Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was certainly the best Harry Potter movie up to this point. The only Harry Potter movie that could be called a good movie actually, and it wasn’t even an entire movie, just the first half. Now, after a six-month wait, we get to see Part 2; and, thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint. This is, perhaps, the best two-and-a-half hour third act of any movie I have seen. Generally third acts of movies like Harry Potter and other summer blockbusters, tend to be simplistic, action-packed, low on development, and rushed. That this movie happens to be just a third act, and a full movie at the same time, says a lot about the talent, from J.K. Rowling, author of the books, to screenwriter, Steve Kloves and director David Yates, to the plucky trio of lead actors: Radcliff, Watson, and Grint (sounds like the name of an accounting firm doesn’t it).
A summary of the plot is unnecessary; either you know it because you read the books, someone has spoiled it to you after reading the books, you have read enough speculation that you accidentally spoiled it to yourself, or you have been living under a rock for the last decade or so. The point is; the Harry Potter franchise has become a landmark of popular culture in the way Star Wars did decades ago (probably even more so since it made a stronger trans-media jump from books into film). You have to be a relatively big Star Wars geek to read a Star Wars novel, but the Harry Potter books and films are all quite mainstream. And most have seen and/or read all of them more than once.
Even reviewing this film is a little redundant. Whatever I say, or any critic for that matter, you will go watch the film if you indented to do it in the first place. The film already made in its opening night what most blockbusters hope for their opening week and most films hope to make in their entire lifespan. And in a way, regardless of how bad it could be, you must go see it; after ten years of movies and fifteen of books we all need some conclusion. Thankfully it is a worthy one.
Suffices to say that you will not be disappointed. And it is worth appreciating just how much Harry Potter has become a cultural staple; a phenomenon like it will hardly ever happen again, at least not for another generation. The franchise has changed the world of publishing, for the better; it revitalized the British film industry, and brought a lot of British talent into the mainstream; and it has provided the world with a modern mythology that has been absent for a while.
Now, J.K. Rowling has announced that this is the end of the franchise. But who really believes that? This is a very, very rich world she has created. Perhaps it is the end of Harry Potter, but spoiling the possibility of exploring more of it outside the experiences of Harry Potter might be a bit of a waste I think. If anything this movie sparks further interest. I always take that as a good thing.
One final note, don’t see this in 3D, the movie is dark, and shadowy, 3D is seriously inappropriate for it. Watch it in 2D as it was filmed and intended to be watched; it makes no sense for Part 1 to be 2D and Part 2 to be 3D. This is a single movie with a six month intermission for all intents and purposes.