Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Talk about a challenge. Delivering a film, the eighth in a series, to a rabid fan-base of a beloved series of books, during a summer filled with alien robots, superheroes and other distractions. Director David Yates does just that in spades with his third Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. A near pitch-perfect film experience with moments of beauty, rapid-fire action and solid acting from a veteran cast, make this film one of the best Hollywood action blockbusters of the year.

While there’s a certain luxury when one tackles the final film in a well-known series, one can assume the audience is up to speed on characters, backstory and to some point even the plot, as it was based on a bestseller. However, its those same issues that can just as easily sink a film if they are not handled with kid gloves. Surely, you would not be able to walk into this Harry Potter film with no previous knowledge and get the same experience, but who’s been living under a rock that long?

Opening with a quick recap of Part 1, the film gets off to a quick start and never looks back. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are still seeking out Horcruxes, which are items where the dark lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has hidden parts of his soul. In order to destroy Voldemort these items must be found and destroyed first. The action leads back to an epic battle at Hogwarts where only one can survive, Harry or Voldemort.

This film delivers as promised with a rousing conclusion, and an epic battle that leaves many scarred (and some deceased) but leaves no loose ends. It’s hard to imagine any other literary property having the type of luck this franchise has had since its inception. Featuring carefully timed releases of books and films, and talented filmmakers and actors committing so fully to seeing this magical world realized, this is a true one of a kind series. One can hope that the suits at Warner Brothers and author J.K. Rowling leave well enough alone after this film and let the series stand, ending on such as good note.

Also of interest, the 3D for the film was, in my opinion, the best, most-subtle of recent memory. Adding just a few wisps of dimension in key parts, and generally not being used as a gimmick. I found the added dimensionality perfect, in stark contrast to films like The Green Hornet, or The Green Lantern where it rendered the screen into an odd, giant view-master image with goofy, unneeded depth of field and in-your-face 3D moments. A nice touch also was the custom 3D glasses that were not the usual shape, but ones that mimicked Harry Potters signature specs – bravo!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is playing at Cinemark Cinemas at El Con Mall, 3601 E. Broadway Boulevard. For showtimes visits Cinemark.com.


About Herb Stratford

Arts and culture writer and film reviewer. Historic theatre restoration consultant. Artist and arts educator.
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