Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Thriller, Horror
Running Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

This final adventure in the Harry Potter film series follows the former Hogwart students as they prepare for a final battle with Lord Voldemort. Of course Voldemort is once again determined to destroy Harry, this time, once and for all. In order to defeat Voldemort the students must find and destroy Voldemort’s last and most elusive Horcrux. It’s the enchanted piece of soul allowing him to remain immortal.

Please Note:  Since first posting this review I have been corrected that the “19 years later” portion of this movie is indeed also found in the book. Thanks for the faithful readers who pointed this out to me – in a nice way. 🙂

Harry And The Gang Are Back

First off, all I can say is – “Finally! This series has come to an end!” – I will say this for J.K. Rowling, at least she’s smart enough to let this series die. Many want her to keep writing about her witchcraft wizard but up to this point she has refused. Lets hope she does not change her mind on that.

In this eighth and final installment of Harry Potter we find the battle of evil forces in the wizard world escalating into an all-out war. No one is safe and Harry Potter is facing death himself as he battles Voldemort one more time. Right out of the gate it’s worth noting once again…

This is NOT for children!

Parents, do not be lulled to sleep with all the hype around this so-called “children’s series”. Remember, Rowling herself has said time and time again she never intended her books for the younger crowd. If anything Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 falls firmly into the horror-thriller genre. It’s over the top scream material destined to give young kids nightmares if you fall into the trap of thinking this series is aimed at them. While the filmmakers make an attempt to lighten up the feel of Deathly Hallows from time to time, they fall far short of making this a family-friendly movie. If anything their attempts at humor make this movie somewhat disjointed with the appearance of humor skits simply dropped in here and there. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is dark, evil and full of death and destruction.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is nothing more than a glorified look at shades of gray and evil. 

Even the film technique points to the fact that this movie is all about evil and what one character – a ghost no less – calls dark magic. The scenes are gray, dark and dismal. One attempt at casting some glimmer of hope into the movie comes across as an off-white instead of white when Potter dies.

A Headache Causing Special Effects Extravaganza

It’s obvious from the outset of this eighth installment in the Potter series that the filmmakers were focused more on the 3D special effects experience than anything else. It’s also worth noting that initially Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows was planned for 3D but that changed at the last minute. It is now obvious why that decision was made. The filmmakers pretty much blew their entire budget on the 3D effects in this final movie of the franchise. You are immediately captured by the sprawling panoramic scenes amplified by the 3D experience.

From the opening scene the 3D special effects extravaganza ride begins. 

In the past I have praised the new 3D – also known as Real D – movie experience. For the most part filmmakers in the movie industry have discovered the balance with this new technology. The early days of the 3D fad was far too busy with too much action and things jumping off the screen at you. However, the Real D experience has tamed and for the most part results in a more realistic movie experience of depth and proportion. But, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is over the top when it comes to 3D special effects. I’m writing this review the morning after the screening and I still have a headache.

In all fairness about the headache – I’m not sure if it’s a result of the overdone effects or the messed up glasses they gave us. 

In a purely commercial-mode-fad-attention-grabbing stunt the 3D glasses for this movie are shaped like Harry Potter glasses. As soon as I put them I knew they did not fit right over my glasses. The regular 3D glasses fit well for people wearing glasses. But in an attempt at novelty, those involved in the marketing of this Harry Potter movie changed the design of the glasses. While I’m sure the poor-fitting glasses added to my headache, I’m also sure the overdone effects gave me a headache too.

When it comes to story line and running time I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. I was sure this movie would be another bloated long running flick clocking in at least at 2 and a half hours. But, imagine my surprise to discover the running time is just 2 hours! On top of the length of the movie, I was also pleased and surprised by the fact that for the most part any dangling threads from earlier movies are all tied up by the end of this flick. While I have not read the books, I have heard from others who have read them that many of the movies fall short when compared to their book counterparts.

Last but certainly not least, the closing scene was nothing more than an add-on in the hopes of enticing someone to keep writing Harry Potter movies. At the climax of the movie the credits start rolling and one sighs a breath of relief in the knowledge that the book series come to life on the big screen is complete. But then in true Hollywood fashion, the words splash up on the screen saying “19 years later” and we suddenly find ourselves watching a new crop of young students prepare for their experience at wizard school. Let’s hope any ideas for more sequels are locked deep within a Hollywood vault somewhere never to see the light of day.

For an older audience this final Harry Potter installment brings a conclusion to the book series. The special effects, while in my opinion are somewhat overdone, are impressive. But keep in mind parents, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is far from friendly-friendly.

Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.