Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
(Rated PG-13) 5 STARS
I loved it even though it made me cry. In retrospect, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (130 minutes) is better than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. That could be because with this caliber of acting, di-recting, and writing there was no way the final movie was going to be like other franchises that ran out of steam (Godfather 3, need I say more?) or because the second half of the source material isn’t just the climax of one great book, but of seven.
After the burial of Dobby, the major players (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, as if I needed to remind anyone) head back into Shell Cottage to speak with Griphook the Goblin (Warwick Davis, who also reprises the role of Professor Flitwick) and Ollivander the wandmaker (John Hurt). Ollivander tells them some relatively plot-important information about wands, and then they decide to make a deal with Griphook to break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s (Helena Bonham Carter) vault at Gringotts, which goes about as well as you would expect.
Since Dumbledore did most of the heavy lifting in discovering the hard to identify Horcruxes and setting Harry on their trail, the track now leads from one to the next with relative simplicity … too bad destroying them gets harder. In any case, having escaped from Gringotts with no time to consider that all their obvious hiding places have been booby-trapped, they apparate into Hogsmeade. To the surprise of no one except Ron and Harry, an alarm brings a ton of Death Eaters instantly to their location. Aberforth Dumbeldore (Ciaran Hinds) rescues them, and Neville Longbottom (Mathew Lewis) leads them into Hogwarts. Everyone seems really happy to see them, until they figure out that the legendary Harry Potter is actually pretty clueless when it comes to telling them what they need to do next.
Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), now the headmaster of Hogwarts, calls all the students into the main hall. After a few moments of Snape drawing out his moment in the sun (or maybe Rickman just took a Xanax before filming this scene?), Harry confronts him, and Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) finally grows a pair and sends Snape packing. Meanwhile, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) lays down a psychic whammy, which leads to the imprisonment of Slytherin House. Way to reinforce the division of students into good and bad categories! Of course, this happens in the book, too — even though it is dem-onstrated numerous times throughout the series that many Hogwarts students of all houses turn on Harry when it is convenient only to suck up to him when he saves the day. But I digress.
Ron and Hermione run off to make out while Harry heads to the room of requirement in search of another Horcrux. Malfoy (Tom Felton), Goyle (Josh Herdman), and Not Crabbe (See kids? Drugs are bad and will get you kicked out of a movie franchise worth billions) interrupt his search and try to burn him alive. Luckily for Harry, whose luck has almost always outweighed his magical skill, Ron and Hermione have figured out where he went, and come to rescue him.
Meanwhile, in a battle scene that is way, way better than that last Lord of the Rings movie battle, Voldemort’s forces are attacking the castle. This scene is why the death of Dumbledore from the sixth book was re-written … and in terms of the series, saving the final violent attack on Hogwarts does make for a greater impact. Those of you who have read the book know that the death tolls increases steadily towards the end of the book, so much so that is hard to register an impact for the in-dividual casualties. But yes, the epilogue is intact, and the end-ing is fantastic.