Harry Potter Review

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Following on from our coverage at the premiere of the final Harry Potter film, Phil Robinson brings you the full review:

All roads lead to this.

With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 now hitting the cinemas the nation is going potty over Potter, and who can blame us?! After ten years, 8 films and the final film breaking box office records, there is so much riding on this final chapter.  Thankfully with returning director David Yates at the helm, it doesn’t disappoint.

Part two throws you right into the action picking up right where part one left off which saw our three main  champions trying to find and destroy Voldemort’s remaining ‘Horcruxs’, and the snake like villain himself seeking to find remaining legendary magical items to bestow him eternal life.

Unlike previous outings, which relied mainly on solving a character driven magical mystery (with a Scooby-Doo type ending), this final chapter is an all-out good versus evil fight between the remaining students of Hogwarts and Voldemort’s followers; Queue some impressive fighting statues, giants, the occasional dragon and more spell casting than all of the previous films combined. The action and special effects are none stop but never dull; every sequence is different from the next broken up by some much needed plot summary and tying up of many loose ends.

We see a return of some well-known sets and they are utilized well. Seeing the school being blown to bits from every angle gives you a real sense of scope and that this truly is a time of war. It’s a shame that with so much happening and so much of the book to get through that many central characters don’t get much of a look in and some character deaths are merely  glanced at. But it’s a real testament to the films quality that so many well established actors and actresses are present if only for a few moments on screen.
Magic and special effects aside there are some truly stand out performances such as the truth about Severus Snape, which albeit a little rushed and choppy for my liking, was dealt with poignantly and really pulled at the heartstrings. All the performances were flawless and Daniel Radcliffe once more stole the spotlight as a young man coming to terms with what it really means to be a hero when faced with the deaths of those loyal to him and his cause.

Whilst both parts differ significantly in pace, viewed as one entire film the two complement each other perfectly. There is just the right amount of sentiment (without being sloppy or melodramatic), and some of the most awe inspiring fantasy action sequences in any Potter film to date.  Yates never manages to lose sight of the core themes of good versus evil, choices and self-sacrifice. Whether a hard-core Potter fan or not there is so much to fall in love with this entire series including the boy who lived, who started out in the cupboard under the stairs and has grown to become the nations most loved role model.

Long live Harry Potter.