Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) Review

I have finally come to the end of my Harry Potter rewatch. Some of you may be saying that I’m wrong because I haven’t reviewed either of the Fantastic Beasts movies but to me they are separate from the core Harry Potter saga. At some point I will review them, but this final movie completes my rewatch of the Harry Potter movies that give us the story of Harry and Voldemort. It’s a culmination of everything we’ve seen since we first saw Harry in the Sorcerer’s Stone. I have actually only seen this movie a few times before just for the sake of me normally only watching it when I do a complete rewatch of all of the movies. That has never been a knock on it in any way because I’ve always felt that it really is a satisfying ending to the saga. With that perception though, I went in with my reviewers mentality and looked at it like I have with all of the other movies up to this point. 

This movie picks up right where we left off at the end of part 1. It doesn’t take long for us to be thrust onto the fast moving train that it is to get to the climax. The problem though is that the movie doesn’t stand on its own at all. It’s not fair to judge it solely on that fact since it was deliberately made to be a part 1 and part 2, but again it boils down to it not needing to be two parts to begin with. If you’ve seen the movies before then it would be no problem to watch part 2 without watching part 1, but for anyone else it relies on part 1 because it can’t stand on its own. The real comparison would be between this and say Avengers: Endgame/Infinity War. Both of those movies stand entirely on their own as a movie but are also a part 1 and part 2. It’s just a minor complaint I guess since it doesn’t necessarily affect me that much but it is a problem that I’m glad we’re not getting much of lately. 

Outside of that small aspect that I don’t like, this movie has everything you’re looking for. It continues and pays off everything that was set up in the prior movies. It has great emotional moments and it has some truly surprising reveals. Everything comes together perfectly in this movie to give us a satisfying end and what I believe to be the best of the Harry Potter movies. I know some people will knock it because of the point I made about it being a part 2, but as a movie itself I think it holds up better than any of the other ones. It has no moments that seem cheesy, undeserved, or boring. Everything that happens in this movie works and makes sense with everything that has been set up in the prior movies. On top of that, it gives non stop action from start to finish. It’s similar in some ways to Avengers: Endgame in how it pulls everything together at the end. 

What I like about this movie is that it seemingly learns from what it failed at in part 1. Obviously the two movies were filmed together so it’s not like they deliberately changed the movie to fix those mistakes, but it does achieve that. Whether it be the slow pace or the lack of depth to the characters, this movie hits every note perfectly. It gives our main heroes moments to shine and even gives many of our side characters a moment to shine. The biggest of which being Neville who has always been the bumbling goofball that nobody thought could amount to much. In this case he finally gets his heroic moment when the sword of Gryffindor appears to him and when he confronts Voldemort. It shows a real character development that he’s made over the series. It’s a truly satisfying moment that makes me want to cheer every time I watch the movie. 

It’s not even the character moments that we were clamoring for, but rather the unexpected moment. As I’ve said in many of my reviews for these movies, I never read the books so everything revealed was a real surprise for me. The character of Snape was always a character that I hated like most everyone else. His reveal and redemption in this movie is one of the most surprising and best that I’ve seen in a movie. I know that not everyone likes it, but for me it absolutely works and I loved every bit of it. It was unexpected but as we learn the truth, it all makes sense and works perfectly to fully develop a misunderstood hero that turns out being one of the best characters of the series. I can’t stress enough how much I love the reveal in this movie. You want to hate him so much, but it’s a true testament to writing when a revelation can absolutely flip your perspective on a character. 

I could go on and on with the character development and moments in this movie, but That would make this too long. I’ll skip right to the other points before I get off track. The action in this movie is phenomenal. It takes all of the cool moments with spells that we have throughout the series and goes balls to the wall with spells and action. I think what I really enjoy is that when we finally get to the end with Harry and Voldemort, we see their spells clash in a similar way that lightsabers do. All in all the action is top of the line for the series in this finale, just like it should be, but it’s great to see them deliver on that. 

I guess a few other complaints that I would have is the actual clarity of what exactly is going on as far as the whole Horcrux and Harry surviving and the resurrections stone. So the resurrection stone serves its purpose of allowing Harry to commune with the dead that were close to him. My big question regarding that is that it takes place after Harry was able to see into Snape’s past, so why exactly was he not there to speak to Harry at that point? Him or Dumbledore. I understand it’s to bring loved ones back, but wouldn’t you consider either of them equally as important come the end of the journey? Maybe that’s just me since I guess he gets a moment to commune with Dumbledore after he “dies”. That brings me to my next question, I thought it was clear that a simple spell couldn’t destroy the Horcrux’s. I know that the killing curse isn’t necessarily simple, but why did it kill the Horcrux that was inside Harry? Can Harry even be killed or was he protected by the Horcrux? It’s not all very clear towards the end, but really that’s just nitpicking. 

Ultimately, this movie does everything that a finale to a series of films is supposed to do. It hurts from it being spit into two movies sort of, but really it still holds up just as well on its own. It brings everything together for the finale and gives plenty of characters their moment to shine. There were twists that were unexpected and satisfying conclusions to certain character arcs. This movie certainly achieves the bookend goal of wrapping up everything we had with these characters from the very first film. I’m not sure yet where I feel exactly about its ranking of all of the movies, but I do know it’s close to the top. The one thing about this movie that feels important to me, is that it highlights all of my love of the franchise and leaves nothing on the table on its way out other than making me want more stories with these characters. 

What do you think about it? Where does it rank on your list? Make sure to comment below and let me know what you think. Also make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TowerCityMedia

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