Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – review

Posted on 14 July 2011
By Chas Knight
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WARNING : This review contains some SPOILERS

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part II is the sequel to the film of the same name that was released last year.

It is also the culmination of the biggest British film series ever, so it’s got to be good, right?

To recap the previous film, Deathly Hallows – Part I, ended with Voldemort still stomping around and thinking he’s the dogs bollocks while Harry and his chums hunted down the remaining horcruxes in order to finish the swine off.

For those thinking this is nonsense, a horcrux is an object that has part of a wizard’s soul in it and if it is destroyed, contributes to the demise of said wizard (or witch, let’s be P.C. here).

With this in mind, it doesn’t really take a genius to figure out how the story will go. But, the film throws up so many twists, turns and spins that people’s perceptions of many of the characters to dramatic effect.

This aids the pace of the film as well as ties together many loose ends that the series has produced.

The cast, as always, is superb. Old British institutions like Dame Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman deliver great performances, however their time on screen is short, the director choosing to stay on the kids for the majority of the film.

This is an aspect that lets the film down as it is more evident than ever that the majority of the little turnips can’t act.

It is evident that back when they were picked for their roles, it was purely on an aesthetic level – and rightly so.

However their acting is wooden and laboured which makes for many a cringe worthy scene. Radcliffe’s performance, to be fair, is a good one; however he is alongside that Neville Longbottom and the Irish kid who are horrendous.

In fact, another failing in this film is how long Longbottom is on screen for; as he is moved from ancillary no-mark to one of the three protagonists.

The film also seems rushed – as if the production team knew they had to get everything in and boxed off as there will be no more Potter films.

This ensures that a lot of the afore mentioned great actors get mere walk on parts – as if to fulfil their contracts rather to contribute to the actual yarn.

The end of the film is quite easily the worst ending to any movie I have ever seen. It had the packed out theatre groaning in collective cringes.

As a spoiler, it shows an older Harry, Hermoine and Ron sending their kids off to Hogwarts as they did in the very beginning.

While this would be a fitting conclusion on paper, it is let down by some utterly dreadful make up in an attempt to make them look older – indeed, Draco seems to have a shit beard crudely stuck to his face with cellotape.

All in all, it is hard to slag off any of the Potter films. They are fun, beautiful to watch and have consistently fantastic casts. It would be fair to say this is the weakest of the lot.

All it does is bring it the franchise to a conclusion and yes there are a few twists and turns that are cleverly applied, but you are left let down, expecting more.

Perhaps this is testament to what a great contribution the films have been to world cinema or, more likely, it was just a poorly executed final throw of the dice.