Plot The final instalment in the adventures of the boy wizard. Harry (Radcliffe), Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) plan a bank raid in search of another Horcrux, vital to Lord Voldemort’s (Fiennes) survival. Meanwhile, the Dark Lord moves for a full-on attack on Hogwarts itself.
It’s hard to express how much the last Harry Potter matters to its fans, and how important it is to finish the series on the right note. After ten years, eight films, four directors and over $6 billion at the box office, it comes down to this. The final film presented a gargantuan challenge to its makers, who were required to juggle gigantic action scenes with emotional heft and jaunts into the metaphysical to explain its labyrinthine plot. Thank Dumbledore, then, that director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves managed one last herculean push to finish things in style.
The shortest film of the lot, this may be based on only half a book but it has a mountainous plot to climb. Scraps of bad guy Lord Voldemort’s divided soul, hidden in “Horcruxes”, have to be found and destroyed — a process that will involve a bank heist, a dragon and a large, dead snake. The mysterious “Deathly Hallows”, three powerful artefacts allowing the user to conquer death, must be uncovered and claimed. Voldemort himself has to be killed and there must, surely, be a giant battle involving every surviving character of the franchise. Lesser villains must get their comeuppance, heroes must fall, and Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) must get a room already.
What’s impressive is that, where earlier films revolved around solving a mystery, this one shifts to a war footing without losing its emphasis on character and emotion. The battle scenes are appropriately spectacular, with Hogwarts under attack from an army of Death Eaters, Dementors, giants and beasties and defended by a small and dwindling number of students and teachers. The effects have never been better, the sets more beautifully designed nor the explosions bigger — but it’s still the human moments that grip. The truth of Alan Rickman’s sneering Professor Snape is finally uncovered in perhaps the most moving scene of the entire series, while Ralph Fiennes at last shows off the full range of Voldemort’s genius and madness and Maggie Smith’s Professor McGonagall reveals herself as the badass we’ve always suspected her to be.
But this is Daniel Radcliffe’s hour, with Hermione and Ron very much in supporting roles as Harry steps forward to meet his destiny. His encounters with Voldemort are brutal — very much an adult targeting a child rather than a clash of equals. And while Radcliffe remains reined in as an actor, that is by this stage a feature of the character, and his performance has moments of quiet brilliance. As he steps into the Great Hall and sees the devastating human cost of his defiance of Voldemort, his eyes register one body blow, and another, and another as he sees dead and wounded friends. It’s subtle, but it’s the best he’s ever been.
That said, subtlety is not the overwhelming impression. This opens with that bank raid and builds around a running battle, hexes sleeting through the air and Hogwarts reduced to so much rubble. It’s here, if we were nitpicking, that we craved just a tiny bit more room to breathe. The set-up for Mrs. Weasley’s (Julie Walters) big moment is fractionally but fatally rushed, and many more minor characters get only a single line or shot in which to shine. Admittedly, that’s in keeping with the book’s cavalier attitude to its supporting cast as the plot races to its end, slowing only for Harry’s sake at key moments, but it’s a shortcoming that the film could have corrected. It’s one of those cases that leaves you wishing for a longer director’s cut — an unusual feeling on departing a Harry Potter film.
Verdict A worthy farewell that packs in as much action as its seven predecessors combined and manages not to stint on the emotional beats. Harry Potter leaves us as a quiet, bespectacled, corduroy-wearing hero for the ages.
Average user rating for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
RE: All Was Well
I love this movie! Not my favourite Potter, nor my favourite Deathly Hallows, but it still delivered. However, i] of issues with it:
- The 19 years later bit. Just..what. It worked fine in the book, nothing special, but in this it was just le uld have been bawling my eyes out at saying goodbye to a character I had grown up with and instead I was howling at how they thought giving Ron a fat suit made him look older. The only one who looked borderline alright was Harry. I really need them t... More
Sorry to dredge this one back up, but I just found my review from before I joined Empire:
"I have to say that this movie was not how I expected it to be. Though there were dark moments that the film makers promised, but there is still a lot of humour in this movie. The opening sequence was the best. Hermione ridding her parent's memory was one of the most emotional scenes in the entire movie. Even though the scene wasn't very long, it provoked such a strong emotion and I thought Emma was ... More
A year it’s been since the epic conclusion to the final Harry Potter films. And for a year I have been in mourning for the end of my childhood. As a Potterhead, I have read, watched and toured the magic of HP for a decade and since its end of the films I have had Post-Potter depression. I miss the much loved NON-fiction saga which every year is as good as the last with more twists and turns than Downton Abbey.
However much I miss HP being available in the cinemas I have to say that Deat... More
A pretty good movie. I particularly loved the first hour. The action scenes were great especially the battle of Hogwarts.
My main complaint is that unfortunately alot of the minor characters are not given much to do. It would have been nice to see some of them participating more in the action scenes and actually given dialogue - even a few lines. ... More
Without getting caught up in the politics of whether this is a good adaptation or not, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is nothing short of excellent. Performances continue the trend of part 1 and are better than they've ever been before, setpieces are mind-bogglingly awesome, and the whole spectacle is one of excitement and energy, finally erupting into the brilliant ending the series so prides itself on. The script is also stellar, being both funny and at times, wonderfully poignant... More
As with all of the Potter films, the key moments from the books like any sort of impact. I just never found myself feelng emotional. I could say "there was too much to cram in" - it was film 6 before I sensed any genuine friendship between the Harry, Ron & Herm while Snape's lack of screen-time over the series completely destroyed the significance of his final scene with Harry - however, look at the LOTR trilogy. I am always close to tears near the end of FOTR, while the all import... More
I think the movie was good until the "final battle", that was incredibly boring and they changed around a lot. All the deaths had no impact and the book had a more dramatic feeling to it than the movie actually did.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is thrilling, powerfully acted, visually dazzling, and emotionally strong. This film has brought the the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying, suitably magical, and emotional conclusion. ... More
Adequate is the best thing I can say. Journeyman hack Yates killed the franchise a long time ago and now it's just going through the paces. No heart, no imagination, no sense of fun or significance. Just and adaptation really. ... More
t just seemed to me like they copped out in so many areas that could have easily been fixed, great moments like the Bellatrix and Molly (Weasley) showdown felt rushed. And the whole way that they changed the finale with Ron and Hermione hunting the snake seemed pointless. ... More
Saw this at the weekend and thought it could have been better done as an epic single episode rather than split into two parts.
greed, it needed the slow build up of part 1 in the first half to make the second half more resonant. ... More
I actually think this is one of the better films of the series, probably up there with Goblet of Fire. on't get the hatred for the coda, I thought it was perfectly done.ote]
My only problem with it was that rather than spend some of the vast effects budget on convincing ageing make-up the filmakers appear to have just pelted the three leads with talcum powder. ... More
the story finishes with acting and music that has always been remembered. not only at the end 19 years later but in the rest of the film. one of the best films. that is truly magnificent!. but as i had grown to these films i will always remember them truly and will never forget the boy with the lightning bolt scar. ... More
Nort perfect, but by far the best of the harry potter films. exciting, action packed and very emotional. I have never been a huge fan of the harry potter series, but I am a fan. I don't believe you have to fall into either the love or hate category that some cynical movie-goers would describe. This, simply put, is a very well made film. Yes I know it's the second half of the finale to an overlong series that has had its ups and downs, but it balances action, drama, plot and a little humour here ... More
The film itself is quite good but for fans of the books, it leaves a sour taste in our mouths - for example, leaving out the Dursleys interaction with harry when he leaves Privet drive at the expense of making sure the Weasley twins bad jokes get on screen is just unforgivable.The last book is not nice to read in parts due to the circumstances the lead characters find themselves in and it doesnt help that in the final film when Voldemort is actually defeated you see his body flutter away piece b... More
I've never been a massive fan of the HP films (and not ready any of the books) - all have been good though with some better than others. This final installment definitely falls into the latter category but with a few tweaks could have been better. The start feels a bit jumpy for those less immersed in the Potter world as you try and remember where part 1 left off, the pace seems to slow a little in the middle section, and did we really need the '19 years later' bit at the end (I'm assuming that'... More