Saturday, November 26, 2011

Movie Review - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II has been sitting on our shelf for a couple of weeks.  Girlie Bear saw it in the theater, but Irish Woman and I had just watched Part I last weekend.  I read the book when it first came out, but Irish Woman was going in blind.  After we put Boo to bed last night, we gave it a watch.

If you are looking for a family movie, look elsewhere.  This movie has very little language, little blood, but it is quite violent, and the action scenes are probably too intense for young children.  If you've watched the rest of the series, you'll have noticed that each book and its accompanying movie has become darker and more intense, so this should come as no surprise.  I would not suggest this movie for children under 12, even if they have read the books.

That being said, I was impressed with this movie.  The acting, cinematography, and special effects were very good.  For those aspects, I'd say that Parts I and II of the Deathly Hallows will go down as the best of the series.  It is good to see that the talent that was glimpsed in the child actors during earlier movies has come to full flower as they have matured.

The pacing for Part II did not drag as much as it seemed to in Part I, but if you consider that Part I was setting the scene for Part II, then it can be excused for a large amount of plot exposition with some action while Part II was mostly action scenes with some plot advancement in the spaces between duels and daring do.

One quibble I have with the story, and this is a minor one, is that a lot of the  Dumbledore's back story was cut out.  In the book, this explained a lot of this pivotal character's motivations, but the writers and directors can be forgiven for leaving this out of what turned out to be a six-hour, two-movie adaptation of a long book.  I wouldn't be surprised if that part of the story was brought out in the inevitable director's cut or collector's edition or whatever they call the next attempt to shake the money tree.

Summing up, I'd recommend this movie, along with the entire series of books and movies, to anyone who is mature enough to understand the subject matter.  I think one of the smartest things that J.K. Rowling did was to make each chapter in her saga a little more mature, which kept her audience interested as they in turn matured.  As a parent, I will work with Boo to space out the books and movies so that he experiences them just as he becomes old enough to understand the story.


45er said...

Agreed with all. We saw this in the theater and I was saddened to see very young children there. I knew from seeing Part I that it was going to be pretty brutal. I wasn't surprised, but I wouldn't take a kid as young as some I saw. Glad you enjoyed. I'm a semi-closet Potter fan. Well, I guess not any more.

DaddyBear said...

I read the first few books out of curiosity, and finished the series because I was wondering how she was going to tie up so many loose ends that were hanging out there in the middle of the series. She did a pretty good job wrapping them up, and I have to say that the movies were all enjoyable.

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