Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review
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It’s been a decade since Harry, Ron, and Hermione first appeared on the big screen as gawky young wizards-in-waiting in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Since then, the Harry Potter series has had its ups and downs—and a generation has grown up with its young stars. But now it’s time to bid a fond and emotional farewell to The Boy Who Lived with a fittingly epic conclusion to a truly epic series.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 picks up where Part 1 left off. Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has taken possession of the all-powerful Elder Wand, and he’s preparing to do away with his young rival, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), once and for all.

  
 
Meanwhile, Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) continue to search for the three remaining Horcruxes that keep the Dark Lord invincible. And as Voldemort and his followers make their way to Hogwarts for one final battle, Harry is forced to come to grips with the sacrifice that he realizes he’ll have to make.

It’s hard to find the words to write the review that will do justice to the cultural phenomenon that is Harry Potter. Nothing seems quite grand enough to sum it all up. And I’m sure that director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves felt the same thing (on a much larger scale, of course) as they worked on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I can only imagine what a daunting task they faced in attempting to give such a beloved cast of characters a fitting farewell. Yet they’ve managed to create a series finale that’s dark and tense and thrilling, while, at the same time, taking loyal Potter fans on a memorable—and emotional—final journey.

Admittedly, it takes the film a while to find its bearings. The first few scenes are somewhat awkward—and even a bit slow—as the characters (and the audience) attempt to settle back into the story. And it isn’t without a few confusing missteps. But once the pace picks up—and the battle for Hogwarts begins—it’s just one breathtaking scene after another until the closing credits roll.

With its visually stunning action sequences and often tear-jerking drama, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will have fans utterly mesmerized, silently holding their breath as the no-longer-young wizards find the strength, courage, and love needed to face the growing evil. It’s been a long and arduous journey for Harry and his friends—and those years of friendship and shared combat have led them (and us) to an appropriately gripping, white-knuckle conclusion.

As the battle rages on, it’s absolutely heartbreaking to watch the walls surrounding Hogwarts crumble—and to witness the fiery destruction of Harry’s beloved Quidditch pitch. At the same time, though, it’s also gratifying to see some of the series regulars finally stepping up and getting their due—especially bumbling Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) and stern Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith), who lead the Hogwarts resistance. And Alan Rickman shines in dark and complex Professor Snape’s gut-wrenching final moments.

But is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 everything that I’d hoped and dreamed it would be? Well…not really. Though the characters have grown and matured throughout the series, the finale (like earlier films) lacks much of the complex character development found in the book. And, following the rather clumsy epilogue, I was left with a nagging That can’t be it feeling. Still, I doubt that it would be possible to walk away from such an epic series (especially after a decade of build-up) feeling completely satisfied—without at least a few regrets. And with its epic battles and moving drama, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a suitably spellbinding send-off for a legendary wizard.

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