Monday, September 19, 2011

Better Late Than Never: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Directed by David Yates
Released July 15, 2011

I finally got the chance to see this summer blockbuster as a result of a Living Social Fandango deal which essentially entitled me to see this film in IMAX and 3-D for a grand total of $4.50. I was too busy with other films and travel in July, and was already on to other things in August. Obviously, my anticipation couldn’t have been that high if I let two months pass by without seeing it, but I still figured it would be quite an event. It’s only the third film in the series that I’ve seen in its entirety, along with the first and the seventh.

What I would diagnose this film with is finale fatigue, that is to say that after seven mega-movies, the seventh can’t much stand on its own. There’s little to no introduction for those who can’t recall the details of previous films, and this one is all about plot and action without much character development of any sort. I remember thinking that the second half of the book would make a great movie, but this one just feels distant and unapproachable. On top of that, it’s far too fleeting, packing in a whole lot of activity without seemingly including anything.

The moments that were most memorable in the book, particularly “Get away from my daughter, you bitch!” are almost completely ignored and inconsequential in the film, which is overcrowded, overstuffed, and ultimately unsatisfying. It would be wrong to term it a bad film, but I would have hoped for more. Like “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which followed two pretty superb movies in the franchise, the finale doesn’t save the best for last but instead the laziest, focusing on effects and action instead of compelling, and most importantly, coherent storytelling.

Having read the books, it’s hard not to feel disappointed, and if I hadn’t, I imagine the thing I’d feel most is confusion before walking out of the theatre and quickly forgetting the experience of the film. I haven’t thought much about it since I saw it approximately two weeks ago, though I will note that the 3-D was decently enjoyable and definitely enhanced the viewing experience. Otherwise, there’s not much to remember fondly about this film, and I’d deem it forgettable, a far cry from the best film in the series, judging only off of the two others I’ve seen in their entirety. A marathon may one day be in store, but that day, for me at least, is far away.


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