It isn’t very often that a group of actors get to grow up before our eyes. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, have done just that. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 brings the three together for what may be the last time.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron move forward with their journey to find the source of the evil Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) power. The objects they seek are the three remaining horcruxes. These are items that could be anything, a point made light when Harry tries to explain the concept to a classmate.
The upheaval at the famed Hogwarts Academy has placed Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) into the role of headmaster. With the bad guys in charge it’s amazing such an institution remains. With the previous headmaster, Dumbledore’s (Michael Gambon) wand having fallen into the hands of Voldemort, the deck is being stacked against our heroes. At least that’s what I assume as the wizarding world of Harry Potter is so chockfull of spells and conjures that one could easily assume the proverbial chips are never down for young Harry.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 picks up right where Part 1 left off, and inherits many of its immediate predecessor’s problems. I realize I didn’t read the books, but like I always say a good screenplay doesn’t require research. Evidently a good wizard movie entails something more than a working knowledge of the source material. I can’t imagine the cranium warping such a script would put on a rookie viewer. However, Part 1 was all focused on the setup, giving Part 2 the action. As a stand-alone film it would be easy to pass this one off as mindless, but a watershed moment occurs during Harry’s investigation that redeemed much of it in my eyes, if not the last two installments as well.
The simmering feud between the factions culminates in a full-blown war presented in 3D. It’s getting to wear 3D viewing is mandatory, and not because the viewing public demands it. Aside from some particle effects and subtitles, few shots are composed with 3D in mind. Otherwise the total visceral effect is what you’ve come to expect from a franchise used to raking it in.
Director David Yates, whom I previously did not have much faith in thanks to some needlessly, convoluted installments, sprinkles in the magic of the early entries in the climax of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. 10 years alone will tell you these kids have come a long way, but seeing the rounded noggin of Daniel Radcliffe transform into a well-spoken actor puts it into perspective. ***