Magical to the End
Harry, Hermione and Ron return to Hogwarts in the action-packed final film of this remarkable fantasy franchise. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 shows these three close friends working together, as always, to help Good overcome Evil. Their dangerous mission involves destroying Lord Voldemort before he can kill Harry, and the story plays out a bit like Drums along the Mohawk, one of the first movies that scared the socks off me. In fact, anytime I see a film with people inside a building -- whether itís a log carbin, a fortress, a castle, a school, etc. -- being charged by terrifying outside forces, I hold on to the arms of my theater seat for dear life, just as I did as a child watching that old John Ford flick.
Deathly Hallows, Part 2 uses special effects to full advantage, thereby increasing the thrills as we watch our heroes try to locate the last of the magical Horcruxes, which must be found in order to defeat Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Ghosts appear and fade away; a giant dragon-like creature spits out fiery breaths; a huge snake hisses while slinking along hungrily; and devastating damage fills the screen. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) canít help feeling guilty about such catastrophic events, but soldiers on with help not only from Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) but also from many of his other friends, including Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith), Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), and Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane).
Lord Voldemort and his menacing minions present quite a challenge, as expected. But there are some surprises here, particularly involving Draco Malfoy (Tom Fenton) and Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), my favorite Harry Potter character. I canít say anything else about that, or I might go up in a puff of smoke.
As in all previous Harry Potter movies, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 emphasizes friendship, loyalty and courage. However, things change considerably for the three main characters by the end of the film. After facing the deadliest of perils, they come to an even deeper understanding of their feelings for each other. But I know what youíre wondering about. Does Harry discover the truth behind the murder of Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)? Does he solve the mystery of his Voldermort visions? Does Voldemort or Harry survive their final confrontation? Youíll find answers to those questions and more in this splendid final outing.
Although Muggles like me who havenít read the last J.K. Rowling Harry Potter book may have difficulty comprehending some of Part 2ís twists and turns, I believe most viewers will appreciate the magical way Harry Potterís cinematic adventures end.
(Released by Warner Bros. Pictures and rated ďPG-13Ē for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.)
NOTE: The first Harry Potter film remains my favorite. Click here to read that review. And don't forget our HARRY POTTER PARTY on Movie Addict Headquarters, scheduled for Tuesday, July 19. Click here for more information.
For more information about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.