Entertaining, But Underwhelming
JLFM - wrote on 08/22/13
Well, David Yates has once again disappointed me. Director of the previous 3 Harry Potter movies (Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, and the Deathly Hallows Part 1) as well as this final chapter, Yates has left me unsatisfied every time. It's not that his work on the Potter films have been especially bad (with the exception being Deathly Hallows Part 1), but they've felt weak when compared to the first four films. So while I like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it's so disappointing when one considers that this was a finale that the franchise has been building up to for over 10 years. I can only imagine how disappointed I would've been had I not blown through the series in a matter of weeks.
In this final chapter, Harry and his friends must destroy the final Horocruxes, though things get tricky when Voldemort and his forces begin to attack Hogwarts.
I was never truly enchanted during this film. Entertained? Yes- at least most of the time. But Deathly Hallows Part 2 never does reach the dramatic heights it's trying to achieve. It never feels like anything important or fantastic. The whole film just feels sort of slight. This is not a bad film, but as the conclusion to one of the most influential franchises of all time, I have to say, I was expecting more.
Of course, one could now say that my enjoyment of the film was perhaps affected by my expectations. And yet, I believe the film would still be at fault. Such a film as this should be made to blow away even the highest expectations, and never did this film come close to doing so.
The characters are still lovable, but we only see a little bit of most of them. Neville gets a decent role in this film, though his entrance near the beginning of the film would've been much more meaningful and delightful had his one-line role in the previous film been replaced with a different wizard.
The characters have typically been the best part of the franchise- and I may get a lot of hate for this- but the story itself isn't all that interesting to me. It's intriguing, to be sure, but so much of the screen time in this film- and definitely the previous one- is devoted to exposition and story, that we don't really get to spend enough time with the characters we love (other than the three main characters anyway, but they don't have enough depth to be as effective on their own).
The visual effects are excellent, and probably the best of the series. Indeed, the visuals are a treat, and at last we have a version of the invisibility cloak that doesn't look like a cheap green-screen effect!
Acting is solid on all sides of the spectrum. I don't have anything to say here that I haven't already said in previous reviews of the Potter films.
The score, by Alexandre Desplat, is once again disappointing, but it's a massive improvement on the last two scores of the film. I'm willing to believe that the best parts of this score are better represented on the album, but judging purely by what I heard in the film, there wasn't much that stuck in my mind. Still, the most pronounced use of the now classic "Hedwig Theme" since the Goblet of Fire is in this film, and that's worth commending.
For 2 hours, I was mostly entertained. And while that's an impressive feat in itself, I couldn't help but shake the feeling that this should've been better. There's nothing here that's truly awful, or even bad I suppose, but there's little here that leaves an impression like the first four Potter films did. As a franchise conclusion, this does what it needs to do. But it should've done more.