Harry Potter Saga Comes to a Thrilling End in the Final Film

hp7 pt2 trl 1780 Harry Potter Saga Comes to a Thrilling End in the Final Film

Radcliffe.

This is it, kids. Absolutely, positively the end of the Harry Potter series. I feel good about that, knowing I will never have to sit through another installment. The franchise that started 10 years ago and seems more like 10 lifetimes ago has at last written an ultimate “The End.” I’ve outgrown Lilliputian witches and goblins with flying broomsticks, and so have they. With boobs, hairy armpits and other star-making accoutrements, the time has come for them to pursue headier goals, like Broadway musicals and Vogue covers.

But before we wave adieu, let it be said that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the eighth and final installment, goes out with Fourth of July fireworks. For dedicated children who are aging along with the spellbinding midget warlocks they adore, a new Harry Potter movie is always a call to arms. They won’t be disappointed in this one. The three heroes are as panting and breathless as Liza Minnelli, and even to an aging Muggle like me, the movie makes sense for a change. As boring and deadly as the last one was, it’s now obvious why director David Yates and ace screenwriter Steve Kloves (let’s pray that with Harry out of his system, this fine craftsman will get back to serious business of writing superior scripts, like his Wonder Boys, Flesh and Bone and The Fabulous Baker Boys) put us all to sleep with the plodding narrative details in Part 1. They were saving the best for last.

You still need a deep foundation in J.K. Rowling’s fertile Potter history to make sense of the mystery Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) must at last solve in th e spectacular battle to save Hogwarts, continue fighting against evil, discover the missing horcrux and save the world from Lord Voldemort. The book devoted hundreds of pages to the final resolution, which is why it had to be divided into two films instead of one. (They also needed extra time and double the budget to perfect the myriad digitally mastered 3-D special effects that magically unfold before your eyes in Part 2 like an exploding theme park.) Mercifully, the film wastes no time cutting straight to the chase as the kids gather in an underground hideout to plan their strategy to seek and destroy the remaining horcruxes, which are the wands made of unicorn hairs and the heartstring of a dragon that make Lord Voldemort invincible. The goblin Griphook leads them to the first one, hidden deep inside a bank vault, where the first effective use of 3-D hits you right between the eyes on an underground railway that looks like a ride on the Cyclone at Coney Island. Escaping over the rooftops on the back of a flying, fire-breathing monster, Harry has two of the wands that make up the Deathly Hallows. In order to save his life and destroy the forces of darkness, he must locate the third, called the “elder wand,” which Voldemart needs to rule the world. The search takes you on an adventure full of unprecedented thrills that will take your breath away.

Everyone returns, including the brother and dead sister of the beloved Professor Dumbledore, who live in an oil painting, and even the ghost of Dumbledore himself, played once again by Michael Gambon. Hogwarts is now in the malevolent hands of the sinister Severus Snape (hissing, sniveling Alan Rickman), who is holding students and staff hostage as they wait for Harry to rescue them. The walls and platforms that hold up Hogwarts crumble and collapse like Tinker Toys in a masterpiece of destruction, turning the school of magic into the world’s most colossal rubbish heap. A humongous man-eating snake with fangs that strike the audience in 3-D almost devours Hermione, while Ron narrowly escapes a cauldron of flames on a broomstick. With Hogwarts gone and almost every member of the cast killed off by Voldemort, there could obviously never be another installment. But there’s still time for tender-hearted Professor Minerva McGonagell (Maggie Smith) to save the day with a spell she’s been waiting for years to try. There is even a flashback that explains the sinister role Snape played in Harry’s life story that I found unexpectedly touching. The only thing left to do to bring this saga to a heart-stopping conclusion is for Harry to enter the forbidden forest of death like a true hero and face his destiny with Voldemort, played one last time by the hatchet-faced Ralph Fiennes, who actually shows his human side for the first time. Frankly, I’m sorry to see him go.

None of it makes one lick of sense and a lot of the dialogue is pure jabberwocky, decipherable only by those who know the books by heart. This includes billions of rabid fans, so I don’t think anyone is even slightly worried that a little formality like incoherence will affect the box office. The movie never wore out my patience like Part 1 did, because the awesome effects take over where the plot used to be, and although this is the end, my guess is that it will fire the imagination for years to come. What fun to feel like a kid again. I had a marvelous time.

rreed@observer.com

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2

Running time 130 minutes

Written by Steve Kloves

Directed by David Yates

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman

3/4

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    The movie might have made a bit more sense had you actually paid attention to it.  Horcruxes are *not,* repeat *not,* wands.  Harry could not seek the elder wand because Voldemort had it already.  The trio did not plan the Gringotts raid in an underground hideout, but in a beach cottage.  Trivia, I know–but it’s just a few indications that you phoned this one in.  Actually, the story makes a heap of sense–but you actually have to care about doing your job to understand that.

    1. Anonymous says:

      or maybe you have to spend your whole life living in fantasy………..

      1. BoStoneman says:

        You probably could get away with just watching Part 1 to know that.

    2. Anonymous says:

      or maybe you have to spend your whole life living in fantasy………..

    3. Anonymous says:

      or maybe you have to spend your whole life living in fantasy………..

  2. lol says:

    OF COURSE it doesn’t make any sense- none of what you described is what is actually happening. Horcruxes are wands? The Elder Wand is a horcrux? Heartstrings and unicorn hair? Which Harry Potter movie were you watching? XD

    1. Mr. Reed was distracted by all the pretty a-splosions and stuff. ^-^ Hehehe.

  3. Ejb says:

    What a total douchbag. Funny how this reviewer has no idea what he is talking about. Who hired this guy?! I hope he is not actually getting paid for making an ass out of himself by throwing together a review and not checking his sources to make sure he doesn’t look like the idiot he made himself out to be. At least get the plot right- gather the horcrux wand man…wtf, is this guy watching the same movie?!

  4. BoStoneman says:

    It’s great that he clearly had no idea what he was watching but still claims to have had a marvelous time, or at least said that he did because he sees it getting favorable reviews and doesn’t want to be the face of dissent. I’m glad I’m not the one who will be asked to explain the movie to him, but someone really should.

    1. Anonymous says:

      To make clear, the dude didn’t get the 2 main plotlines of a movie intended to be understood by tweens.

  5. greymouser says:

    I have to agree with many people posting here, Mr. Reed…it seems the movie didn’t make much sense to you because you barely deigned to give it a modicum of attention.  The whole explanation of what the horcruxes are has been explained throughout 3 of the movies (Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2), and you didn’t get a single one of them right in your review.  The Elder Wand was explained in an easy to follow fairy tale (as in five-year olds can understand it) in Deathly Hallows Part 1 (as one of the titular Deathly Hallows, not a horcrux).  The horcruxes that are identified at the end of Deathly Hallows Part 1 (I won’t spoil which ones are revealed in Part 2) are a ring, an old diary, and a locket – no wands involved.  We actually see Ron destroy the locket on-screen (and see Harry destroy the diary back in Movie 2, but it’s obvious from your sarcasm and disdain that you’ve decided to treat these movies as mindless fluff, so that’s what you’re going to get back from them).  You don’t have to be a geek to know these things, you don’t have to “live your life in fantasy”…you just have to give the story a bit of respect and attention.  If you can’t bring yourself to do that, fine…just maybe hand the reins of your reviewing duties over to someone who still cares a bit.  A positive review isn’t much of a review if the reviewer didn’t even understand the source material. 

    1. I was really wondering. “Huh? How much did Kloves change the plot?” But you’re right. They set up the Horcruxes according to canon in part 1, so Mr. Reed must have missed a few of the finer plot points.

      I’m not criticizing him for that. This stuff can fly by pretty fast for someone not familiar with the books, in a flurry of special effects and English accents. But maybe the finer points should’ve been avoided in the summary since Mr. Reed must have known he was a bit fuzzy on them.

  6. archaeobee says:

    Blimey – what a terrible reviewer!! Time for the New York Observer to get a new film critic. It’s not the opinion that’s odd (I haven’t seen the film yet so I’ve no idea what’s coming….well sort of). But for a reviewer to write so poorly and who clearly hasn’t paid attention to the film – that’s just unprofessional! Come on old chap – perhaps you should change jobs – something that doesn’t involve writing….

  7. You spend the entire review mocking the film and then say you had a marvelous time? Someone’s a bitter old bitch . . . 

    1. Rex Reed wouldn’t be Rex Reed unless he had something nasty to say. Leave it to him to love the movie but hate the concept and the franchise.

  8. Patman828 says:

    For being a part of the New York Observer, you really aren’t observant, are you?

  9. Ggross says:

    That review was painful to read.

  10. Celia says:

    how did you even become a journalist? I sincerely hope you’re trolling, otherwise I would go as far as to guess that you never even bothered to attend the screening at all and just looked at some random “facts” on the internet. I can’t believe such a major newspaper published a ridiculously flawed and idiotic piece. 

  11. LQ says:

    ‘Harry has two of the wands that make up the Deathly Hallows’…. oh dear lord.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dude, I if I were as clueless at my job as you were on this, I’d be FIRED.  The horcruxes and hallows are two entirely different things, neither set are “all wands”; you’re clueless about the most important parts of the story!  You can’t like ANY movie much if you don’t even know WTF is going on.

  13. Guest says:

    I stopped reading at “he has two of the wands that make up the deathly hallows.”  Look, we know it’s complex, but my ten-year-old niece follows it, and no, she didn’t have to read every book twice to do it.  Sometimes I think certain critics want to be alienated, or to feign it, for otherwise they risk appearing “involved.”  gasp. 

  14. DS says:

    Harry potter canonical errors aside, this is still one of the most poorly written reviews I have ever read. You’ve never met a simile you haven’t liked, have you?

  15. Sachin says:

    Concluding that the horcruxes are three wands must’ve been so much more difficult than sitting, listening, and watching the movie tell you what they are. Mr. Rex Reed, I’d love to know your thought process.

  16. Sean Aminali says:

    Armond White’s review is even funnier!

  17. Caldwell12 says:

    Rex Reed Is a complete idiot

  18. Sofialocali says:

    Proof that critical snobbery is far from dead:

    ‘I’ve outgrown Lilliputian witches and goblins with flying broomsticks, and so have they’ …and… ‘None of it makes one lick of sense and a lot of the dialogue is pure jabberwocky, decipherable only by those who know the books by heart.’
     I wonder… do critics like this guy ever realize they come across as rather ignorant with these kind of ‘I don’t get it/I’m not invested so it’s stupid’ agendas driving their reviews? Seriously… your level of affected weariness would almost be funny were it not apparent that you’re serious. To say something is nonsensical because one does not understand is the classic dodge of the self conscious simpleton. 

    All I can do is be thankful for the internet. It used to be that we had to suffer this sort of elitist posturing in print alone as a one way shovel of cynical pap. Now we can write back and register that no… not everyone has an inability to admit without shame or irony that they enjoy something unless it is deemed worthy by the critical establishment. The line:  “let’s pray that with Harry out of his system, this fine craftsman will get back to serious business of writing superior scripts, like his Wonder Boys, Flesh and Bone and The Fabulous Baker Boys”  pretty much telegraphs and confirms that sort of snobbery here, oh careful, don’t want to place yourself with the idiot masses who lap up this sort of inferior/silly stuff, eh? The internet and comments sections also give me faith that people do not always yield to the ‘authority’ of ‘oh I’m so weary’ writing like this.

    I think you cannot fully be blamed though. It is merely a result of the paradox of entertainment criticism itself; a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Sometimes it just occurs to me that film reviewers are often, ironically, the least relevant people for their job, if that job is to act as an arbiter for quality, a reflection of the viewing public. If you are paid to watch films and thus get to see them for free, and also see a volume of films far exceeding that of the viewing public, then your experience of watching films is so far removed from the average viewer as to render reviews like this pretty worthless. 

    They merely end up as exercises in self-aggrandisement as can be observed here. People likely to see this film will have paid to do so. They will not necessarily have seen so many films that they have become jaded enough to make statements such as “I feel good about that, knowing I will never have to sit through another installment.” I sorta feel sorry for you though. It must have been nice at the outset to get to see so many films for free. I bet you even genuinely liked them at the start. But now you are saturated and judging by this review, jaded and cynical to the point where I cannot tell whether the line “What fun to feel like a kid again. I had a marvelous time” is a statement of truth or ironic dig positing this as ‘merely’ kid’s stuff. Can you?