Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

Finales of this magnitude usually come about once every few years for television shows, but very rarely for feature films. However, this is most certainly the case for the epic conclusion to the “Harry Potter” series, filled with equal parts fan-servicing closure and genuinely emotive scenes for those less devout followers like myself. Personally, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 falls short of being the ultimate achievement in filmmaking it would’ve aspired to, but that does not mean it wasn’t an exciting and overly engaging movie from start to finish.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 picks up right where “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” left off, with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) celebrating his theft of the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s tomb. It then cuts to, and stays with, our three heroes Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), as they adventure out to seek out to destroy the last remaining Horcruxes: A collection of rare items and the only things keeping Voldemort alive. It culminates with the climactic battle between good and evil, where we learn the all-important secrets surrounding Harry, Voldemort, Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) and other key players in the Potter universe.

In fact, one aspect that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 conveys better than any other seven films in the series is the hero-villain relationship. It only makes sense that a film that has had so much time to flesh out its characters should develop some sort of key bond between the two rivals; one that goes beyond the stereotypical battle of good versus bad. I likened the situation to that of the “Star Wars” saga — we know exactly what the respective hero and villain stand for, and yet they are more alike than perhaps either of them even want to acknowledge. (My apologies if this sounds a little cloudy, but I risk getting blown to bits in a minefield of spoilers if I keep rambling on).

I love to see filmmakers taking steps to initiate innovation in directing, and David Yates must be accordingly credited with presenting a unique plot structure. Rather than possessing a clear beginning, middle and end, this movie starts off with a short introduction and a set piece at Gringotts Bank (where a Horcrux is hidden). From there, the next ninety minutes play out as one enormous set piece inside Hogwarts, combining the fight for the school, search for the remaining Horcruxes and Harry’s date with destiny into a grandiose visual spectacle.

But that doesn’t mean the film lacks substance when it’s needed. Granted, I felt little sympathy for most secondary characters that were lost, but Harry’s delving into Snape’s memories (revealing the true colors of his character) is arguably the strongest and most poignant scene of the film. Coupled with Harry’s vision of his dead parents before facing Voldemort in the final act, the greatest achievement of these scenes is that they evoked sympathy from someone who did not expect to become so emotionally attached to any character.

The film does temporarily fall into the trap of playing out like a video game considering the task of moving from one Horcrux to another: Items that are nothing more than MacGuffins at their most basic level (see: “Sucker Punch“). This can detract from the pacing at some points, especially since the film tends to intercut between the revelations of Harry’s past, and his friends’ efforts to destroy the items which, by comparison, seem far less integral to the plot.

Script-wise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 treads water, delivering a decent screenplay that dosen’t exactly stretch one’s imagination. It can become rather stale (after a while everything becomes “brilliant” this or “bloody hell” that) but overall it isn’t a huge concern. What was disappointing, though, was the cheesy “nineteen years later” epilogue. Aside from the obvious fact that no-one looks as if they’ve aged a day, it serves no real purpose in the film, and does nothing to dilute my general hatred of tacked-on “and then this happened” scenes to close out a movie. Still, this finale is a solid effort, and a fitting end to a very imaginative series.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
4 Star Rating: Good


Movie Review: Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest (2011)
Movie Review: Tabloid (2010)

The Critical Movie Critics

A few years ago, a good friend of mine started calling me 'Hollywood' because of my love and knowledge of all things movies, and the name just stuck. Movies are my life. I love them so much that when people ask me why I even bother with law school, I reply with my life motto, and a quote from one of my favourite directors: 'I didn't go to film school. I went to films.' -Quentin Tarantino.

'Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)' have 18 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 15, 2011 @ 1:59 pm Sibley

    It was awesome. Well worth the wait.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 15, 2011 @ 2:44 pm Lilleth

    The search for the Horcruxes does not “play out like a video game.” I thought it was incredibly intense and engaging, connecting me even more to the ultimate showdown. Yates did a wonderful job with Part 2.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 15, 2011 @ 4:30 pm Stonen

    Alan Rickman steals the fuckin’ movie. The Academy Award should be handed to him right now.

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 15, 2011 @ 5:05 pm Cranston

    I’m waiting for the crowds to thin out but I’m not sure I can hold out not seeing this much longer! Thanks for not spoiling it!

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 15, 2011 @ 8:11 pm JohnnyHollywood

    Lilleth, that wasn’t really a major gripe of mine, just something that I thought detracted from the pace a little. Each to their own, I suppose.

    Stonen, unfortunately I’d put money on Rickman not getting anywhere near the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, but he was definitely the standout of the movie. Excellent performance.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 15, 2011 @ 9:55 pm Prox

    I agree with you, I didn’t realize until the end that I literally cared about the fates of Ron, Harry and Hermione. Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a great movie – by itself and as a finale to an incredible series.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 16, 2011 @ 4:07 am Pamela

    The epilogue tacked on at the end should have been cut. Having the three of them standing on the bridge with the ruins of Hogwarts behind them was THE END.

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 16, 2011 @ 5:23 am Weygandt

    Anyone else feel robbed during the scene when Harry and Ron took their shirts off and Hermione didn’t? That was just wrong! :(

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 17, 2011 @ 3:26 am Bostonian

    It was a very surreal experience watching Part 2 knowing it was all coming to an end.

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 17, 2011 @ 5:49 am Byron Teasse

    I’ll admit it. The Severus Snape revelation was so moving (Rickman does it all with his expressions) that I cried. Like a girl.

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 18, 2011 @ 7:41 am Louise

    It was great to see Professor Minerva McGonagall get her just rewards finally.

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 12, 2011 @ 2:44 pm Therapy Queen

    I read all the Harry Potter books and I was really impressed with how this last movie went down. There were discrepancies between the two (of course) but I thought the movie was awesome! I think that it is made for the book fans specifically, which is cool if you’ve read them, but not cool if you haven’t. My friend hasn’t read them and she said the movie was good but a bit confusing. All a matter of perspective!

  13. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 17, 2011 @ 5:50 am Huabo

    Wow! Emma Watson has grown up to a beautiful lady-when I first saw her in the first harry potter film she was really a little girl.

  14. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 17, 2011 @ 12:06 pm Gman

    You make a very good point @Therapy Queen about the movies holding very closely to the books which is what I read (I haven’t read the books myself). I think the points that Johnny makes about the Horcrux hopping being “like a video game” are because of the book making that the premise of the plot. I did like the complicated nature of the end though which caused me to think and research on the internet to understand the “why.” I was thinking about getting the entire collection on Blu-ray but I can’t see paying that much money though.

  15. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 20, 2011 @ 4:04 am Lauren

    Snape’s memories scene is def the strongest and most poignant of the film. It was beautifully edited and had stunning musical accompaniment; but, most of all, it had the breathtaking, heartbreaking, transcendent talents of Alan Rickman who graces every movement and every iota of his performance with sheer gut-wrenching, emotional brilliance. I’m so happy to see others comment on it so favorably. On Oscar night I’m rewatching the movie.

  16. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 21, 2011 @ 11:22 pm JohnnyHollywood

    Very eloquently said Lauren. To be honest, I’m surprised to still be receiving comments on this review so many months after its publication. Much appreciated everyone. And for what its worth, I pretty much agree with everybody’s comments, be they either funny or serious lol.

  17. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 25, 2011 @ 10:31 pm Dart

    I wonder if Yates even read these books, let alone cared about the story. IMHO, from the 5th movie on, these movies have lacked terribly. There were so many things needlessly changed, added, or completely left out that make me scratch my head (and want to get my money back).

    I won’t go into a long-winded diatribe here, but I was completely disappointed with this finale. The final battle was completely hollow when it could have been epic.

  18. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 26, 2011 @ 3:29 am JohnnyHollywood

    Fair point Dart. I’ve only read the first five books (and even that was a few years ago) and seen even fewer of the film adaptations. I found the final battle, and in fact, the entire hour-long set piece to end the movie really enjoyable. But I do know a lot of people who are much bigger Potter fans than I who would definitely agree with you.

Privacy Policy | About Us

 | Log in

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger