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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
This is the End....
Be Forewarned: Spoiler Alert - Sort of....
Well, this being a review of a movie based on a book most of us read two years ago, there really aren't an awful lot of spoilers but if you HAVEN'T read the books (honestly what WERE you doing for two years??), then some of the things mentioned here will be new to you.
I think I did this right. All of the movies were on television in the week before the movie came out and while I have seen all of the movies before, I decided to watch them over again with my kids. We even watched the Deathly Hallows Part 1 on Friday night in order to go see part 2 on Saturday so everything was fresh in our minds.
Overall Rating : 5 Stars (out of five)
Yeah they got this movie right. You may have issues with the writing (as many adults do), you may have issues with the movies at times (as many kids do) but this movie really tied thiings up right as far as it could. Considering the depth of the book, that's saying something even if they did split the book into two movies. All of that being said, there are a great many things missed or changed in the movie so I'll start with some of those points....
Voldemort can feel when a Horcrux is destroyed - Well actually this point goes completely against the books. Harry at one point asks Dumbledore this very question and his answer is clearly that Voldemort doesn't feel it. He didn't know that the diary was no longer a Horcrux until he forced the information out of Lucius Malfoy. Nevertheless, it works great in the movies.
Bellatrix Lestranges Vault is odd - the items multiply but they are supposed to burn too!! The items that multiply in the vault are supposed to burn as well adding another element of danger (as if there wasn't enough already) and the goblins were not supposed to know that they were imposters until they were leaving Gringotts.. The dragon looks amazing!!!
The Shell Cottage scenes do not provide enough background - Besides the talk that Harry has with Ollivander and the talk with Griphook, Harry also is warned by Bill that Griphook is not to be trusted (Goblins believe all goblin-made items are theirs - no matter who they might have been "given" to). Lupin is also supposed to show up and name Harry as the godfather for his son Teddy. This never happens in the movie and...
Harry's Godson is completely left out of the Epilogue - The epilogue is a bit cheesy but several very funny things and conversations are included in the book which are omitted from the movie. This isn't a huge problem but some of the humor that existed in the first 3 movies - which doesn't exist in the rest of them as they got darker - could have been included here to tie it all together.
The Deathly Hallows - Why??? - This is really a problem I have with the book (and subsequently the movie). The Deathly Hallows portions of the book/movie are, to be honest, pointless, even more so in the movie. As if the search for the Horcruxes weren't difficult enough, these Hallows are introduced with absolutely no foreshadowing from previous books and essentially offer no consequence in the storyline. The Elder Wand could have been introduced in any number of ways, the Resurrection Stone was essentially useless and the Invisibility Cloak we've seen throughout the movies, didn't need an explanation. In the book, Voldemort doesn't need/care about the Resurrection Stone or the Cloak. This story about the Hallows is used to delve into the past of Albus Dumbledore which, at this point, we don't really need. In the movie, it's completely tossed out the window. There's no explanation about Aberforth's view of his brother, there's no explanation for his sister or his past with Grindewald or how any of it connects. It's even completely forgotten in....
The Conversation at King's Cross Station - In the book, when Harry is killed he goes to a very empty King's Cross train station and meets Dumbledore for a talk. This is where we get a full explanation from Dumbledore about everything Harry's been doing and WHY. It simply doesn't exist in the movie. The scene exists but the explanation is about half what it should be...
Hogwarts Isn't the Safe Place it Should Be - As Snape is now the Headmaster and several Death Eaters are teachers, the students are not treated the same as in the past. The scene in the book when Harry returns and knocks out the Carrows doersn't exist though it seemed important in the book.
Snape Flees from the Great Hall - Again, this doesn't happen the book this way but this did work well in the movie.
The House Elves are Not Seen Fighting at Hogwarts - In the book, two important things happen with the House Elves. First, upon Ron's suggestion to free the house elves so they don't get hurt like Dobby, Hermione jumps into his arms and they (finally) kiss. Obviously this was moved to the Chamber of Secrets in the movie. We also miss out on a little more humor from Harry as Ron and Hermione sort of forget there is a war going on and continue to kiss while Harry is waiting for them. Second, Kreacher leads the house elves into the fight as they all have kitchen utensils as weapons. Two very awesome scenes in the book that are omitted/changed for the movie.
Ginny Weasley and the Room of Requirement - Technically ALL of the younger students were sent out of the school before the fight and Ginny was supposed to stay in the Room of Requirement to stay safe. Neither of these things happen.
Percy's Return - Percy Weasley does fight in the books and the movie, but we don't see his return and the family reunion in the movie which was another bit of humor lost.
There are many other things changed/omitted from the movie, however, given the scope of the story, it's completely understandable. Even though they broke this movie in two -this movie, if everything were included would be closer to 3 and half hours long. (which I wouldn't have minded!)
The acting has gotten much better over the years. All of the "kids" have progressed as actors and it shows. Alan Rickman continues to pull off an incredible Snape and finally gets the explanation the people needed in order to understand him better. The action is non-stop and some of the graphic/CGI stuff is amazing (the dragon looks awesome).
If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will love this conclusion to the story. It was a spectacular ending that I'm quite sure you'll want to see again and again. My kids are already plannig to see it again....