Now Playing: Perfect Closure for the Beloved ‘Harry Potter’ Series

The epic conclusion of the ‘Harry Potter’ film series is just as magical, intense and wonderful as anyone who has loved the movies thus far could hope for. Although it doesn’t follow the final book nearly as closely as ‘The Deathly Hallows Part 1‘ did, ‘Part 2’ brings the franchise to close in an extremely satisfying manner.

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ picks up right where ‘Part 1’ left off. It leaves hardly any room to catch your breath before being cast into a two-hour climactic battle between good and evil. Be warned, there is no calm before the storm. The movie is fast paced and relentlessly action packed. Expect to leave the theater drained.

Due to the non-stop nature of ‘Part 2’, I recommend re-watching ‘Part 1’ as close as possible to the start of your ‘Part 2’ showing. If not, ‘Part 2’ will feel like the climax to a movie that you didn’t just watch. If ‘Part 2’ is the climax, ‘Part 1’ is the set-up and rising action. Had the studio made the wild decision to not split the last book into two films, and kept it as a single 256-minute long finale instead, ‘The Deathly Hallows’ would play out perfectly. As is, it’s almost necessary to watch ‘Part 1’ right before seeing ‘Part 2’. Together, they make a perfect closing to the beloved saga. (Here’s hoping that the studio combines the two into a special edition Blu-ray.)

‘Part 1’ was originally slated to receive a 3D conversion, but Warner Bros. opted out just before its theatrical release. From what I’ve been told, the studio canceled that conversion to put all of its attention into the 3D conversion of ‘Part 2’ – and the improvement is noticeable. Although it doesn’t look as natural as shot-in-3D movies like ‘Avatar‘ or ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘, the 3D conversion of ‘Part 2’ is better than most. It resembles the 3D quality of ‘The Green Hornet‘ and ‘Thor‘. But just because it looks decent, that doesn’t mean it’s necessary.

Being a fan of the ‘Harry Potter’ films (with the exception of the dreadfully paced and horribly written ‘Goblet of Fire‘), ‘Deathly Hallows Part 2’ is a perfectly fitting ending to the series. It serves as an action-packed, emotionally driven climax to not only one film, but eight. ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ will give you bittersweet closure to the characters and stories you’ve come to love over the last decade.

Rating: ★★★★★


  1. Great review, Luke! Expertly written, nicely put, gramatically sound.

    If only WB would release movies 6 and 7 on HD DVD to complete my collection. It would be a nice gesture.

  2. i completely disagree with you on goblet of fire as i feels it is the tent pole of the series. i cant wait to see this and might actually go and see this one in theaters.

  3. Don’t know why people hate on ‘Goblet of Fire’. I revisited it before we went and saw ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ and thought it’s one of the best ‘Potter’ films out there. It does a great job at culling the important information from the book and cuts out the terribly cliched monologues at the end of the book that go on for chapters and chapters.

    • I think that there’s a lot of love for Goblet of Fire as the best book in the series, which may lead to a fondness for the movie as well. But honestly, from the perspective of someone who hasn’t read the books, that movie is a goddamn mess. It just races from plot-point to plot-point with no depth or character development at all. Everything is skimmed over. Important characters are introduced to deliver one important line of dialogue and then are never seen again. The death of Cedric Diggory is meant to be a hugely important moment, but we just met the kid and know nothing about him. His entire character is summed up as “studly jock,” end of story.

      Even without having read the book, it’s obvious that the movie plays like a Reader’s Digest condensed version of the story. All of the essential plot points are crammed in there, but the nuance has been completely stripped away. It may not be as bad as the two Chris Columbus entries, but it’s certainly one of the weakest in the series.

      Coming after Prisoner of Azkaban, I thought it was just awful.

      • Well, almost every one of the books could’ve been split into two movies. Maybe when they reboot ‘Potter’ in a few years, and announce they’re making 14 more ‘Potter’ movies you’ll have all the nuance you could’ve ever hoped for. 😉

        • Honestly that is pretty much a pipe dream. Unless they film for years straight the children they pick for such a project would be in college before they finished making the 4th books movies.

          Not to mention that it’s really not healthy for kids to be in this kind of situation for the ages of 10 through 18 or so. I am going to be reading the books now that I have seen all of the movies. I guess I’m alone in thinking most of the movies have always out done previous installments.

      • Domenick

        I agree entirely! I haven’t read the books and I feel like Goblet is just missing a LOT of material. It just skips around the whole year of school with large gaps just left out. If it was the longest book, why is it the shortest movie? They should have realized that while they were prepping the script.

      • I respectfully disagree. I agree that Diggory’s death, compared to the other movie-capping deaths, seems only slightly more important than the death of the house elf. What works so well in the climax of this film is it’s the first time in the series evil clearly stomps the crap out of good. Also, the Tri-Wizard Tournament gives the movie the strong A story the other movies lack.

        I feel precisely the same way you feel about Goblet except about Order of the Phoenix. Imelda Staunton and a fun climax are the saving graces of the fifth movie. Order, though blessedly shorter, skips from beat to beat through constant American and training montages, the dialogue and character development is simplistic, the cinematography lends a cheapness to the film not seen since the Columbus entries, and the musical score is the worst of the bunch. Except for the death at the end, nothing really happens.

        Goblet is not as good as Prisoner, but Order is the real step down.

        • motorheadache

          I also disagree about Goblet of Fire. I hadn’t read the books when seeing that film, and I’d say that was the first film where I really got into the series. Previously, Harry Potter was just something to take my younger brother to– but I found myself intrigued with Prisoner of Azkaban, and by the time Goblet of Fire rolled around I was officially a fan.

          The only real problem I had with Goblet of Fire is that the beginning should have been padded out a bit more, as it almost feels as if you’ve walked into the movie late. But otherwise, I never had a nagging sense that important story material was missing while watching the film.

          • Agree wholeheartedly. ‘Order’ is the worst ‘Potter’ movie by a long shot. It’s boring, and its driving story, Dumbledore’s Army, is NEVER talked about again in the subsequent movies. They could’ve inserted Sirius’ death into any of the other movies and completely cut out number five. Nothing else happens that has any consequence on the bearings of the movie series.

          • Order is largely felt to be the weakest in the series, yes.

            However, after rewatching the movies last week, Order for the first time since it came out, I found that I actually kind of liked the movie. While it doesn’t really stand out on its own, watching 5, 6 and 7 back to back really helps tell the story. I am actually starting to LIKE David Yates now.

            In any case, Order is a much stronger movie than Goblet was.

      • Have to agree. This movie could really have benefited from either being split, or from being about 45 minutes longer, to flesh out character development and story lines.

        As someone who has read the books, the movie cuts probably a good 80% of the book out – more than any other movie. Its like the director and script writters didn’t even bother to read the book – they just picked up the Cliff Notes version, then decided to edit THAT down. The movie is a mess, and departs more from the book than any other movie. I actually found myself having to explain what was going on to my friends I went and saw it with, because they HADN’T read the books, and were completely lost.

        Quite frankly, after that load of garbage, I am shocked that there ever was another movie made.

  4. Jane Morgan

    ‘Harry Potter 8’ is at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, 126 reviews and counting.

    As someone who found the first seven movies mostly uninteresting, is this final movie structured in a way that it could work as a standalone?

    I’ll probably netfilx this sometime next year. If it works as a singular epic event movie, I might pick up the future extended cut to stand alone on my blu-ray shelf.

    Either way, I wish the movie fantastic box office.

    • Standalone? Not really. It takes a few liberties here and there assuming you’ve read the books. Although, the action in this movie is unrivaled by anything else put out this year… Yes, even that one movie by that one director we can’t talk about anymore…

      • Jane Morgan

        I did read all the books. Once. With a lot of skimming. I doubt I’ll revisit any of them. I have a special hatred for mysteries and child protagonists. As such, I have no emotional connection to this series.

        The stories of Harry Potter 1-4, to me, all felt standalone. 5 & 6 & 7.1 all felt episodic, with little plot progression. I guess I’m wondering if 7.2 will be like Star Wars 4, or X-Men 2, or The Matrix 1, where I can just pretend that the other films don’t exist.

        If the action is truly unrivaled, that could be reason enough to add it to the collection. I do after all have a special shrine dedicated to MI2.

        • Luke Hickman

          7.2 is simply the climax to the series. I think it absolutely does not work as a standalone.

          • Jane Morgan

            I guess I’ll add it to the list of ‘Great Movies I Just Don’t Care About.’

            You have officially crushed my last fleeting hope for this series.

          • Jane, if you’ve seen the previous seven movies, I can’t imagine how you could possibly expect Deathly Hallows Part 2 to be a standalone story. I mean, most blantantly, it’s got a PART 2 right in the title. Part 1 was clearly half a narrative that cuts off with a cliffhanger in the middle of a scene. This one is literally half of a book that you say you’ve read.

            Color me perplexed.

          • Jane Morgan

            7.2 is a war movie. Let’s compare it to 300.

            I knew the story of Thermopylae going in. All I wanted was the emotion of military courage. I have a soft spot for that, as my papa is a U.S. Marine.

            Having read the books and seen the movies, I know the history of the Harry Potter universe. Pre-endgame, I don’t give a fuck.


            If 7.2 has the beginning of the assault. Strategy, tactics, and death. Significant acts of heroism and sacrifice. And a kill-the-villain, save-the-world, kiss-the-girl finale, of commanding artistry…

            Then it could work, as a standalone, for me.

            My guess is that Luke is correct.

            Too much puzzle-solving. Not enough warfare. Weak boss fight.

  5. R. Highland

    I didn’t enjoy as much as everyone else has so far and I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I left feeling disappointed and it had nothing to do with the series coming to a close.

  6. Jane Morgan

    Will ‘Harry Potter’ inflame the 3D backlash? The movie is shot so dark. Put glasses on top of that, and it sounds like a recipe for dissatisfaction.

    A lot of critics recommend seeing it in 2D.

    My sister just asked this morning. I advised her that 2D is a safer bet.

    Is there a consensus on this?

    • I would recommend 2D. It is VERY dark with the glasses on. Although I thought the theater I saw it in did a good job of brightening the picture.

      I was never actually bothered by the 3D. There aren’t any scenes that require the technology to look or feel more epic, but it isn’t a nuisance like it is in other movies.

      • I had no issue whatsoever with the picture being too dark. But my theater is known for having a bright picture anyways (in a world where most theaters are putting their projectors into Economy mode or something). The 3D, while it was not up to Avatar standards, is much better than most of the crap we have been subjected to recently. I felt that it did help draw me into the story.

        If you like 3D stuff, Harry Potter is a great conversion. If you are on the edge or hate 3D, this movie won’t convert you.

    • Luke Hickman

      It’s not by any means a bad 3D transfer, but the darkness was still a little distracting. I saw it in 2D last night – much better.

    • I saw it on an Extreme screen, because it was just too far of a drive to the closest TRUE Imax (and with construction closing off the highway I usually take to get there…). The Extreme screen is also bigger than my Imax screen. The brightness level is about the same.

      The Extreme screens are fairly new, and only a couple of theaters in the country have them. I think they still use RealD technology, though.

  7. I’m going to see the new one on Wednesday. In the meantime I’ve been rewatching all the others. I’ve read all the books as well, but I didn’t start them until well into the movie series, and I personally never had a problem with Goblet. I felt that everything was adequately explained, rushed sure, but not particularly confusing. My only complaint with that one is that I’d have liked to see more. I was more pissed about the stuff they took out of Prisoner of Azkhaban, in regards to Sirius, Lupin and Harry’s Dad. The movie doesn’t even try to explain why they know what the Marauders Map is, I had to explain the significance of the names Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot & Prongs to my fiance and she’s seen these movies nearly as many times as I have. Such a small detail would not have been too much to add to the movie. That said it’s still my favorite of the series. Order I agree is the worst of the bunch, but only because the actress who plays Umbridge does too good of a job, I wince every time she speaks.