Review: Potter ‘Hallows 2’: A wonderful send-off to the seriesWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
The “Harry Potter” series is the definition of movie magic. Fans of the bespectacled wizard have been able to visualize the adventurous series during the past decade thanks to Warner Bros. From flying on broomsticks outside an enchanted castle to dueling wizards over London, the production value of the series is exceptional.
The series is also the definition of epic, following the title character from prepubescence to adulthood. And “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” is the perfect ending to the series. While the series benefits from spectacular source material by genius J.K. Rowling, the seven previous films have had their own hiccups here and there. Missing from the latest adventure are any of those missteps.
What is presented to audiences in brilliant 3-D is a production finely manicured and perfectly edited.
“Part 2” begins where its predecessor left off: the ultimate bad guy, Lord Voldemort, has just obtained the most powerful wand in the world and is coming after Harry. Before they can meet and duel, Harry must first destroy the parts of Voldemort’s soul in the remaining Horcruxes, rendering the evil wizard mortal.
Hogwarts, the wizarding school left mostly out of the last film, is back to the forefront. Harry and friends Ron and Hermione return for a blockbuster sequence of scenes that pits Voldemort’s army against those remaining in the castle to fight and keep Harry alive. The visuals during these scenes alone are stunning. The castle has never looked better, whether majestic in the beginning or destroyed in the end.
The pacing is deliberate. “Part 1” included a lot of inaction and storytelling. “Part 2” is the payoff. The building pace reaches a crescendo during the Hogwarts battle scenes.
It’s possible “Deathly Hallows” benefited from Rowling’s producer credit and hands-on approach to these last two movies.
What has been delightful to see from “Sorcerer’s Stone” to the final chapter in the series is that the studio has not skipped a beat or spared an expense. Sure, this series has some hefty box office might — with more than $6 billion grossed worldwide for the seven previous films, according to Box Office Mojo. But Warner Bros. didn’t have to invest in these films.
Such investments can be seen in the quality of the 3-D. In one of the best experiences since “Avatar,” audiences receive special Harry Potter glasses and the multi-dimensional surface of the screen is perfect. The 3-D layering is meticulous and beautiful to observe. It is worth the upgrade.
“Part 1” was nominated for Academy Awards for visual effects and art direction and one should expect nominations for “Part 2” in these categories and maybe a few others. And don’t discount the acting, especially by Alan Rickman, as Professor Severus Snape, who provides an Oscar-worthy performance.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” is ultimately a wonderful send-off to the series. Like other franchises such as “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings,” some of the best scenes and sequences of the series are in the final movie. As audiences learn more about the characters and story lines, the payoff is in the denouement. After eight movies, fans learn what happens to Harry. Does good triumph or evil? Readers of the series already know, but that doesn’t make the film any less exciting to watch.
5 out of 5 stars
Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com.