must summon the strength to make the ultimate sacrifice, as loyalties will be strained, and secrets will be revealed. Indeed, this isn't a sequel you'll want to miss if you happen to be a huge "Harry Potter" fan. Unfortunately, that's kind of the problem with this movie.
Although I loved "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II", the reality is that if you've never liked the series to begin with, nor followed it up to this point, then you won't be able to follow the story for this movie at all. If anything, it'll only confuse you, as the film tends to make a lot of references to the previous movies as it tries to tie up every last loophole in the story. Therefore, if you haven't followed any of the previous stories, then I'd probably stay away from this one altogether. However, if you have been following this franchise since it's humble beginnings, then this is definitely one sequel that you won't be disappointed in. Not only does the film wrap up every last loophole, but it also shows the final showdown that every Potter fan has been waiting to see....the epic fight between Harry and Voldermort. A classic tale of good versus evil, as the climax is everything you'd expect it to be.
Ralph Fiennes does a great job playing the villain in this movie. Hell, he's been a great villain throughout the entire series, as I would definitely have to rank Lord Voldermort up there with movie villains such as Darth Vader and Heath Ledger's Joker. Not only did the character emit an evil presence about him throughout the entire series, but he was a great conflicting antagonist for Harry to overcome. After all as the old saying goes, a hero is only as great as the villain he must vanquish, and I don't think you could have asked for a better one than Voldermort. Like the Joker, Voldermort is basically the embodiment of evil personified, yet you can almost get a hint of vulnerability within his character. A vulnerability that doesn't necessarily make him a weak character, but one that makes us all realize how easily any of us can turn astray in life. After all, the lines between good and evil aren't always well defined, as we get older in life.
As for Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermoine) and Rupert Grint (Ron), what can I really say about them that would give them justice for how they evolved as actors over the years? Over the course of the series, we've seen each character grow from being one dimensional stereotypes from the first movie, to suddenly becoming the vastly complex characters they grow up to be in the sequels. However, I hope none of the actors end up getting typed cast because of the "Harry Potter" series, as I think all the young actors in this movie have shown promise over the years. Daniel's character goes from being a happy go lucky kid, who was raised in a neglectful family, to suddenly becoming a man that's expected to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Ron goes from being the spineless comic relief of the first film, to becoming a nurturing and brave man that's willing to sacrifice even his own life to save his friends. Draco goes from being a pompous spoiled little jerk, to a confused and conflicted young man. Hermoine goes from being a "know it all" book worm, to becoming a woman that's full of compassion and conviction; while still possessing to inner strength to aid Harry in his time of need. Indeed, none of the character developments that I just described couldn't have been executed so perfectly if it had not been for a combination of great screen writing and acting. Truly, a mark of a great film series, as each "Harry Potter" chapter only gets better over time.
As for the symbolism behind the film, you might not be surprised by the subtle references towards Christianity. Although in the previous films, the religious aspects to the series were kept very subtle, but in this new chapter, it's a bit more obvious that David Yates tries to turn Harry Potter into a "Jesus Christ" type figure; while making Voldermort out to be Satan. Does it work? Quite well actually. Like the series, the references in this latest chapter are kept low key, yet you can almost feel a small lead up to it, as Harry learns more about his inevitable destiny with Voldermort. Although by the climax of the film, the references towards Christianity are a bit too obvious, but it's never over the top to where it detracts from the main story arc.
On a side note though, I would like to point something out. I'm sure I'll get a lot of flak for this, but I have to bring this up anyway. To be honest, I never really looked at the religious aspects to the "Harry Potter" franchise before writing this review, as I never viewed it as the heart of what the story was about. The story to me was always about how Harry goes from being a naive and innocent little boy to growing up to become a great leader someday; embracing responsibility in the face of adversity, as many of us have often been forced to deal with in the past. Sure, you can argue with me all you want about how the religious references are the main theme of the story, but you'd be wrong to assume that's the only part of the story worth talking about. Yes, there's religious aspects of the series, but that's not entirely what the story is meant to be about, as it's only one aspect to the story. Anyone who says different is selling something.
Take another popular character like "Superman" for example. Sure, people like to talk about how he's allegedly the "Jesus Christ" of superheroes, as many critics like to constantly bring that up. However, that's only one interpretation of the character, as another could be that he's the ultimate immigrant when you stop to think about it in context. Superman is born on another planet, where he's virtually powerless; which can be derived as a metaphor on how most immigrants don't have a lot of economic or political power in their native countries. Hence, when Clark Kent gets to America, he's suddenly able to have god like powers; which is another metaphor for how the rights and freedoms of this country can allow any immigrant to succeed in America. Granted, I know this symbolism is a bit hard to grasp for some readers, but it's another interpretation of the character. Anyway, to get back on topic, I thought David Yates did a wonderful job orchestrating this film. Not only did the film answer every loophole about the series, but it also managed to give fans the epic climax they've been yearning for.
In the end, the entire "Harry Potter" series is a classic good versus evil story worthy of epics such as "Lord of the Rings" and "The Original Star Wars Trilogy"; where the lines between good and evil are well defined, yet the struggles each character goes through is genuine and deep. I don't think David Yates and his cast could have pulled off a more better conclusion to such a epic journey. The story was deep and innovative, with complex characters that audiences will still come to love. As for the special effect, they're pretty much everything that you'd expect from a movie like this, but the 3-D cinematography is nothing short of amazing. I would highly recommend any "Harry Potter" fan to see it in 3-D if you can, as you won't be disappointed. Overall, I'd have to give this movie a three and a half out of four.