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

Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Well folks, the end is no longer nigh: it’s here. After nearly eleven years of perpetual anticipation, whether it be for a new Potter novel or film, we as valuable members of the Harry Potter Generation no longer have anything to anticipate. As sad a statement this may be, avid fans will be delighted to know that the franchise has certainly gone out with a bang with its eighth and final film, and as far as literary adaptations go, a majority of the series will most certainly be very hard to top given how dedicated both the cast and crew have been to keeping us satisfied from day one.

Truth be told, I feel kind of awkward writing this review, seeing as how I’d already lengthily praised the Potter legacy throughout my Deathly Hallows: Part 1-related ramblings all those months ago. Negative feelings aside, much of what Yates and the gang bestowed upon us with the first installment has obviously been recycled in an effort to maintain the overall grimness and almost overwhelming emotional intensity present therein. In all honesty, it’s these aspects of the later Potter films that have always kept me coming back for more considering they’ve always felt more like above average fantastical action-thrillers than children’s movies, even if my adoration of the novels themselves have sometimes kept me from admiring the films to the fullest.

Additionally, the latter half of the novel has once again been meticulously recreated in an attempt to further satisfy both die hard fans and those who have merely taken a liking to the films over the years. What this means is that Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is in essence a no holds barred action extravaganza, with ample amounts of intensity present to further aid in bringing each favorable sequence from the novel to life. Inarticulate as the word “intensity” may be, tense is precisely what the film needs to be and is during the  more emotionally-driven moments that give both films the definitive edge over all prior entries thanks to Yates’ sensitive direction and some stunning, well above average production values.

Although some viewers have disagreed with Yates’ turn as the series’ final director, he’s certainly done a fine enough job in establishing an appropriate enough pace for each installment and allowing the young cast to exhibit their talents to the fullest. As for the cast itself, there’s really nothing to be said about Radcliffe and the gang I haven’t already touched upon outside of the fact that these films have very effectively established all three of our leads as likable, very capable and even talented actors. Their adeptness in handling the emotional framework coinciding with the central story arc is something to admire, and as always, Fiennes, Rickman and company once again do us the service of giving the production their all and further engrossing us amid its flashier, slightly more compelling moments.

Whereas Deathly Hallows: Part 1 suffered from an often laborious abundance of detail, the final film in the Potter franchise delivers by overcompensating for any and all qualms viewers may have had with its immediate predecessor. The exceedingly dark and moody tone Yates established over the course of the past several films is once again present and as appealing as ever, and an obvious emphasis on the more action-oriented sequences ensures that otherwise extraneous details become agreeably negligible. At this point, it’s safe to say we’re all a little sad that the Potter legacy has drawn to a close, but on the brighter side of things, we can all confidently say that we witnessed everything that made the “Potter Generation” as important as it is and will continue to be from a pop cultural standpoint.

Rating: 8/10

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