By Gary Murray


Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint


Written by Steve Kloves


Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling


Directed by David Yates


Running time 130 min


MPAA Rating PG 13


Selig Film Rating Matinee


What more can be written about the Harry Potter franchise?  The series of children’s books have become one of the most phenomenal movie franchises of all time.  The adventures of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley and their battle with “he who must not be named” have thrilled both readers of books and watchers of movies for a very long time. But all good things must come to and end and we are now in a world without the anticipation of a new Harry Potter film.


Before seeing the last installment of the franchise, I did two things.  I read all the books then I re-watched all the films. I decided to rank the Harry Potter films to see where this one stacks up.


The first film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was hands on my favorite.  Chris Columbus, the director, set into motion all the elements needed to build on the franchise.  He also directed the second film The Chamber of Secrets and built upon his foundation. 

I felt the film was a bit flat, but still satisfied.


I hated the third film Prisoner of Azkaban.  The magic from the first two was shriveled up in the corner and let to die.  Director Alfonso Cuaron never found the spark needed to keep the series growing and alive.  By the time number four, Goblet of Fire popped on the screen, I was expecting more. I thought it better than the last outing but still paled to the first two.  Director Mike Newell pulled the franchise from the brink and put it more toward the path set down by Chris Columbus. 


David Yates has taken over the helm until the very end of the series.  Even though the film felt rushed, part five, Order of the Phoenix, jumped back on the right track.  After I read the book of part six, Half Blood Prince, I was sure that I had not seen the movie.  Then I popped the film into the player and remembered the first scene of Harry at the Underground train station.  The rest of the film felt new even though I had seen it before.  It left that little of an impression on me.  It was another weak entry.


At the press screening of 7.1 AKA the Deathly Hallows Part 1, I was in a minority.  I felt that it was just disjointed and confusing.  The people who had been reading and re-reading the books were agog about the film.  I began to think that maybe I had fallen asleep during the film and missed something important.  That is when I decided to bear down and read all the books.  I had stopped at 3.  Then I re-watched 7.1 and it finally made sense and I realized that I didn’t snooze during the film.  That is the major problem with 7.1, if one has never read the book the movie is a confusing mess. 


Now we start with 7.2.  The kids break into the Ministry of Magic to get another horicrux and destroy it with the real Gryffindor sword.   A fake one is in the vaults and they have to get past a dragon.


Why am I doing this?  For those who read the books, they know the plot.  For those who have never seen any other adventures will be totally lost with Hallows 2.  It just jumps back into the story without any explanations.  This is a film made for the fans that have been chomping at the bit to see the final battle between the Dark Lord and the Chosen One. The film does have a stunning climax with wands flaying and losing warriors.  The ‘19 year later’ tag from the book is added to the ending, neatly summing up the entire series and giving the audience a sense that everything is finally right in the world of Harry Potter. 


If you are a Potter fan, this is a solid ending for the series and if you are not, why would you want to see the ending of an eight film series?  This is one for the fanatics, not just another adventure but the ending to an event.  I’d place this adventure square in the middle as an effective entry in the series.  Not as good as the first two but much better that the middle sections.


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