Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a difficult film to review because it's just part of a whole - in more ways than one. It is an immediate sequel to last year's The Deathly Hallows Part 1. The Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book in the series and, one would guess that due to its significance, Warner Bros decided to split it into two films. One could argue that splitting the film in two was just a (successful) attempt to double profits, but it also allows the films to give Harry a proper goodbye.
Being an immediate sequel, The Deathly Hallows Part 2 doesn't exactly follow the standard three-act arc and instead plays out like one big third act, the first two having been in the previous film. As explained by "Part 1" and "Part 2," both Deathly Hallow films are part of a whole and should be viewed as such.
And then there's the fact that it's the final entry in a seven-part series. Does the entire series have to be viewed as a whole? Of course not. Though there is an overarching plot, each film is its own story and should be judged as such.
On top of all of this, you have the simple fact that I've read all of the books and consider myself a fairly enthusiastic fan of the boy wizard, which makes me delighted just to see the books come to life. For the sake of full disclosure, I'm totally biased. Having said that, I loved absolutely every minute of the film.
The Deathly Hallows Part 1 was slow paced film, as it involved a lot of build up. That build up pays off and then some in the final installment of the long running series as Harry Potter and the countless friends take on Voldemort and his equally numerous minions.
Franchises and series have a bit of negative stigma attached to them nowadays and not without reason. Did we really need seven Saw films? Pirates of the Caribbean saw its fourth and - according to most critics - weakest chapter yet. And exactly which Final Destination will actually be the final one? However, there's a monumental difference between milking a series and carrying a sweeping story out to its conclusion, which is exactly what the Harry Potter saga does.
The upsides to a long-running series are plenty, the biggest benefit of all being the attachment we develop with the characters, even the smaller ones. Everyone loves Harry, Ron, and Hermoine, sure, but everyone got their time to shine in this heartfelt ending, especially awkward Neville Longbottom.
I suppose I don't have to single myself out as a Harry Potter fan because, if you've stuck with the series all the way to the end, then you're a fan, too. And I'm thrilled to say that, as a Harry Potter fan, The Deathly Hallows 2 is both a wonderful adaptation and a fitting conclusion to a magical journey.
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