So here it is. The end of the line. After a long decade the Harry Potter series comes to a close. After it’s seven books sold a large amount of copies and the films making over a billion dollars overall it all ends. I’m sure if anyone is terribly upset it’s Warner Brothers. They can’t find another way to whore out the series but I’m sure at the same time the cast of the films are glad that it’s all finally over. But does the final film do justice to the franchise? Is it a swan song for the series or does it go out with a huge bang and whimper?
It’s not far to say that the finale of the series is nothing short of a breathtaking visual masterpiece but who is to say the film actually had heart or a soul? While the first film had pacing problems due to the fact that every minute detail had to be placed in the film including the eight hours of camping (thus earning it’s nickname as Harry Potter Goes Camping). But one viewer could purvey the Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes for the franchise and be left wondering what was the best film. The meter has this one at an astounding 97% fresh rating while the next closest is The Prisoner of Azkaban with a 91%.
But what do the critics consider the worst in the franchise? It’s essentially a toss up between Order of the Phoenix and Harry Goes Camping. So the fact remains the movies that have the long drawn out sequences don’t bode well with the Pottheads. Yes I called them that. It’s not so far to say that while Part 1 suffered from long drawn out scenes that could have been removed this one has the opposite problem. While it has many scenes that felt rushed and fast paced like your typical summer blockbuster, this one should have unfolded a bit differently.
Needless to say though the majority of the final books (or two films) plot took place in the first part of the films. You see the film starts off with a brief (and I mean very brief) recap of the last one, assuming that you know next to nothing about the last film. The gang is already hunting down Horcruxes and it assumes that you already have seen Part 1 like a bajillion times!
While the film was a dazzling mixture of effects and breathtaking scenery it lacked in quite a few things. I’ll hand the writers a little bit of a freebie due to he fact that we have had a decade to grow up with these characters and watching them grow older I guess would constitute them developing but the problem is so many of them are one dimensional.
Harry is the nicest man in the world. I don’t get it thanks to the fact that mommy and daddy were slain in front of him. Hermoine is just smart, Ron is well I can’t describe Ron but each character is flat and seemingly stale. It’s characters like Snape and Sirius Black, the minor characters that have depth and this is the film where Snape shines.
Alan Rickman dominates the screen as the schools new headmaster as he attempts to blur the line of good and evil in an almost creepily realistic way. Michael Gambon’s brief role as the recently deceased Dumbledore was flat, Richard
Harris was better and he’s dead. The trio have showed signs that they can act but it seems like they go in and out. Emma Watson is a pretty face with limited depth. Rupert Grint doesn’t really do much at all and Daniel Radcliffe is so stale it leaves one to wonder if he’s really like that.
Granted it was a script that was written mainly to conclude a film it still had moments were it was well boring and tedious. The action sequences felt a bit dragged out at times but in others the shot composition was dark and hard to make out the action.
Characters like Voldemort seemed flatter and dull this time around while Ralph Fiennes had dominated the screen since Goblet and he ends up taking a back seat. Helena Bonham Carter is next to not even in the movie, a character who dominated the screen in her brief moments prior to the finale was left in the backround.
One thing that stood out in the final book was the deaths of characters, this seemingly never happened in the film. Or when it did it just looked flat and stale. While the film did have quite a few flaws it wasn’t awful. It was entertaining but there was a large amount of stuff to follow and it’s awful if you don’t really know what’s going on.
The final thoughts here are simply this, Harry’s final foray into the cinema is a dazzling spectacle that everyone should see at one point but it lacks the depth and family friendly fun that the previous installments had. While some of the sequences are dark and hard to make out the main character is overshadowed by the minor characters and the fan service that director David Yates churns out. Harry gets a nice 7.5/10.