Hold on one second. I'm still tearing up, let me wipe them away. It's hard to write a review for the last Harry Potter movie objectively, especially since I'm sitting here wearing my "9 3/4" hat I got at the screening! In a word though...Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 is PERFECT!
I'm a huge Potter fan and let's be honest, you're not even considering seeing this if you're not. This is the eighth installment of the most lucrative film series of all time, and it's also (tear) the last. Harry Potter blessed us with the first movie ten years ago and it's been part of our lives ever since. In the final installment, however, the s**t hits the fan and we're presented with the darkest, most dramatic, most tear-jerking, well-done film in the series.
Splitting the Deathly Hallows book into two movies was brilliant on Warner Bros. part. The first one grossed over a billion dollars, so why have one billon dollar movie when you could have two? But not only was it done for greed, but it was also done to give the fans the proper send off they wanted and that the books deserved. Director David Yates, who's done the last three films, reaches his zenith by pushing the limits of what a Potter fan can handle as far as adult content. The film picks up exactly where the last one left off and within 40 minutes of the slightly over two hour runtime, the film is balls-to-the-wall action. It's a nice change considering that Deathly Hallows part 1 dragged on (as it does in the book) to the point of exhaustion.
What impressed me more than anything was the cast. In this final film, we get the performances from everyone that we've been longing to see. All the kids finally proved why they were cast in those roles to begin with and all three have moments in the film where they're given the spotlight to really prove they have dramatic chops. However, for me, stealing the show is Alan Rickman (Dogma, Galaxy Quest), who plays Snape. I won't give anything away to the Muggles who haven't read the book, but we find out his entire past in a montage that lasts an emotionally exhausting 6 minutes that doesn't leave a dry eye in the theater. It makes me wonder if it's too early to whisper "Best Supporting Actor?" to anyone that would listen.
That makes me wonder a final point about this. When the Lord of the Rings trilogy ended, the Academy did the sensible thing and waited for it to conclude and then crapped Oscars all over it. Will they be smart enough to do it here? Do I think Deathly Hallows part 2 is good enough to earn Oscars on its own? Yes I do. But should it be symbolically showered with little gold men for the accomplishments the series achieved in taking a Chris Columbus (Home Alone) directed children's film all the way to the gory, action and tears soaked crescendo and earning the tens of billions of dollars along the way? I believe that too. Now it's up to them. They should do the sensible thing and show their gratitude like the rest of us and say "Thanks for the last decade of our lives, Harry."
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: A+