Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
After the rambling first-half effort of the final Harry Potter installment, the filmmakers get down to business to give the franchise a generally rewarding send-off. Although many integral supporting characters from the previous seven films are given short shrift, and some seemingly key plot twists break rather than rotate, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" strikes a resilient balance between emotion, story, and spectacle. Harry, Hermione, and Ron continue their search-and-destroy mission to smash the last "horcruxe" that will finish off Lord Voldemort once and for all. The trio exhibit considerably more focus than previously noted. Thrills come during a wild gyroscopic-designed rollercoaster journey deep into the subterranean bowels of the Gringotts wizard bank where gold bars and goblets multiply like a wild fire infection inside Bellatrix Lestrange's vault of riches. A gargantuan fire-breathing dragon provides some unexpected assistance for our three protagonists to escape onto the wistfully gray London streets above. The stuff of primordial fantasy doesn't get much more tastefully exotic.
The filmmakers clearly made an enormous faux paux in splitting the final chapter into two parts. Considering how exasperating Part 1 was as compared to the dynamic Part 2, it makes you doubt the overall construction of both Rowling's source material and the films as a whole. I wouldn't want to have to sit through all of Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows just to get to Part 2. For that matter, I wouldn't want to watch the previous seven films again either. Still, I could watch "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" again without compunction, so long as it wasn't the 3D version. Take from that what you will.
Rated R. 109 mins. (B) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)
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