KTKA Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

by Eric Melin on July 15, 2011

in Video Reviews

This review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2″ appears on KTKA-49.

To see how this film fits in with the rest of the series, read all the films ranked in order at Top 8 Harry Potter Movies.

It all ends this weekend as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” wraps up 10 years of J.K. Rowling’s enormously popular book adaptations.

After all of the slow and careful buildup of last year’s “Part 1,” however, this movie feels like the three films before “Deathly Hallows”: stuffed to the gills with too much plot to get through for a feature film.

People complained about the long epilogue of “The Return of the King,” but Peter Jackson wasn’t ending a two and a half hour movie, he was ending three of them. This goes even more so for the eight Potter movies, so it’s a shame that some of the most important final scenes in “Part 2” are rushed.

Director David Yates bungles key moments that have built-in dramatic weight from the book with ordinary staging and a breakneck pace. It’s been fun to see the Potter books visualized on the screen for the last 10 years–and to watch Daniel Radcliffe and his costars grow up onscreen, but it’s a shame that many of the movies—including this one, which is so key—have merely summarized the books rather than actually interpreting them.

It’s good to finally get a resolution—however underwhelming it is. But if Potter fans want to get the full experience, they’ll probably continue to return to the books.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers and regular critic for KCTV5. He’s a member of the BFCA, VP of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also the current 2013 Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 127 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm

So a little over a minute on the 10pm news is not a lot of time to talk about why I thought this film was such a disappointment. I’ll take the rest of my review into the comments section:

From my Top 8 Harry Potter Movies list: It’s weird that Yates and crew gave Ron, Hermione, and Harry so much time to develop and deepen in “Part 1,” because for the conclusion of the series, it’s back to business as usual, cramming all the major elements of the plot into one movie. It feels very episodic in nature, and some of the episodes (like Harry’s return to Hogwarts) work quite well. Others (like Harry’s conversation with an important figure from his past)—well, not so much. If the similarities to “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” were present before, they’re even more obvious now, and Yates bungles some moments of built-in hugeness with very ordinary staging and a lack of dramatic weight. The world and the myth-making elements are all there, but it just isn’t utilized as effectively as the movies that have influenced it. And, yes, unfortunately, the movie comes down to a whole lot more pointing of those infernal wands; what may be the least cinematic showdown ever. All is not lost, but it’s just a frustrating way to end the series—a return to the tepid and spotty results of movie numbers four, five, and six. Even the film’s final moments lack the weight they needed.

Obviously, I am in the minority, but I think lots of people forgive the movies because they know it is folly to adapt these books and they are just happy to see the events portrayed onscreen, however pedestrian they are.

My thesis is that the book readers bring all the backstory and information that was left out of the movies into the theater with them. The scripts for 4, 5, and 6 especially were just a mess.

When the book is written on these adaptations, I think the general consensus will be something like: “It was cool of them to visualize as much of the story as they could, but it was not much more than an “A” for effort.

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2 Hanna July 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Ugh, bastard…

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3 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Thanks, Hanna. Glad I spent all the time above to further explain my POV.

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4 Krissy July 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Any intelligent person knows that it’s impossible to completely follow a book/explain as much as a book. Regarding the Harry Potter movies, the writers and directors have done their best to follow the books (for fans of the books) while engaging/entertaining those who have not. Imagine how difficult this would be. If you take this into consideration, wouldn’t you say that they have done a great job, especially with The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2?

Why do a handful of critics often enjoy going against the overwhelming majority? It seems as though some do this to get the site clicks and receive attention….thus why I shouldn’t have clicked on your site. Never before have I left a reply like this, but I’m sick of reading biased, non-intelligent reviews.

If you can’t be a Richard Roeper or Roger Ebert, why not receive attention this way, right? Opinions differ, and that’s ok (of course), but you give no clear reasons as to why this film is rotten. Can you honestly say that this is a bad movie? You are supposed to be a critic; give us honest, real reasons, and please don’t use “the books are better”, “you’ll get more from the books”, etc.

Tips for future reviews: Please try to be an honest, no-nonsense critic; try to help those of us who want and deserve fair reviews vs. trying to get clicks on your site for the sake of receiving attention. Besides, who wants to be hated and known as a troll? Do you want to be known as another Armond White? He too is entitled to his own opinion, but he often makes no sense and is a very uncaring, rude person.

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5 alice July 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I actually think this review perfectly encapsulated my feeling towards the movie. Underwhelming was the exact word I used, I believe. For someone who is actually not an insane aficionado but well within the demographic to have been one (though I never saw appeal for myself, but I did the universal appeal) I was very disappointed. I hadn’t seen many of the movies but i’ve read the books, which I did like, but I felt absolutely no obligation nor attachment towards this anticlimactic movie. I’m not the only one- I talked to many of my friends who are avid fans afterwards and the feeling was similar, while those were those other few that had overhyped it for me in their inexplicable awe of the end of supposed era.
Thanks, Eric.

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6 Robert C July 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

rofl this guy has no idea what hes talking about

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7 KROJ July 15, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Eric, you have to expect some sort of backlash when you take such a contrary position to 95% of the audience for the movie. Those who truly felt that this movie was the perfect ending to, and possibly best film in the franchise series will disagree with you with varying degrees of civility and/or exasperation.

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8 The Dan and Joe Show July 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Seems to me that this review is just an attempt to stand out from all the other positive reviews in hopes to generate more people visiting the website. You totally missed the mark of the film.

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9 Mary July 15, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I thought Deathly Hallows part 1 and 2 were by far the best of the series of films. (I agree that 4,5,6 were awful.) What impressed me about part 2 was how quiet the film was (literally–I could hear every creaking chair and crinkling candy wrapper). No one overdid the sound track. I read all the books twice, but even so, the subplots and characters are so complex, why even try to replicate that on film? This movie had soul, and the writers/directors/producers tried to give weight to many of Rowling’s themes. I understand your perspective, but given the limitations of the visual vs. the written mediums, I think this was the best they could do, and I loved it.

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10 Jason July 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Thank You Eric Melin, I Totally agree.

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11 Sam July 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Thank you so much for this review, Eric. This is honestly spot-on. DH2 misses or misreads the incredible emotional resonance and depth unique to the end of Deathly Hallows that ties the entire series together and makes it meaningful. I’m really surprised that more fans aren’t reacting the same way.

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12 Fefe July 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I actually agree with you at the end of the movie I felt disappointed. I always considered that the last book was going to have some issues when adapted because of the long stops in the middle of the battle (Snape, back story, The Limbo scene and the talk with Dumbledore’s portrait (not in the movie)) but the battle was not well presented in the movie.
Harry running around the castle with Voldemort was a poor choice. Not including the forest creatures in the battle. The kiss, the deaths, the CGI just didn’t feel right.
I understand your point the movie was fun and the series was a huge undertaking but the last one was just not well adapted.

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13 Ryan July 15, 2011 at 6:46 pm

These are my thoughts exactly, I also don’t think Rowling did a good job ending the seventh book. I feel like know one gets how it’s rushed, and all the dramatic and important parts are rushed.

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14 Chelsea July 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I agree completely. As a huge fan of the books and a lot of the movies, I felt like the 7th Part 2 was a complete let down. I left the theater in utter disappointment, sad that they had to end a fairly strong series on such a bad note. The ending alone was so laughable- it felt like the director ran out of time to do it correctly.

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15 Deborah July 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I so agree with you! What’s wrong with all these other reviewers?
Particularly disappointing was changing the final fight scene into a private battle….whereas in the book, everyone was there to see it. It made it very anti-climactic… no cheering, nothing. The whole ending was disappointing. Leaving out the meaninful look Harry and Malfoy exchange at the train station (in the book)? WHY?? It would have taken a few seconds of screen time. No interaction with Ginny at the end after the battle? She just sits with her mother? She had about ten seconds total the final two movies. Just very disappointing…..

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16 Hiro July 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Truly there are missing scenes in the last Harry Potter movie, like for example when Lupin died they should have shown how Tonks reacted and died or should have given some bit of focus on the dead people around them, Or even the part where Hagrid recruited some other creatures to join them and why did Hagrid showed up from nowhere at the near ending of the movie? I didn’t even saw him fighting anyone. He was like “Harry what are you doing here?”, I actually shouted “What the fuck are you doing there HAGRID? I’ve been looking for you!” and everyone else laughed and agreed.

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17 Justin July 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I rather thought that five and six were among the best in the series. Five is the first time we get the feeling that these are real people in real castles, rather than a carnival castle full of adorably magic kids. And I don’t know what you mean about the scripts. The script for six is superb, and five isn’t much worse, whereas there are moments in one, two and four where some of the dialogue made me cringe. But I can’t agree or disagree about seven part two yet, probably won’t see it until Monday when the potterheads have all already been twice.

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18 Jennifer July 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I have to agree with your entire review. I went to Rotten Tomatoes to see if any other fans/reviewers felt the same disappointment I did. Sadly, it’s still at a 97% and everyone is still glowing with the aftermath.

The final showdown between V and Harry was, sadly, completely underdone and cut way too short. The whole dialogue that occurred between these two in the book, is so memorable and significant, having it cut OUT almost entirely was a HUGE let down. That, part, really disappointed me the most.

That dialogue was such an important aspect in the book. It was why Lord Voldemort was actually defeated. He lost and failed at everything, from the beginning. He just didn’t know it, until Harry had explained to him where V had failed in all of his plotting.

I just sat there, thinking “that’s it?!” and not just because it is the end of the series. But because so much important and significant dialogue that was so important, was CUT OUT.

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19 Patrick July 15, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Great review! I had the exact same reactions. I have read all the books multiple times, and think that Deathly Hallows is by far the best. I was so wanting this movie to be on par with the Return of the King, but it simply wasn’t. In fact, all the films that David Yates has directed have had the same “is this it?” feeling. Totally missing were those precious moments saturated with poignancy and reflection. Characters’ death scenes happened too abruptly–it was like they were just checking them off the list. Also, no one is talking about how HORRIBLE the musical score was, and how much it severely weakened important scenes. Anyway, thank you, Eric, for writing a thoughtful and honest review. You’ve passed by BS test, and I will seek out your reviews for future movies!

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20 Ronald July 15, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I’m seeing it tonight. I actually really enjoyed Half Blood Prince (my favorite movie so far). I’d like to know what you thought was messy about the screenplay in that one? You are probably right about bringing the knowledge of the books. The only problem I noticed was the plothole introduced by Dumbledore being able to apparate out of Hogwarts. In his death scene he should have easily been able to apparate away.

I hope I am not as underwhelmed by this movie as you were. The final part in an 8-part series has to be good. No one remembers anything better than the ending chapter.

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21 Kyralessa July 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I think she was referring to David Yates.

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22 Krissy July 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm

There is no need to call Eric a “bastard” — completely unnecessary. My apologies for posting again, Eric, but I read your comments here and on Rotten Tomatoes. It doesn’t seem that you are trying to be a jerk or another Armond White…thank goodness! Many of us just want the critics we follow to give unbiased, intelligent reviews, and in the case of movies based on books, we want critics to distance themselves from the books and fairly critique the movies.

I have some questions about this statement: “Obviously, I am in the minority, but I think lots of people forgive the movies because they know it is folly to adapt these books and they are just happy to see the events portrayed onscreen, however pedestrian they are.”

Do you believe that the Harry Potter movies should not have been made…even after seeing what these films have brought to millions of fans across the globe? Regardless, here we are with 8 HP films, and the overwhelming majority enjoy them. When reviewing films based on books, what is it you look for/expect? Do you consider the acting, music, cinematography, etc. or mainly examine how much of the book is closely followed or what you expect after reading the books?

Please take this into consideration:

Many haven’t read the Harry Potter books; the writers and directors knew this and had to do their best to please both readers and non-readers of the series. Do you believe they failed?

It is an impossible task for filmmakers to perfectly follow a book with as much detail as a Harry Potter book. At the same time, there are certain things that we, the viewer, must know in order to make any sense of the story/movie. You, at one point, state that several Harry Potter movies are “stuffed to the gills with too much plot” and also that “some important scenes are rushed”. May I ask what you believe should have been removed in order to not “rush” some vital scenes (please keep in mind that many haven’t read the books)? Also, didn’t you find many scenes to be wonderful and fascinating? How about the acting, the camera work, the music, the special effects?

I cannot understand how anyone can deny that the writers and directors did the best they or anyone could, and in doing so, created great films…not just adequate or average movies. Yes, the Harry Potter movies are based on books, but in critiquing these types of films, we must be fair and review them as movies. In your opinion, many of the films are “stuffed with too much plot, some scenes are rushed and it was a “folly” to adapt the Harry Potter books. It seems that you expected the impossible and neglected to give the writers, directors, actors, costume designers, camera crew, composer, etc. the credit they truly deserve.

You know what I’d like to see? A critic reading some fair comments/questions and after taking everything into account, changing his or her position. :)

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23 mrguy July 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I agree with the reviewer above. Just came back from seeing the movie and was very disappointed. The movie just felt rushed and some important scenes were just not explained and made no sense whatsoever. For example, what was the idea behind the resurrection stone (was simply dropped to the ground and never shown how it was used to resurrect Harry). The after-life scene in all white was just awful to the eye. The movie made Voldermort look more vulnerable and let’s say even “whimpy” instead of the powerful villian seen in the previous movies. The CGI was not as good as advertised with the myriad of “sparks” coming the wands. The series completely went downhill ever since Yates took the lead. The only memorable scenes consist of the dragon, snape’s story, and the ending. Everything else is pretty forgettable.

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24 Ed July 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I agree completely. The whole movie felt. . . flat. The grand fight scenes were rushed and spotty, the individual fights were rushed and lackluster. The acting was decent, but the cast was limited. Instead of a wide cast we got 3 teachers at the end.
It felt like they ran out of money and couldnt do the big hogwarts fight justice at all, much like the escape scene at the start of the last movie. Awkward choppy intros, more emphasis on splashy colors than actual people fighting, and no real emotion at the losses.

my one word review? flat.

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25 Riddhima July 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

It was a good effort, but I do prefer the books. The movie was not quite what I wanted it to be. It did not do justice to the book, but on its own, the movie wasn’t bad. Could have been better though. Liked Alan Rickman’s performance.

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26 Bill July 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Eric, you touch on some very nice points here. For all the hype and gushing reviews I read today — having just returned from seeing the film — I feel a little unsatisfied.

Yes, all the major story points were there, but there was a sense that everything was rushed and crammed into a 2 1/2 hour movie. Those who said the epilogue of Lord of the Rings dragged on too long, I was among that group. This seemed terribly short. I didn’t feel the emotional attachment to the characters that I wanted to feel, but I think the series lost that a couple movies ago. The actors are all invested in their characters, but they’re not given time to show it with the intense pacing of the film.

I thought Snape’s death was handled extremely well, it was probably the film’s most touching moment. I thought Fred (or George, can’t tell ‘em apart) deserved a better sendoff than he received.

I could go on, but all in all I felt it was a good movie, but it was nowhere near the powerful, moving experience that finishing the seventh book was. But it is an ‘A’ for effort.

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27 Larry July 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I agree fully with the reviewer. While the movie was good visually, it was far too rushed. Yates could have easily stretched this flick to three hours instead of two and really did it some justice. Personally, I was most disappointed by the final fight scene between Harry and Voldemort; totally anticlimactic. There was no reason to make that scene different from the book; I really thought that the way it played out in the movie was a letdown. Don’t get me wrong, I love the series and I’m sure I’ll see this movie again. Its not that I’m upset with the movie itself, I’m upset by the possibilities of what this movie could’ve been.

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28 Kellan July 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm

This is a completely fair and excellent review. It’s nice to read a well thought out critique (which, unfortunately, does not happen with many critics). Thanks for not only an honest review, but for backing your opinion in a respectful and well thought out manner. I feel it is the most accurate review of the film that I have read yet.

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29 Theresa July 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm

The single, honest review I’ve read. While it was a “cool” ending, it wasn’t much by way of a “great” movie and you really needed to have read the books to understand the full gravity of what was happening.

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30 Alex July 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I think Hanna was just taking the time to explain HER POV. As to the reviewer’s comments, there is a difference between portrayal and summary. The movies were meant to portray the books not reinvent them. They translated well to screen as long as Chris Columbus was kept away, and taken as the final movie in an eight film series, rather than as a stand alone film, which it would be foolish to view it as, this is powerful. To those who have enjoyed the previous eight films the dragon is incidental while the scenes with Snape, Lily, and Dumbledore are powerful, and what the reviewer seems to see as rushed seems to me to make space for the moments that those of us who have connected with the characters find powerful.

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31 Jennifer July 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

#27 Larry, I TOTALLY AGREE!! That end fight scene was left so plain and so anti climatic. It didn’t do the book justice whatsoever. In the book, Harry literally grabs Voldemort by the cojones and gets him to squeal like a little girl. And he does this – NOT by sheer power or great magic – but showing Voldemort how he was undone before he even started.

Harry, Dumbledore, Snape – all misjudgments that Voldemort made. He miscalculated each of these people at every step of the way. That final scene, to ME, was so vital in wrapping up the series…. that I’m just irritated. I loved the movie, the fight scenes were fantastic.

Some of the death scenes didn’t do the characters justice. But that final battle, should have been MUCH more than it was. It’s like waking up in the middle of a dream and feeling unsatisfied. You’re left with “that was way too rushed”. The poignancy and feeling of the first half really set me up for the second half. Where the main characters would have some time to shine and really give those final moments some serious heart.
Nope. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

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32 krystle July 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm

After reading nearly every review published prior to the midnight premiere, I believe all TRUE Harry Potter fans were expecting a proper ending for the finale, and this review is spot on. It is difficult how any fans of the books could truly have enjoyed this finale. When I first heard of this film’s running time…I was a bit concerned–it’s the end of a 7 series saga, perhaps making this the shortest a film wouldn’t be the best idea nor allow for the proper ending which would tie up all the loose strings and leave viewers feeling like they had when READING the novel. Part one seemed to have set up the story that I thought would unravel in part two, unfortunately this movie was simply rushed and far to choppy to allow for proper explanation and leaving book lovers wondering…what? I’m not sure how or who decided it would be a good idea to gloss over the entire chapter in the book entitled Albus Dumbledore, the novel portrays the much more darker and complex side of Dumbledore that tied in his brother, sister, and the elder wand…none of which was mentioned. There is no explanation of the complex relationship between Albus and Aberforth–it’s summed up in on line by Harry saying “he doesn’t have time to hear about why they didn’t get along…” yea that’s kinda how the whole film felt…like there wasn’t enough time. While Snape’s ending was probably the most poignant part of the movie, Fred and George, Lupin and Tonks? Their deaths which were neither shown or really given the appropriate “mourning” scene. It all together seemed as though they had forgotten Hagrid was even in the books or any of the movies! With no explanation about how he’d been away trying to recruit, he shows up at the very end as though Yate’s had forgotten he was in it and stuck him in once he’d remembered. The true grievance I have must lie with the Ariana-Aberforth-Albus story line that was left out all together. I grew up with Harry & Friends and for the end of such an important era, as it was for so many of us, I guess I was just left wanting more time, more explanation, more dialogue, more plot than just action sequences, more substance, simply more.

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33 Martin July 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I likened this movie to getting the thing you wanted for Christmas, but when you open it, it’s last year’s model and the wrong color. You still have to say “thanks”, but deep down you are rather disappointed.

I was ok with Pt 2 up until the last Hogwart’s scene. It was then when I thought that David Yates apparently didn’t think we would like to see the scene with Harry taunting Voldemort in the great hall while risking his life based on his theory of the Elder Wand and it allegiance. Instead, it became a low rent shoot ‘em up with wands a’blazing. The air of anticipation which was steeped thoughout this moment in the book is lost, and the climax is not nearly as satisfying.

Neville was cool in the movie, but he kicked ass in the book:
“I’ll join you when HELL freezes over!” I waited for it, but he never said it. No flaming sorting hat? Oh well… he still kills the snake. That’s something, I guess.

Molly’s scene with Belatrix was way underplayed as well. Disappointing.

If you haven’t read the books, you’ll be satisfied. If you have, however, you may find it wanting. They could have added another 30 minutes of scenes and character exposition from the book, which could have made this adequate finale much better.

Overall, give me Jim Dale’s audio book rendition over this film any day.

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34 Jennifer July 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm

and Krissy, quit taking Eric’s review so personal. There are many of us who felt the movie could have been 30-60 minutes longer and really had an end to give the series a lasting impression that will stick with a person.

You’re right, it was just a good movie. It could have been phenomenal. It could have been epic. It could have been better with certain scenes having more of the poignant dialogue and interaction of characters as was described in the book.

It really could have been so much more.

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35 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Thanks to everyone who is engaging with the ideas here and not just acting like a jerk. We’re all movie fans, we have that in common, don’t forget. Impossible to answer everybody, but here goes:
Krissy- I like that your 1st post was emotional and pissed off—I totally get it. I like even better that your 2nd comment was more measured and you gave me a little credit for not being an idiot.

To answer your questions: I only judged this series as a film franchise. I have never read the books and avoided all spoilers so I could experience the movie storytelling apart from everything else. I believe that it was tough to adapt a series as the books were still being written by Rowling, mainly because you can’t write the middle until you know the end. Who knew what she would expand on later in the books, even after those scenes had already been excised from the films? This is what I meant by “folly.” That and there is no way to please everybody.

I also agree that the VFX, costumes, art direction, and cinematography have been very good and so has most of the acting. The score I’m torn on, and I think in the movies that failed to work on a cinematic level, it was the fault of the writers and the director. I’m not going to change my opinion, but I enjoy interacting with anyone as passionate about movies as I am.

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36 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Alice- I think a lot of book fans carry over that emotion into the movies. Some scenes worked well, like Longbottom’s big moment, but others (Voldemort vs. Harry) were such letdowns. After 8 movies, it comes to that? There were crickets in the theater — no cheers at all after that — so I know I’m not alone. I think after the opening weekend glow wears off, many will see this film for what it is: a mediocre summary of the events of half of the last book.

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37 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:17 pm

KROJ and The Dan and Joe Show – I posted my opinion of the movie Monday night after seeing it (and before most critics had weighed in) when I ranked the Harry Potter Films here: Top 8 Harry Potter Movies. This is not a contrarian opinion just for the sake of it. Sorry.

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38 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Mary- Interesting about the soundtrack and the quietness. When I see it again, I will pay special attention to that. I love the themes Rowling was working with as well, but I disagree with you that this was the best that could have been done with it. Yates was on a roll after Part 1, which I agree with you “had soul,” but I felt like he had too much to tie up for one movie here. If a three-hour running time were ever justified, this would have been it. Thanks for your comment!

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39 yessy July 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Spoiler alert: You bring up good points and I have to admit I was underwhelmed with how Harry Potter walks into the main hall after killing Voldemort and no one is cheering or giving him a pat on the back for saving the world. All he gets is smiles. I mean, really? REALLY? There really should have been more of a reaction. However, that’s my only quibble.

I have long made peace with the fact that film adaptions will never be the same as the books that conceived them. We have to take things separately, as they are, and with a series as detailed as Harry Potter, there’s absolutely no way everyone would have been pleased with the movies.

I myself thought Deathly Hallows was spectacular. All the work that was put into was amazing, and credit should be given to anyone involved with the films. They did their best and they’ve done a damn good job at it.

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40 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Jason, Sam, Ryan, Chelsea, Deborah, Hiro, and Fefe – I’m surprised to be so alone (in the critic world) on thinking this film was a disappointment too.
Sam- It did miss the depth.
Fefe- Man, that final showdown was a huge letdown, right? Ugh. Ryan- When you and I say its “rushed,” I think it’s important to understand we are not talking about the pacing of action scenes. Of course, those are supposed to be high energy. We’re talking about giving the characters their emotional due.
Chelsea- Are you talking about that epilogue? If so, I’m with you. That’s why I brought up that ROTK comparison. People complain but Jackson gave all characters the respect they deserved after 9 hours or whatever LOTR was.
Deborah- Good point about Ginny. Harry shot her a couple looks and that was it, eh? Nope. Too many loose ends.
Hiro- You can’t fit everything in, but if you introduce a character arc or a subplot, it would be nice to resolve it. It’s a big challenge with a work like this, and I feel for the filmmakers.

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41 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Jennifer- “Glowing with the aftermath” is an apt description. I think that when opening weekend fervor dies down, people will look back and say, “eh…it was good enough, I guess.” Not really a ringing endorsement. I understand fans being wrapped up in their emotions for the series — trust me, I am a fanboy about certain things as well and its crushing when they disappoint. So much so that you don’t want to admit it (i.e. “Watchmen”).

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42 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Patrick – Poignancy and reflection? Absolutely missing. I did mention the score, either here or somewhere in the huge RottenTomatoes discussion, but I appreciate your thoughts and I’m glad you don’t think I’m full of BS!

Ronald- I realize that for many, Half-Blood Prince was a big one. For me, it was the ultimate alienation for a series that had excised so much information and relied so heavily on the book readers to fill in the blanks of what they left out (to imbue certain moments and characters with qualities from the books) that they forgot how to tell a cohesive story. The things that happen in the movie are inherently dramatic, yes, but the film didn’t earn the right for those moments to be that way.

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43 dave July 15, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I look at ALL the HP movies as sparknotes versions of the book, and I haven’t really enjoyed them, even though I was a huge fan of the books. I would have like to see changes made to get a film adaptation more appropriate for film format. Like what Peter Jackson did with Lord of the Rings.

I don’t like these dry, flat, streamlined versions with nothing going for them other than wonderful production design and special effects. To me the relationships fall flat because they just don’t seem organic.

Ugh…I don’t want to get into an essay about my problems with the film…it’s just nice to know that at least someone else is picking up on it. These films have greatly disappointed me but I lost significant interest back around film 3 or 4.

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44 Charlie July 15, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I just want too address the remarks people are making about not being able to adapt a movie fully to a book. In most cases you’d be right, especially in books as long as the HP series. But let’s look at it as just a movie, without going into all the problems, let’s focus on the one huge piece missing, from the ending… human emotion.

No one witnesses the battle between V and Harry or if they did we as movie goes did not see it happen.So therefore we can’t assume anyone else knows the outcome. Then Harry walks into the great hall after the battle , no one asks him if V is dead or maybe V ran away to regroup his death-eaters, there is no way for them to know because it wasnt show that any of them were watching, as a matter of fact most are sitting around sipping tea and chatting. Where were the cries of joy ? The spilling of emotions knowing that they have won and that the world is safe. Humans express their joy and their grief. There is a moment after you’ve been through something traumatic and lived that you can’t help but laugh or cry that you are still alive. Emotion flows forth on its own accord.
That alone made the ending feel like a deflated balloon and that is how I felt as I walked out of the theater thinking, “So this is the best ending they could make, so sad”. Be that as it may farewell Hogwarts, and farewell Harry Potter.

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45 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm

MrGuy- I’m with you on Yates, man, but we have to place some of the blame at the feet of the screenwriting, as hard of a task as that must have been. About the afterlife scene: Hmmm, where to start. Like every other conversation between D and Harry towards the end, it was vague and uninspired. It’s too bad they lost Richard Harris.

Ed- Flat. Yes. Apt. How’s that for a 3-word review?
Riddhima- Rickman has been good since the beginning. Too bad his subplot has been obvious for so long. I know it’s a book for young adults, but they don’t have to treat the audience like they are all 5 year olds.

Bill- It’s funny that you said “A” for effort, because I wrote that in an earlier comment too. I feel no ill will towards any of the artists or craftsmen who did a wonderful job bringing Rowling’s books to life onscreen, but I have to be honest and agree with you: From a storytelling POV, it was ultimately unsatisfying.

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46 Michelle July 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm

I waited patiently just like the other fans with all the trailers and interviews the excitement built. I even watched part 1 last night before going to see part 2. Movie starts and it moved down similar path to part 1 ending and then the action started and before you know it the pace drops for Snapes memory scene and next thing I know screen black, nineteen years and the film finishes up like a Disney movie. I can say I was left very disappointed for all the build up they gave on part 2. For someone that didn’t read the books it was a fun movie series to follow with my daughter. It was likable in the beginning and then each movie got darker and you could feel the climactic ending coming and then no so such luck. I was so confused during this movie then any of the others it’s like watching crib notes making up things on your own like how the heck harry came back to life. I felt like even though I watched all the movies there was to much missing to connect the dots. Just my opinion.

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47 Eric Melin July 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Larry – It’s almost like in this comments section, we are reaching a certain common ground now: I mentioned a 3-houyr cut of the film in an earlier comment before reading yours—let’s have it! “Upset by what could have been,” you wrote—yep, me too.

Kellan & Theresa- Thank you. I really appreciate it. Good to know this discussion is resonating with you!

Krystle- Your response is the one I’ve been waiting for. You said “TRUE Harry Potter fans were expecting a proper ending for the finale” and you weren’t sure how “how any fans of the books could truly have enjoyed this finale.” I am with you. Like any fan, I demand more out of my movies. I don’t want to settle for some lame-ass go-through-the-motions routine, I want substance. I want to feel punched in the gut. As you wrote, I want “more substance.” More Potter fans will come forward, I believe, and not be afraid to say they were let down.

I’m just going to reprint what Martin wrote; it’s so perfect: I likened this movie to getting the thing you wanted for Christmas, but when you open it, it’s last year’s model and the wrong color. You still have to say “thanks”, but deep down you are rather disappointed.

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48 Krissy July 16, 2011 at 12:01 am

Thank you Eric! I should have waited a bit longer before posting; my apologies for jumping down your throat without reading your replies on Rotten Tomatoes as well as those on this site.

It’s easy to see that you are not an idiot or a jerk…don’t think I called you either of those, and if I came across as being rude in any way, I’m truly sorry. To see some on RT call you such awful names bothered me, so I felt the need to read everything and post again.

For anyone who may think Eric is being insincere or “a jerk”, ask yourself this: How many critics would take the time to answer my questions and reply to so many posts?

I usually don’t get too upset with reviews and respect that we all have differing opinions, but as you probably realize, there are some critics that try to garner attention simply by going against the norm. I got sick of this and let my frustration get the best of me. Not agreeing with the majority is one thing, but trying to gain attention with nonsense reviews is another.

Can you tell that I love the Harry Potter movies? ;) To be honest, I only read the first book, and I loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the movies. Sure, I liked some more than others, but I thought they were all great. The story did make sense to me, and the movies really made me feel. In my opinion, there isn’t one HP movie that is rotten, and what I look for in order to consider a movie “fresh” or “good” is there. I respect that you don’t feel the same.

At any rate, I do plan on reading the rest of the books in the near future, which may seem odd. I can’t wait!

Good luck to you Eric, and I will surely frequent your site. :)

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49 Eric Melin July 16, 2011 at 12:13 am

Thanks, Krissy – One more thing. Movie ratings suck. We all use them because its part of our trade, but they are inherently reductionary. Read the review, interact with the critic. Don’t look at a star rating and stop there. Cheers!

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50 Stephen July 16, 2011 at 12:16 am

You know Eric, as much backlash as it might get me, I agree with you…
Having never read the books, I easily fell in love with the Harry Potter series. It’s hard not to, to be honest…it’s a great franchise– probably the most successful all around. And it’s full of so much charm, adventure, and great characters, that it’s almost impossible not to want to watch at least one of them again.
Not reading the books was also a choice I made since I wanted to be able to solely judge the movies based on what they were, not what they’re supposed to be.
And I’ll tell you this…the last film was the only one I really didn’t like.

It was bland in almost every aspect. From the characters, to the acting, to the direction and pacing…it was all just bland.
In the past films such as Prisoner of Askaban, and Chamber of Secrets, the film told very elaborate stories, paying attention to the smallest of details.
The films all made the most of every minute, and when the credits would roll you’d feel like you just went on some sort of adventure.
With Deathly Hallows Part II you don’t feel like you went anywhere at all.
You don’t feel like anything really happened.
The cast finds everything so fast.
The professors are just faces in the background.
The students are as well…
Main characters are just in this film as faces and when some of the main characters– which in the past you spent an entire film meeting– die, you dont feel any sadness cause it just shows a quick flash of their body.

Overall it just feels so very rushed. The film FEELS exhausted. Which is a bad thing.
And just when the battle is getting good, it stops.
And then nobody is even around to see Harry “Kill” (if you can even say that he kills him)Voldemort.

When it happens it’s almost as if nobody cares that it happened. He gets no praise…nobody celebrates the fact that he just became resurrected…nobody cheers now that Voldemorts finally defeated after 10 years (?)….nothing.

It’s sad to say that there was more “closure” (is that the word) or feeling of satisfaction when Harry survived the tournament in the Globlet of Fire than there was in this last film.
And there was a greater sense of danger, suspense, and all around intensity in that film as well than there was in this last one.

Even Deathly Hallows part 1 had more gripping scenes than this last film did.

All-in-all, I think back on all the films and all the time they spent telling this story. All the effort the film makers gave into making sure we understand what’s going on…
And all we get is a small battle where Harry doesn’t even touch Voldemort.
And a rushed final film that basically says “thanks for watching…refer to book for full satisfaction”.

I’d give the series as a whole, a 4.5/5 stars.
But the last movie alone, I’d give it 2/5 stars. Solely because of the fact that it’s still Harry Potter.

I guess that’s just my two cents…but yeah…I love the series. Just disappointed that I stuck around so long to see it end half halfheartedly.

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51 Krissy July 16, 2011 at 12:18 am

Yessy, I love your post!! :)

For those who may have not seen Yessy’s comment:

“We have to take things separately, as they are, and with a series as detailed as Harry Potter, there’s absolutely no way everyone would have been pleased with the movies.

I myself thought Deathly Hallows was spectacular. All the work that was put into was amazing, and credit should be given to anyone involved with the films. They did their best and they’ve done a damn good job at it.”

Even though we don’t all agree, it’s great to see everyone here getting along! Goodnight everyone!!!

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52 Krissy July 16, 2011 at 12:24 am

You’re welcome Eric! Take care!!! :)

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53 Jennifer July 16, 2011 at 12:29 am

I think that’s another issue, is that I felt (prior to coming here) that not enough TRUE Harry Potter fans were either A. being honest how they really felt about the film B. Didn’t really read the books C. just going along with the crowd when they say “oh yeah, it was THE BEST”…. o.o

As a nerd, I actually went BACK to the final battle scene between Voldemort and Harry. 10 pages of dialogue that occurred between the two. Where Harry taunted Voldemort and gained the upper hand.

I guess that’s my biggest beef. That last part, in the book, was such a powerful and impactful moment. It was reduced to a few words spoken by Harry, a short light show, then poof…. Voldemort was dead.

I can’t wrap my head around how MANY so-called fans are OK with this?! How can they be satisfied with so very little there at the end? This was the final moment between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort. This was the final wrap up to the entire series – this moment. And what it was reduced to, well…as you can see, I’m passionate about that specific scene. Because it was one of my favorites in the book.

Harry and Voldemort, circling each other – with a crowd of onlookers – Potter and Voldemort supporters watching the two as they circled….. (this was how it was in the book) Harry revealing to Voldemort how he had been defeated and didn’t even KNOW IT.

There was NO point in the movie where Harry revealed Snape’s true allegience. OR where Dumbledore’s death was explained to Voldemort.

These explanations that Harry gave to Voldemort, IMO, was the icing on the cake. He knew he was going to win, but Voldemort had no clue that Snape really was on Harry’s side the moment Lily’s life was at risk. Voldemort had no clue that Dumbledore planned his own death, and that created a domino effect. Dumbledore knew Draco would disarm him of the wand. Knew Draco wouldn’t be able to kill him, thus, the Elder wand’s allegience would be with Draco. NOT Snape!!!

ARGH, you can see how this frustrates me.We (my family and I) just saw this movie today. And I’m still in a huff about it (as you can see).

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54 Kenny B July 16, 2011 at 12:31 am

I don’t usually post comments after a movie but I am in the Audio/Video Post Production Industry and felt like I wanted to express my thoughts. Eric, I agree with you wholeheartedly. The movie wasn’t bad but it was missing key essential moments of dialogue that could have made it a much better movie.

For those who haven’t read the books, this movie may be seen as a satisfactory ending to an amazing series. For those, like myself, that read the books, it was quite underwhelming. This was supposed to be the EPIC ENDING of the Harry Potter saga. A few, key moments of dialogue and a little more attention to details from the book would have done the movie much more justice.

The discussions I had with people after the show indicated that you and I and many others that have commented here were not alone in feeling underwhelmed and disappointed. The second part of the book actually lent itself nicely to screen adaptation without the changes that were made. For the end of an epic saga, I thought they could have stayed more true to the book without confusing those that did not read the book or books.

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55 Jeff_Georgia July 16, 2011 at 12:32 am

I just got home from seeing the film and while I do not agree with Eric Melin’s interview, I think he arrives at his opinion honestly and sensibly.

I did not come away underwhelmed and while I had seen a review before going in that said that the movie seemed too short, I came away glad it wasn’t any longer than it was – in no small part because I found myself quite knotted up with tension for the entire running length, enough so that I was physically tired and bordering on sore afterwards.

I don’t feel I need the books interpreted; I want to see a good movie. And because I am a highly visual person, I want the film to talk to me in a clear visual language and I think the director, cinematographer, and effects specialists excelled at that in this film.

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56 Chase July 16, 2011 at 12:32 am

I walked out after Harry snapped the wand. I figured that either the film was about to end, or it was going to drag on for another half hour. Either way, I’d had enough. I’ve read all the books, but I forget half the details, so the films still surprise me when I see them. This one was dull and predictable, and making it 3 hours long would NOT improve things.

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57 Abdi July 16, 2011 at 12:56 am

Eric, I am totally with you on this one. With all the hype surrounding the movie, with me (mind you, an avid HP fan) waiting in line during the midnight showing, I was literally expecting an epic ‘Lord of the Rings’ kind of battle. We must understand that book-to-movie adaptations are really hard to pull off, but this movie did feel disappointing. Most of the characters we’ve known ( Fred, Lupin, Tonks, etc) don’t get a proper send off. Harry just looks down on the bodies of Lupin and Tonks, with no emotion. WTH? The so called ‘final showdown’ was way off. Harry wouldn’t have duelled Voldemort like that, and the confrontation between them was cut off. The best scene had to be Snape’s pensieve scene. Other than that, it was an OK movie.
We all know how hard the actors, director, producers, set designers, etc, have worked. We love them for that. However, had the movie been an extra 30 minutes or hour, we would’ve felt much more satisfied.

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58 Oscar July 16, 2011 at 1:03 am

Totally agree with this review, i think anyone who read the book would feel this way. I understand the movie is based on the book but honestly its hard to overlook the final fight and celebration. I mean all the dialogue was taken out, nobody saw the fight which does not make sense there is literally no evidence that Voldemort is dead why would his followers just run away when they did not see their Master get killed. There was no celebration at all, why would anybody believe harry killed Voldemort if they did not see it! Hagrid patted harry in the back like he just won the spelling bee! where is the celebration he just killed the most dangerous wizard of all time. Like i said before i realize is a movie so i expect the story to not make a whole lot of sense at times, but in return i expect the fighting scenes to be epic! and in my opinion it was much worse than the book which is disappointing. That being said i still enjoy the movie and i encourage people to go see it. I just wish that i could have been more than what it was.

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59 Oscar July 16, 2011 at 1:15 am

In the last line i meant to say: I just wish that it could have been more than what it was. Sorry if some things in the above comment don’t make sense i just finished watching the movie and its like 3am lol

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60 Abdi July 16, 2011 at 1:19 am

Jennifer, I LOVE YOUR COMMENT, THAT’S EXACTLY HOW I FELT DURING THE MOVIE!
Seriously, i love you for that comment! : )

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61 Paul July 16, 2011 at 2:54 am

I appreciate this review. Most fans I believe are still in denial that the franchise has ended thus the glow all about it on its first weekend. I’m a fan myself since the beginning and I understand what you say is “underwhelming” about the movie. Indeed. After watching the final film four times since July 12, I felt how it lacked some major ingredients to put the whole thing together.

I convinced myself to walk in the theater and just enjoy the film as it is the last one, not give any critic whatsoever. After watching it four times, I say this: Prisoner of Azkaban remains to be the best film for me :D

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62 Jessica July 16, 2011 at 5:17 am

I have read the books and I have watched the movies, but David Yates was never my favourite director for the Harry Potter movies. Especially when he made the longest book, Order of the Pheonix, into such a mess that it took me a while to fathom that one of my favourite books from the series was destroyed. However, I do appreciate your review, especially when it came to the likes of the epilogue which was rushed, but Part 1 was just the build it up to this moment. Part 2 was with all the action and it was done brilliantly. For Potterheads, like myself and my friends, we do agree that, yes there are flaws and that there will always be flaws, but that it was a magnificent way to end a generation-an era. We all know that David Yates likes to squash so much and miss out key points-such as the portrait in Part 1-but, with what it was worth, he did become better. One part that angered me the most was that he missed out Teddy and the fact that the epilogue was rushed but he did do better than OOTP. As fans, we appreciate the fact that we can watch these and we also understand that the director cannot put everything into 2 hours and a half. I think that your review was good but you didn’t actually say what was good with the film. I think that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was bittersweet and it did bring tears to my eyes. It was such an emotional ride for a lot of us because for many, it was our childhood and it was a good way to end it.

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63 Veronica July 16, 2011 at 5:28 am

THANK YOU!

My sister and I were extreemly disppointed in the movie. We saw it in Turkey and had to wait 48 hours to to see what our friends thought. Much to our dismay, they LOVED it.

And some of the lines are WAY to cheezy for this kind of film. There were four scenes that I specifically wanted them to get right and in accord with the book. If they did two (the Snape’s memories and the final battle where Harry explains everything to Voldermort), I was willing to forgive the rest of the movie’s shortcomings. And the last scene was a COMPLETE fail.

All your points are spot on and we agree with you completely!

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64 Seaner July 16, 2011 at 5:38 am

Wow..I read ever single post and I have to say that the recurring theme is how most posts were underwhemeed by the film’s ending. Particularly the Voldermort/ Harry battle and Harry’s return to the castle following the battle.
First off, I give kudos to Yates and company for keeping true to the central conflict between Harry and Voldermort and that is the fear of death. The key moment of the climax is Neville, who thinking Harry is dead makes a speech that really put death and the death of our heros into perspective. In fact, I would argue that Neville’s killing of the final Horcrux is the real dramatic high of the film. Its only because of Neville that Harry wins. Once the snake is dead, the emotion that Voldermort experiences is spot on. This whole movie is built around him consistantly getting more and more human….in a way I felt more sad for Voldermort because I realized he wasn’t really all that powerful at all. He created a defense system, and the entire two parts of Deathly Hallows was about ripping that system down. Stripped down, we were left with a man Harry could easily beat.
I also liked the ending because Harry has found peace. he doesn’t need a heros welcome. He just observes others and smiles. They have been through a lot to. And those who survived derserve rest and peace as well.
That’s what the final scenes are about for me.
Thanks for writing and stirring good thoughts. Its not about being right, its about understanding, debating and being at peace with it.

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65 Rebecca July 16, 2011 at 5:50 am

I was so relieved to read a review I could agree with. Such a let down. It took me hours to get over it.
At the end of a movie you want to see the main character get the recognition they deserve. Harry got nothing! I agree totally that all the characters, except Voldermort and Snape, were just skimmed over, rushed. The depth was missed.
I could handle most of the movie right up to when Harry died, then it was downhill from there.
The love and admoration Dumbledore has for Harry was not shown at all, pathetic attempt. The story was lost.
This is the movie where all the questions should finally be answered… not half were.
Harry is supposed to explain everything to everyone, to put V in his place. Finally being at his level and having all this knowledge that V is not smart enough to work out. Harry is almost demeaning to V in the last scene where he kills him. Its so satisfactory having the puzzle fit together in the book. Instead of the fighting between them they should have kept the explanation in there.
And why doesn’t Harry fix his own wand before distroying Dumbledores wand?
There needed to be more script.

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66 Hiro July 16, 2011 at 6:03 am

@Eric Merlin

Well i just wish that the dead people would have been given a bit of credit, sadly I read the book from the start till the end and almost every memorable scene wasn’t shown. Even Hagrid showed up beaten and tied already. I understand how hard directing or even doing a shorter story of a book but they manage to do it at the first movie and this time they made Deathly hollows 2 parts so i kinda thought they’d bring more… well… more.

But great review! after i watched the movie i looked at rotten tomatoes site and saw that only you managed to hit the spot.

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67 Hope Perkins July 16, 2011 at 6:56 am

Thanks Eric! Your a real critic who didn’t just jump on the bandwagon of others who seem to be lemming like in their reviews! I saw a midnight show and at the end there was a brief silence…except for me saying WTF! It was both the end battle and that silly epilogue where everyone gets married and has kids and meets up…seriously wanted to gag about that…it was one of the greatest cinematic let downs of my life! I agree with ur total review…Thanks for having the balls 2 write it :-)

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68 Seaner July 16, 2011 at 7:36 am

May I also add that Neville doesnt even know that the snake is a Horcrux. He is just doing it to save his friends. And I love that he and Luna clearly have a future together.

I love that Harry breaks the Elder wand. Clearly he is incorruptable and not in search of power.

I loved Alan Rickman’s emotion in this movie. And Ralph Fienne’s is given a glasses off 3D character to play. Like all great villians, he gets to show real weakness. Voldermort is a pussy(cat).

I love that Hagrid doesn’t have a huge story that defines why he was tied up in the forest. War is war. Why did they take him captive? Good question. The book doesnt clearly answer it either. Fans wpuld have gone even more nuts that he wasn’t even there and they had Draco’s father carry him (which in a strane subtle way explain why Rowling had him there.)

What matters is that we have a witness to his courage in the forest, a witness that Hagrid fits the bill for. Someone to witness his sacrifice. Having a scene with Gawby and company is just action. Here are the facts: In the battle, Hagrid was taken captive. Harry doesn’t witness it. Just like he doesn’t witness the countless deaths of beloved characters. It’s all about timeline. Harry is a busy boy in this movie.

As far as the Dumblebore/ Alberforth subplot..I agree that a little more mistrust about Dumbledore would be rock solid. Especially since to trust Dumbledore is to trust Snape. And when Harry says to Aberforth in the movie that he trust Dumbledore, he is also subconsiously trusting Snape. But he still screams at Snape in the Great Hall about murdering Dumbledore. I like that moment, cause it shows that Harry hasnt made that connection. This is true in the novels as well.

The dragon is awesome. The casting of the proctive charm of Horwarts is awesome. Maggie Smith is awesome.

Griphook is wickedly creepy and I love that Warwick Davis shows excellent acting in this movie.

My favorite scene of the movie, as well as the entire series, is actually a very brief scene of action. Once Harry realizes that Voldermort is in the boat house, he, Harry and Hermione run out of the castle and its pure chaos in the courtyard. Why is it my favorite scene? The music, the desperation of our heros, and no words. We watch and we feel.

Truthfully, I think at the end of the day…we should be thankful and both the books (for their complete narrative) and movies for 10 years of entertaining. Its sad to see it end. Sad. :)

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69 poptart July 16, 2011 at 8:29 am

I agree with your review Eric!

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70 Chris Walden July 16, 2011 at 8:47 am

Things like this make me lament the decline of the mini-series. The Harry Potter books beg for a long-story format treatment, but the money is to be made in a shorter form theatrical release. Even with two long movies, they still had to leave out so much detail that Rowling provides to the reader. Imagine if all the books were done in 2-hour chunks for as long as it took to tell the story. Though, I guess there is never a substitute for reading the original work. No movie will ever capture the grandeur of story-telling that can happen in my head when I read and reread these books.

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71 Katy July 16, 2011 at 9:05 am

It is nice to see a review from someone who obviously has a strong connection with the books, message, and theme of Harry Potter. I went to Mugglenet looking for similar reactions to yours, but soon found out that many fans in there are too young to truly understand the messages behind HP. Not all of them of course, but many. I have come to understand that these movies are designed for children and not the adult fans, but it is a shame to see the powerful message of love is the greatest magic there is be replaced by my wand is better than yours. Harry is never portrayed as a hero in the movies. Tom Riddle’s evilness is never developed to it’s truest form. I am not sad these movies have come to an end. I’ll stick to reading my books.

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72 Aimee July 16, 2011 at 9:05 am

Hi there, I would just like you to know that I think you nailed it with this review. It seemed like they had a list of the plot points in the final book and just went down the list and crossed them off. “OK, we added that scene, we added that scene, what’s next on the list?” There was no real sense of dramatic flow. I kept waiting to be absorbed into the movie (like I had been with all the other films) and it never happened. Also,too much slow motion and a completely ridiculous epilogue (yes, I read the book- I thought it was unnecessary in the book too) surely didn’t help matters. Don’t listen to the idiots on RT who are suggesting that since we are in the minority we must be mistaken.

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73 JJ July 16, 2011 at 9:12 am

I haven’t even seen the movie and probably would not care as much as you about the book being adapted. But I am skeptical that this movie really deserves all the positive reviews it has gotten. It seems like people are just holding it to a different standard because its harry potter and probably because part 1 sucked so much. My girlfriend is a huge HP fan and was disappointed. How much money are these reviewers getting paid to say this movie is so great? It can’t be nearly as like the godfather or some actually good movie. And how good can the acting be if daniel radcliff is the star…

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74 acciobeer July 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

I agree with these comments. I thought the special effects were superb, but I would have liked to have seen a bit less green/red sparks and a bit more of the important dialogue that is in the book. I read the book a long time ago so my memories a bit hazey, but I had been particularly looking forward to seeing Molly Weasley kick Bellatrix’ ass. However, the scene was too short and Bellatrix was beaten far too easily (crazy Bellatrix, Voldemorts right hand woman who killed Sirius, and tortured Neville’s parents – really??? is that all you got??!). I enjoyed the Gringott’s scene, it was exactly how I imagined it to be. I thought McGonagall’s scenes were good(apart from ‘do your duty to this school’ etc – made me cringe a bit). Alan Rickman was once again superb. Loved the way they showed his memories. Death scene was more violent than I thought it would be! Hated the kiss scenes – they were so out of place and didn’t see the point in them at all. I was nervous before I went that I would end up a blubbering mess at the deaths, but their was no emotion at all (when Fred died either the acting was rubbish or the scene was poorly done, because it was just like ‘oh dear, he’s dead’) compared with GOF when Cedric died and his father cries – I get a lump in my throat every time I watch that. I didn’t like the way they did the scene with Dumbledore – Harry’s trying to defeat Voldemort and asking for help, Dumbledore starts talking in riddles then f*cks off LOL. Hagrid appeared from absolutely no where. The dialogue between Harry and his mum/dad was mushy and made me cringe. Harry vs Voldemort was an anti climax, I was again left thinking ‘is that it?!’ :S no one seemed bothered that he had been defeated. Wish they had put in the look between Harry & Draco at the train station at the end. I did enjoy the film, but I think it could have been better.

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75 alice July 16, 2011 at 10:01 am

I really think judging the film alone without any subconscious comparation to the books is the best way to pull out an honest review. After all, it is a film. My disappointment in the movie was barely that they had neglected good parts of the book, but as a movie, the storyline had really suffered. It seemed that they tried to keep book fans in check with brief references to the scenes and subplots they sacrificed, while those who had come into the franchise a little lost would be more of a minority,

My personal criticism lies with the fact that the presentation was not handled sufficiently. Although the actors are skilled indeed, there is very little movement in plot; the whole movie seemed to be one extremely drawn out battle. While that may elementally be the part of the book they were focusing it on, it honestly was just not entertaining. I don’t believe people have the excuses “but it was adapted… They’re only trying to please a general audience… Etc” as they don’t make the movie anymore worth my money, to be honest. I won’t snob it and say I regret it, but i don’t believe the percentages on RT. Then again, hate is always stronger than indifference. Thanks eric for your honesty, again

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76 Evan July 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

@Everyone who reads my opinion…

I think it’s fairly easy for the majority of conscious individuals to form the opinion that since the beginning of cinematic adaptations, the original work is always changed or perverted in some nature because it is impossible to truly convert every word into its appropriate visual correspondent. Some elements of the story will always have to be omitted or reinvented for a variable reason. There’s a difference between the style of writing and the style of cinema because they’re different mediums of storytelling.

A prime example would be the original plan to completely exclude Kreacher, the house elf of in Sirius’ London dwelling, from the 5th film. But Rowlings insisted that he be included because of a larger role he would plan in the (yet unpublished) final book. So, the creators of the film inserted a quick 5 second scene where Harry walks past a complaining Kreacher in a hallway…it’s a far cry from the well-written lines of dialogue Kreacher has in the 5th book, but again, things must be changed for fit the form of cinema.

The books & the movies are separate entities. While they share the same soul, they can only be themselves. I enjoyed all the films, but I never expected to see ALL the imaginative images that formed in my head while I read all of the books materialize on the screen.

Therefore, I do not condemn Mr. Mellin for choosing his perspective to examine the film from the viewpoint of a bookworm (indeed a lot of the audience will do the same). But I do think it is a bit irresponsible to omit the nature of cinematic adaptations within your original review; especially if you choose to malign the film for its process of adaptation, direction, and character development.

Joel & Ethan Coen have an interesting perspective on the nature of the critic’s view on writing, it’s written in the preface to Blood Simple, dated in August 1988. I won’t quote it, but if you believe that those brothers rarely ‘bungle’ about, I suggest you search it out if you’re interested in what more talented & successful writers than Mr. Mellin have to say.

Best wishes to all.

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77 alice July 16, 2011 at 10:12 am

Also, thats wonderful that you are interacting with an audience. It would make more sense as a critic, wouldn’t it, as you obviously gain a lot more insight into general entertainment, and seem to produce honest and reasonable points. Sorry if I seem to repeat myself in another post- its just something I believe, but I jave nothing against the series, and I think it still deserves a place. It really just isn’t memorable for me, though. I remember the imagery I had reading the book before I try to recall that movie from yesterday- but yes, that is probably my own attachment.

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78 James July 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

I find it funny that people think that since it wasn’t a positive review, the guy is just trying to get “more clicks” or “doesn’t know what he is talking about.” He is right tho, this movie was very underwhelming. The death of Fred at the end was hardly as powerful as it could have been. There wasn’t a strong emotional final scene either. It just seemed like it was added on quickly. Perhaps my expectations were too high, as I am a huge HP fan, but this movie I felt could have been incredible, but it wasn’t.

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79 Joe July 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Fantastic review, the film was a complete shambles only compensated for by the excellent visual effects. If it wasn’t for Emma Watson’s stupendously cute face I’d probably have walked out of the cinema

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80 jon July 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm

exactly how i felt about the movie. and the funny thing is they didnt even do the action scenes right. those felt just as rushed and anticlimatic. there were some serious parts of the books that could have been explosive on film if they just wouldn’t have rushed through it. and why did they rush? they did split it into two films. also they tottally botched the final showdown between harry and voldemort on many levels both on what actually happened in the book (which is very important to harry’s character and the plot) and also just the pure excitment of the showdown. really?! all the tension of the scene is on nevil killing the snake, which you know he is going to do….very sad it couldnt live up to pt 1′s building of tension

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81 Ellen July 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I am an avid fan of the books.

THE DOWNSIDE: During scene after scene last night my eager anticipation changed to horror at what was being been left out. So sad these last two films chose to omit subplots of Kreacher’s tale and even worse, Dumbledore’s past. I was extremely disappointed that rather than Prof McGonagall declaring “The time has come for Slytherin House to decide upon its loyalties,” she instead told Filch to take the Slytherins to the dungeons. WTF??? Then when they didn’t have Neville kill the snake when he was supposed to, I spent the next five minutes panicking that they had re-written it so that Ron or Hermione or Harry would kill it with a basilisk fang. It would have actually been cool for Malfoy to not respond to his mother and stay with the Hogwart’s students, and since that scene wasn’t even in the book, the screenwriter could have easily chosen to go that way without upsetting anyone. But even this they messed up, and Malfoy was the only one to cross over to the other side. And with so much battling to supposedly focus on, how did they still manage to omit half the various duel and battle scenes from the book? In hindsight, I guess I always felt similarly let down the first time I saw any of the HP movie adaptation of the book, but this was THE LAST ONE where it was all going to be wrapped up and, after all, they had split the final book into two movies so they could do it justice, right? Prisoner of Azkaban was 174 minutes, they really could have made this one longer than 2 hours and no one would have complained.

THE UPSIDE: For me, the writers and actors did a great job on all the scenes that I had reacted to so emotionally the first time I read the book–all the various deaths, Harry’s walk into the forest and talk with his parents and Sirius, Snape’s memories. Made me feel as affected as the first time I read them (meaning I cried A LOT).

I’m sure after I rewatch it a couple times the sting will fade and like the other movies I will enjoy it as a separate entity from the book.

FOR EVERYONE WHO HAS NOT READ THE BOOKS:
I can’t believe how many posts I have read, including Eric’s, that mention that you are fans of the movies but have not read the books. Is reading DEAD in this country??? If you like the movies, you will like the books a hundred times more. They are so rich and layered and so many supblots and characters add so much to the experience. And you will be so sucked into them you won’t even need a lot of time to read them, you will be done before you know it. If you are one of the many people here who posted that you haven’t read the books but still felt somethign was fundametally lacking in this last movie, PLEASE do yourself a favor and go get these books from your local library, bookstore, pottermore.com, friend/family member whatever.

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82 Seiyurojiko July 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm

me gustan estas criticas por que mas tratan de buscar notoriedad, los que criticaron bien la pelicula no tuvieron tantas respuestas como la suya que fue negativa bien hecho, es la critica exacta de los que buscan copias exactas de los libros sin tomar en cuenta el metraje necesario para lograrlo.

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83 Seiyurojiko July 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I like these reviews because more try to seek notoriety, who criticized the movie did not have either many answers as his refusal was well made, accurate criticism of those who seek exact copies of the books regardless of the footage takes.

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84 christopher Tolle July 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm

All I can say is that Eric has an incredibly handsome smile and he was mean for the silver screen. Fact.

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85 yessy July 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Thanks Krissy!

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86 KC July 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I agree with #61 and #55. The films, although based on the books, are not going to be exactly the same. They deserve different treatments because, as Evan said, they are different means of telling stories. In books you have time for in depth back stories and sub-plots like the friendship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, you have time for 10 pages of dialogue of circling around in the Harry-Voldemort final battle, but in the movies you simply don’t need it. And to the poster of #52, Why should Harry tell Voldemort about Snape’s allegiance and Dumbledore’s intentions when we had already witnessed this explanation moments prior when Harry delved into Snape’s memories? It would be, in my opinion, redundant and repetitive. The dialogue works great in the book, but I feel would dampen the impact of the pensieve scene, because Harry would basically be summarizing what just happened in that memory. However, I do wish that more people had actually witnessed Harry finally defeating Voldemort. It would have made it more powerful for me. When he died, I thought, “That’s it?”

What I feel that both movie and the book do well is convey the themes that are important in this story. The triumph of good over evil, the importance of love and friendship, standing up for what is right, etc. When Harry takes Voldemort and plunges from the tower, you see them twisting as one, the good and the evil, until they eventually form one face for a split second. I thought that part was a great touch.

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87 Betcher Stonestill July 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

You do have valid points, the final showdown with Bella was anticlimactic, as was the desire to turn Harry over to Voldemort by the female student. The book was better. However where you and I disagree is on the point of it being a good adaptation, I feel it is as fast paced and emotional as the last novel. Does it rival adaptations to movies like “Ox Bow Incident” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”..no .If you were looking for a book to film with the thematic imagery and mood that rivals the written adaptation like “In Cold Blood”, with close and highlight of negative space, with it’s lonely shots and shadowing.This ain’t it.Nor would the fans of Rowlings literature want it to be. Nor should you as a critic expect it to be. Deathly Hallows is a good movie that won’t disappoint, is it art..no, but it is great entertainment.

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88 shane o'mailey July 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Krissy, I’m sure that you would like Armond White to have his jaw & lower row of teeth removed, just like Roger Ebert. Am I right?

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89 Carlos July 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm

The movie is suppose to make us feel like everything is happening now, we are in the moment with Harry, Ron and hermione. The books have always been about them and their adventures. I love most sub characters but none more then the trio. The 2 parts are one movie, one half story and other build up till the final confrataion between Harry n’ Voldemort who’ also the books have always been about.

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90 Helena Neto July 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I wouldn’t say I felt dissapointed, at all. I think it was an incredible movie – a constant, almost sickening, and amazing feel of nostalgia and an immense amount of emotions took over me, but I actually did feel like the scene of the death of Voldemort was a bit too brief. I have never read any of the books, so I can’t say anything concerning the adaptation of book to film. I just would have liked to see a bit more of the completion of the whole point of the journey. I would definately not say, however, that it was underwhelming.
I don’t think people should assume you rated the movie negatively to stand out. You made a point and presented reasons. And we should not forget that everyone’s opinion is valid.

(Even though I do think it’s kinda absurd to rate this movie as low as the green lantern, but hey, it’s your view. :P
The point is, a different opinion is never a justification of verbal abuse, any abuse, actually.)

I fucking loved it. It was a perfect ending and I’ll miss this feeling next year, when I finally realise this tradition of ten years has ended.

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91 Michael July 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I agree on some points with you Eric. Yes, some scenes felt rushed, but this IS a movie adaptation of a book. Even with splitting the book into two movies, I was surprised at how much they fit in there (even if many of them were rushed. But again, movie adaptation, can’t have it all).
I think that this is just one of those movies where, if all deleted scenes were included, it would be much, much better. To bring up what #16 Hiro said, where the hack WAS Hagrid? He just showed up like “Hi! Story element here, how are ya’ll doin’?!”
So, yes, I agree that it was rushed and that most things were crammed, but I think I’ll save my final verdict (and I hope you do as well) for any director’s cut or unedited version to hopefully bring the movie series to a more dramatic and satisfying ending.

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92 Paul Bonner July 16, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Like several of other Harry Potter movies, this one felt at times like it was more concerned with checking off all the memorable lines and scenes from the book than with its dramatic pacing. I wouldn’t call it a failure by any stretch, although there were scenes that could have benefited from a more considered pace. Still, it certainly doesn’t come close to mishandling any scene as badly as The Half-Blood Price bungled the death of Dumbledore.

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93 Margarita July 16, 2011 at 11:41 pm

C’mon, really? “TRUE Harry Potter fans”? One person cannot speak for how a whole group of people, numbering in the millions, SHOULD feel. I am a true Harry Potter fan and I was fine with this final movie. I think it may have been because I was under-whelmed by the book. The boring, middle section of the book was in the first part of the movie. I was trying to force my way through that part of the book, to get to the exciting end. And this second movie WAS exciting as well as moving! I did a lot of crying. I know a lot of people are disappointed, but for me, the last book was quite forgettable, and a lot of the scenes that were cut, I don’t remember. I did remember the conflict with Albus and his siblings being cut, but I remembered them as not doing much more than reminding us that Dumbledore was human and capable of mistakes. I guess I should force myself to go back to the book that I have not touched since I finished reading it, to see what people are griping about.

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94 Ashley July 16, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Loved this critique! Definitely my same feelings! I keep getting irritated though by the people who seem to be saying that it was more important for the director to focus more on giving the movie fans a better show than the book fans. Without the book fans these movies would not even exist!! Part 2 was, from a movie lovers point of view, a ‘good satisfactory movie’. Nothing, compared to lets say, LOTR, The Dark Night, The Godfather, Braveheart, etc. I think I even felt more emotion at the end of Toy Story 3!! But, to COMPLETELY change the FINAL EPIC BATTLE between Harry and Voldemort was so unnecessary! Everyone was supposed to be battling Voldemort in the great hall thinking Harry was still dead(THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR HARRY!!!) until Harry suddenly gets up and is like HE’S MINE! and they circle around each other taunting each other while your heart is just pounding with anticipation! The Director and screenwriter’s should’ve known that that particular scene was so important to us true HP book lovers that they should have satisfied us!! J.K. Rowling and the book fans are the one’s who started this phenomenon and we should’ve been the one’s to end it! In the end that final battle…. lame.

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95 Margarita July 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I just wanted to add that I think there wasn’t a whole lot of celebration at the end in Hogwarts because everyone there had just been up for 24 hours, the last several hours were spent trying to kill others, stay alive, grieve, and care for the wounded. I’ve been up for 24 hours NOT doing all that, and if I give you a smile, I must be thrilled because that would use all my energy. It’s the kind of thing where you say, “I would TOTALLY celebrate,” but when it comes down to it, you’re exhausted, surrounded by the dead bodies of friends and family, an awful lot of them children, are you REALLY going to feel like having a party?

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96 Austin July 17, 2011 at 2:59 am

I agree with the review. The books are too dense to adapt to screen fully, so instead of cramming in details they should have stripped away plot elements to provide a more focussed and cohesive narrative.

Also I get annoyed when people say you have to have read the books to understand the movie. I’m not reading a book; I’m watching a movie, so it should explain the storyline properly in it’s own right, instead of relying on the book. 3 stars out of 5 IMO

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97 Lee Allen July 17, 2011 at 7:49 am

THANK YOU FOR NOT BEING BRAINWASHED BY ALL THE HYPE! I agree, Part 2 was quite bad compared to the rest of the 7, especially when part 1 was the best of the series and sensationally shot, directed, acted, and paced. part 2 was a mess. someone reviewed the battle sequences to be better than helms deep in the two towers. that made me spit my drink all over the place. SERIOUSLY!??!! the battles in part 2 were almost none existent, they were terribly shot, and the CGI was quite awful throughout. Thanks for not caving under the pressure of “I must produce a review that says its awesome like the rest of the sheep” it is a truly terrible finale to a truly sensational series.

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98 Maw July 17, 2011 at 11:55 am

Why is it when someone doesn’t like a movie that they liked he/she is accused of just “wanting to stand out”. Have you ever thought that he just didn’t like the movie(just like myself) or naive enough to think that every single person on Earth should like it just because you do?

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99 horcruxed2011 July 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I can’t believe the positive reviews without any mention of the disastrous plot holes created by Half Blood Prince which have never been explained or rectified in either Deathly Hallows I or II. The major plot holes in HBP were the destruction of the Burrow (the Weasley’s home) with fiendfyre. We know that Dumbledore, the Order of the Phoenix and the Ministry of Magic, protected the Burrow from Death Eaters, yet one mediocre wizard-werewolf and one medium strong witch were able to not only break these protections but places beyond magical repair the contents of the house, which then included Hedwig,the items in his trunk, inter ali, Harry’s cloak of invisibility, the magic mirror from Sirius, the HBP Potions Book, the Marauder’s Map, and his broom.
Most of these burned beyond repair items critical elements for the next two films. Yet, despite this successful attack and destruction, we are supposed to believe that there would be any attendees, besides Weasley’s immediate family for Flor’s wedding.
Indeed, the apparent destruction of Harry’s cloak (which he never used for the remainder of HBP and Part I, despite its many uses in the books) is puzzling. It’s reappearance without explanation in Part II is equally mystifying. I understand that without the cloak there would be no Deathly Hallows, and they’d have to change the movies’ name to Harry and the Horcruxes.
The next major hole is the fact that in HBP movie Dumbledore never
gave Harry even half of the memories of Voldemort in the books and told Harry that Horcruxes would be ORDINARY OBJECTS (thus the movie confused Horcruxes which are special objects with portkeys which are disguised as ordinary objects). Thus the only memories of Voldemort, Harry had, concerns the diary, the locket and the ring. There is no exposition of what the other potential horcruxes could be, and for audiences not familiar with the book, this omission is mind bending. Since Harry does not read Voldemort’s mind with respect to the other horcruxes until after he seizes the horcrux in Gringott’s Bank Vault of the LeStranges’, he could not know what to look for in the many objects contained therein. Indeed, he could not know of the tens of billions of objects in Britain, what objects, aside from the locket, to search for. Thus, without major rectification from the screenwriter and director, there is no logical way for Harry to search and find the remaining four horcruxes. At least in LOTR, Frodo knew what the ring was and where the ring had to be destroyed, but the director and screenwriters of Deathly Hallows totally destroyed the plot lines that would lead to Harry’s success.
So, without any review addressing these grand canyon sized plot holes, and without the movie correcting the misinformation provided in the HBP, Part II will not and cannot be any satisfying and completing finale to the series.

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100 Maple July 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm

They should do Harry Potter part 9 “The Forgotten Scenes’ Lol.

Sorry to the people who said that they don’t care for the book. Its just that we love that STORY so much that we want people to know the beauty of the Harry Potter Saga. Everytime i ask for people’s opinion about Harry Potter they say its an okay story but pretty confusing so i asked them to read the book but they just don’t have time for it as everyone is busy with work/studies. Its just lame that our favorite book is labelled an OKAY/CONFUSING story just because of the movie :

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101 Krissy July 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Hi Shane and Maw! Some of us who first thought Eric was one of attention-seeking critics have retracted our comments/view; if you read all of the posts above, you will see this. ;) I’ll be the first to admit that I initially thought Eric went against the majority for false reasons.

Please understand that I do respect others’ viewpoints and DO NOT believe in calling someone names or wishing harm to those who have different opinions. When I see people doing this (if you look on RT, you’ll see how often this occurs), it really gets to me, and I think it’s completely wrong. I do, however, also believe it’s wrong to argue and go against the majority for the sake of receiving attention or monetary gain.

It is a professional film critic’s job to fairly review a movie and give valid reasons as to why it is good or bad/worth our time or not worth our time. To be a critic, there must be some standards or rules; don’t you think?

Have you ever read a review in which the critic can’t give any solid reasons as to why the movie is rotten? Some are very biased and downright mean toward the writers, directors, actors, etc. (and sometimes even to the moviegoers who liked the film they supposedly didn’t), and they can’t reasonably explain their comments. It is clear that SOME (not the majority) critics are dishonest for the sake of gaining site clicks and selling papers or magazines.

I wish that I would have seen all of Eric’s comments on both sites prior to posting. Yes, in the heat of the moment, I did what I truly hate…assumed something without reading or knowing more. Upon seeing Eric’s television review, I expected more and thought that was all we got, and he seems to understand this.

Eric noted that he didn’t have enough time to explain his feelings toward the movie due to his “little over a minute” on the news. Remember, some of us only saw that and weren’t given many valid reasons as to why this film is a failure. Eric not only posted again on this site but also commented on Rotten Tomatoes (several times) in order to further critique the film and give his opinions.

Although I don’t agree with this review and will continue to recommend this film (yes, I LOVED it), I no longer believe that Eric is a dishonest, attention-seeking movie critic. I respect him, and again, I apologized to him for assuming something based on a one minute review.

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102 vladdy July 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm

How right you are. Pedestrian, commercialized, Hollywoodized versions of what should have been classics.

Disapointing, as are all the Potters since Yates took over. He leaves out the charm, magic, character study, and humor, turning each of his slogs through Rowlings’s classic witchery into an imitation “Transformers.”

Um…you know how Dumbledore had this whole, intense relationship with his family, which led to his “use” of Harry (although he was “pretty sure” he wouldn’t die), and the themes of pentanance, sacrifice, and redemption? Well, now they’re replaced with insufferable lengths of CGI crashes, explosions, and dare-we-forget, chases of every manner.

The first four movies (and all the books) will go down in cultural lore as classics. The last four, unfortunately, will be remembered fondly mostly by only those who were raised on a diet of special effects and ka-booms, each in blindingly speedy cuts, rather than by story and theme.

P.S. What’s Yates’s problem with emotion? In DH1, everytime it came up, it was heavily melodramatic — the scene with Ron’s jealousy over the Harry-Hermione vision was an embaressment — or flat. Now in this one, he gives a few minutes to Dumbledore, and has no time to waste over dramatic kisses, deaths, or revisiting loved ones thought lost. Even urgently-vital memories that tie the plot together are rushed or worse, left out, so he can give us more sparks and fireworks.

P.S. Even the enchanting theme is used mostly to pound puzzled viewers (the plot itself is missing for large parts of the experience) into feeling the appropriate imitation of cheap emotion — sentiment, adventure, sorrow — at the correct moment.

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103 vladdy July 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Sorry. PIMF. The first notation “P.S.” should not be in front of “What’s…” (It was meant to be the last paragraph, followed by the music P.S.) Thanks.

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104 Chandler July 18, 2011 at 6:44 am

I agree that the deaths of Fred, Lupin, Tonks ect were not really there, (I mean, we kind of got to see the Weasley’s mourning over Fred during the seise fire, but not much else.) Nor was the Ariana backstory. Not very many of the duels were shown because we were focusing on Ron and Hermionie going down to the Chamber of Secrets. Voldemort’s demise would’ve been a lot better had it been in the great hall with audio, I have no justification as to why they did that, as it wouldn’t have taken up THAT much time. But, the movie did have a lot going for it. The Gringott’s scene was AWESOME! Snape’s death, and the pensive scene had me tearing up, as well as the epilouge. The acting was phenomenal and the effects were really well done. I thought that it did justice to the Harry Potter series and brought it to a satisfying close. Sure, it wasn’t as good as the book, but is ANY movie that’s adapted from the book? Eric, you’re not an attention seeking troll like the 6 other critics on Rotten Tomatoes who wrote bad reviews that didn’t actually explain what the movie did wrong. You had valid reasons why you didn’t like it, and to an extent, I agree with you. But, as a Harry Potter fan, I loved the movie, knowing that they did leave stuff left out, but it was an epic and satisfying conclusion to the series that left me wanting to go back and watch all of the movies all over again.

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105 CC July 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Your review is spot-on.

I like the books, and I’ve enjoyed all the films, but this final part — fine as it is (but just fine, I’m afraid) — often doesn’t make the most of the original material.

Not that it’s _bad_; but it should, and could, have been done better.

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106 john K July 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I totally agree with this review. The movie was rushed and the final battle between Harry and Voldemort was a total anti-climax. And for those of you that dont agree with Eric Melin: Have you READ the book?! COME ON!

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107 egc52556 July 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I agree with Melin. The HP movie series often looked like illustrations of the books, Deathly Hallows 2 all the more so, edited with a hatchet.

On the other hand, the DVD long-form edit may make restore what the hatchet removed. Like Lord of the Rings, it looks much better on disk than in the theater.

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108 Jeff_Georgia July 18, 2011 at 9:02 pm

To all you Voldemort-needed-to-die-bigger-and-harder hatas I say this: dude was being killed a piece at a time all the way back to HP6. Besides, the money shot was not Voldemort and Harry were “crossing the streams” outside; it was when Neville Longbottom finally chopped the head off that damned snake with Godric Gryffindor’s own sword. With the horcrux inside Harry having been killed by Voldemort’s curse earlier, we knew by that point in the film that Nagini the snake was the last horcrux – the last thing that kept Voldemort immortal. Voldemort’s “final death,” therefore was anticlimactic by design.

I expressed to my wife that I would have appreciated it more if Voldemort’s death, like Bellatrix LeStrange’s, had been less of a CGI-fest and have a more visceral and natural core effect (even if on a higher level it was highly unnatural – think of Ron’s “splinching” in HP7-A or the first baboon teleportation attempt in Cronenberg’s THE FLY). But I realized that there would be young children in the audience and the mercifully semi-hidden snake attack on Snape was plenty strong stuff as it was. But perhaps what you guys are understandably and naturally reacting to was the obviously false ring of a CGI death that shorts out your mind’s concept of what it might really look like to corporeally die from exposure to some beam of “magical power.”

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109 Kyralessa July 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Jeff_Georgia, Neville’s killing of Nagini was supposed to be a high point, but the high point in the book was a hundred times more powerful than what ended up on the screen.

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110 Jeff_Georgia July 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Kyralessa: I don’t dispute the power of the book, but I find it irrelevant. This is a review of a *film* we’re discussing; you seem to be going further than Eric Melin did in making it a book-adaptation-fidelity assessment instead. At the risk of being Captain Obvious, I have to point out that films necessarily must communicate stories in a largely visual language. A screenwriter or a director has to modulate everything that goes on that screen for psychological effect; just one aspect of this is how *much* information is there at any one time. If Harry and Voldemort were surrounded by a milling throng (IIRC that’s how it goes down in the book) during their final faceoff, Yates and Kloves would have had to have all these faces and all this movement in the background…they wanted to take down the noise level so that we could focus on the two dueling principals and still have some headroom with which to process the busy intercut shots involving Ron, Hermoine, Nagini, and Neville.

I’ve been through all the books (audiobooks, actually) but I have no special attachment or investment in them other than having enjoyed some really good stories…but when I step into that theater I’m watching a *film* not a *”book-on-screen”*.

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111 Trey Hock July 18, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Jeff, we all wanted to watch a film and not a visual companion to a book we’d already read. Voldemort dying from flakey skin and dandruff, just looked like a Nivea commercial gone wrong. It was a letdown for sure.

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112 Oliver July 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Thank Yates for murdering the prince’s tale in deathly hallows 2. Apart from Rickman’s performance, the scene was utterly terrible. The only reason why anybody would say they enjoyed it is because the scene ignited their memory of the prince’s tale as it is in the book. I don’t think any other HP movie has sacrificed so much plot for an action sequence.

Also, when Voldemort died in the film, the next scene cuts to some people drinking hot chocolate. What was going through their minds?
“Harry said Voldemort died. Cool. What do we do now?”
There was absolutely ZERO reflection after Voldemort’s death.

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113 newman July 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I have no problem with making changes, telescoping, or streamlining. Cinema and literature are different media. What I do have a problem with is making changes that make little sense and worse, removing central themes.

When you remove the Dumbledore family/father figure with feet of clay theme, one that is central to Harry’s arc of growing to manhood, you take away what the story is really about. Without this, what the hell is the King’s Cross scene for? It becomes pointless. Why does Dumbledore even show up? It reminded me of Order of the Phoenix movie, where the whole raison d’etre for the book (the big reveal between Dumbledore and Harry in the Headmasters office after Sirius’ death) is essentially removed.

The issue with the end is that you remove a scene in which Harry is revealed as fully grown, mature, and in charge. Revealed in front of all Hogwarts and shows Voldemort in contrast as the stunted child he always has been. A great, character driven scene was replaced for senseless, generic action. Yates/screenwriters evidently felt more faith in CGI than letting his actors shoot for what could have been a Nicholson/Cruise “You Can’t Handle the Truth!” scene. One with real emotional weight and closure. Instead it’s chase, chase , Zap, and tack on a brief explanation after the fact.

The Gringott’s scene was streamlined and changed in ways that made sense and was very effective. Too many of the decisions did not. That was clumsy filmmaking and a shame. That a central theme and the closure to your main character’s arc was simply left out? Damning.

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114 Meg July 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

Eric, thank you for your review. I saw the film this weekend and was also disappointed, especially after having seen the high rating on RT. While there were some enjoyable bits, the major plot elements that were removed or changed irritated me to no end. I left the theater feeling that the potential HP7 had for becoming a truly great movie had been ignored in favor of a mediocre movie. Admittedly, I’m a huge fan of the books and it’s difficult to separate them from the movies, but I specifically didn’t reread HP7 prior to watching either of the movies because I wanted to watch them for their own merit. I’d like to watch them back to back to see if that changes my opinion of HP7pt2, but my fresh-from-the-viewing reaction to this film was composed of admiration for Alan Rickman (I had expected to bawl my eyes out for most of the movie, but only his subplot made me cry) and a dead sort of feeling in my chest. That emptiness was certainly partly due to the realization that a defining aspect of my childhood had just come to a close (I was 10 when Philosopher’s Stone – the book – came out), but also due to feeling somewhat cheated that this last farewell to characters in whom I invested so much of myself could be so much less than I imagined.

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115 Dev July 20, 2011 at 7:31 am

Eric, you rock. Totally agree with your post and I’m very glad at the comments that it has sparked. If you averaged your post with all the supportive comments, you would get my view of the movie.

Not enough closure and far too fast-paced.

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116 Nathanael July 21, 2011 at 3:36 am

@Eric Melin: “It’s weird that Yates and crew gave Ron, Hermione, and Harry so much time to develop and deepen in “Part 1,””

Well, given that, after the opening scene, nothing much really happens in the first two-thirds of book 7, the screenwriters had little to do with their 146 minutes EXCEPT character development.

@Deborah: “Particularly disappointing was changing the final fight scene into a private battle”

@Jennifer: “he final showdown between V and Harry was, sadly, completely underdone and cut way too short. The whole dialogue that occurred between these two in the book, is so memorable and significant, having it cut OUT almost entirely was a HUGE let down.”

I thought HP7.2 was worth 3 out of 5 stars. The whole thing suffered severe pacing problems. The LONG roller-coaster ride down to the Lestrange vault, while a visual treat, contributed nothing to the story line. The nearly full minute of screen time given over to Hermione’s melodramatic facial contortions before plunging the basilisk tooth into the horcrux could have been much better spent on, say, giving Fred Weasley an onscreen death. And the Prince’s Tale in the pensieve, while important for explaining Snape, was misplaced: the whole pace of the battle comes to a screeching halt to give us this slow, lilting flashback, before suddenly plunging back into the frenzy. Right scene, wrong time.

However, there were things I actually enjoyed better in the movie, and here I strongly disagree with Deborah and Jennifer. I was glad to be spared the whole corny, nonsensical musical-wand-masters speech in the final duel, and I felt like the entire not-so-epic epic Battle of Hogwarts came off in the book like something of a punk-themed junior prom, with all the participants jumping and flailing to an artificially frantic beat, before clearing the dance floor for the king and queen of the hop. The movie gave the Battle more gravitas than the book (though it still came off as less-than-epic, probably due to the fact that it was kept a bit too much off-screen). And I thought moving the final duel off to the side allowed the film to give it a more intimate, personal touch.

However, all the wand pyrotechnics was pure cheese. At times I wasn’t sure if I was watching Harry Potter, or an old fashioned James-Kirk-led phaser battle.

As to the pacing, I lay a large part of the blame at Rowling’s doorstep. Book 7 was a big, lumbering mess of a novel, that would have been much better served by omitting the entire Hallows story arc, which contributed far too little to the plot to justify its cumbersomeness. Imagine a book 7 unencumbered with 200-plus pages of Wandering in the Wilderness waiting for Harry to make up his mind while the whole wizarding world is crashing down around him. Imagine all the loose ends Rowling could have tied up if she’d had those 200 pages washed clean to start over with. Imagine a final duel freed from the clumsiness of the “guess-the-master” monologue Harry wasted his breath (and our braincells) on. And imagine a book that didn’t spend so much time on character development for a guy that’s ALREADY DEAD. Finally, imagine what’s then left of movie 7.1 subsumed with 7.2 into a single, 3-hour action-packed finale, rather than the stretching — “like butter that’s been scraped over too much bread” — of an already tedious and underpaced novel over five hours of screentime.

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117 Leona Obbrace July 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Ok, only one issue I disagree with is that you blame the directors & screenplay guys for the letdown. No, no, no, this falls squarely on the shoulders of David Heyman the producer! He is the one that made the law that all focus was to be on Harry Potters emotional journey. Now imagine LotR with more than half the screen time devoted to Frodo, cutting out the much of the battles & dialogue which did not involve him directly. Imagine all of the Star Wars movies almost exclusively focusing on Luke. Notice they each have films where we hardly see the hero in order to develop story lines & other important characters to the story. Six films is more than enough time to do that. It was absolutely unnecessary to make so many of the actors angry & resentful ( as seen in interviews & press conferences) by having them stand around to walk on the set now & again. I can not believe that of all the times Hagrid was attacked & fought his way out of trouble we do not see him fight once! There is no justification for this. Many have given credence to this horrible lie that it is because of the difficulty of adapting the book to movies, hogwash. I have seen too many movies well done to believe such foolishness & the actors would have not been so insulted if this were the case. It was a decision , one which allowed a cap on the costs of the films, one which made it easier to finish one each year, it made writing the screenplay much easier but it was poor work. It was worse since it should have been spared no time, effort or money to make sure this all British production was epic. Instead it was incomplete.
On a side note I have read some reviews on books that having read, come to the conclusion that the critic was just following the crowd reaction & did not read it. I have heard one critic gush about the big quidditch match in Goblet of Fire, & there was none. When there is such a loyal fan base that is full of passion no matter the actual quality.. critics will avoid ridicule & ride the bandwagon.

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118 Bob July 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

“Bungles?”
“Underwhelming?”
This guy was on qualudes at the screening.

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119 Trey Hock July 23, 2011 at 6:00 am

Quaaludes? Is this 1978? I enjoyed the film, but it was not the resonant or lasting emotional punch the gut it could have been.

And for anyone who’s interested, here is my print review of “Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

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120 Evan R July 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Nice review and dead on. I’m a big fan of Harry Potter, and even with a great deal of knowledge about the plot from at least 5 re-readings of every book, I still feel these movies rush, and try to add in the entire plot by flashing images across the screen for only seconds at a time. I still enjoy watching them, but I do forgive the acting and poor script writing (Fuck Kloves, he thinks he can write a better script than Rowling did in her own book). Personally, I would rather have seen HP as a TV series… the plot lines would have been a lot stronger in that form I think.

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121 Psylvia July 29, 2011 at 1:45 am

I agree. The film was faithful to the wrong elements entirely.
The writing was consistently catastrophic. The script fixates on some of the best lines in the book, then omits the context that makes them wonderful, rendering them disjointed and meaningless, then throws in pathetic quips that did not elicit a single laugh from the audience. And then come the clumsy denouements that remind me more of an Agatha Christie Poirot monologue than one of the poignant dialogues at which J.K. Rowling so excels. The “King’s Cross” death scene is especially offensive. Oh, and why why WHY would they include any mention of Dumbledore’s backstory if they aren’t willing to explain it?
The adult cast is appalling; Lupin and Shacklebolt made me cringe during their absurd, supposedly funny exchange. I never thought that Ralph Fiennes could fail so spectacularly, but apparently I am too naive. He was downright laughable, as was Dumbledore.
The main problem was a lack of subtlety and maturity. Snape’s death and the final fight–the two most beautiful moments– were so, so painfully obvious. A fistfight? Really? They insert all the details, but don’t even hint at the significance.
The pathos was entirely absent. I tear up every time I read Fred’s death, but in the movie it has no emotional power. They fail to portray the major themes, especially Voldemort’s persistent incapacity to understand love. The plot goes on, but nothing. Means. Anything.
This movie needed to be done without the slavish attachment to arbitrary plot elements (like the Molly/Bellatrix duel) that they had no chance of executing well.

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122 Evelyn July 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Completely agree with Eric Melin that the movies work as a summary, not as stand-alone works. I too realize that the books were too long to be adapted with every storyline in place, but from the very first HP movie the pacing was breakneck, leaving me disappointed after each one. If you didn’t know the books, you would have been lost–particularly in Deathly Hallows 2. Oh, Remus and Tonks have a son? That comes out of nowhere. Percy suddenly appears. Why is everyone camping out in the room of requirement? What’s the story about Ariana? On and on. And so many key emotional moments were lost–Fred’s death being chief among them.

And one thing that’s always bugged me is Harry’s eyes. They’re blue!! Were green contacts not in the budget? And in Deathly Hallows 2, Snape’s last words were how Harry’s eyes were just like his mother’s, and then they show a brown-eyed Lily.

And, just for the record, the extra money to see it in 3D was a waste. Only in a few scenes with the Dementors did it really work. All in all, after watching Deathly Hallows 2, I came away with a longing to reread the books. Your review and list of the 8 HP movies was spot-on, Eric.

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123 sanjiv August 3, 2011 at 6:26 am

To illustrate Jennifer’s point #18 #31 #53, I have pasted following lines from my blog elsewhere.

Harry Potter fans who have read the novel will be disappointed. The movie is just rushing through all the scenes. No character build up, no emotional backing. And the end is total anti-climax.

Just before the duel between Voldemort and Harry, there is a crucial dialog mentioned in the book. Harry discloses many critical facts that Voldemort had missed. Rather than other forces of magic, it is this revelation that brings down Voldemort psychologically.

They are (in Harry’s words)
1. You won’t be killing anyone else tonight. I sacrificed myself willingly without resistance. Just like my mother’s death protected me, my friends are now protected from you.

2. You did not get Dumbledore killed. Dumbledore was already dying. He chose his own manner of dying and planned it months before. He arranged the whole thing with Snape.

3. Severus Snape wasn’t yours. He was Dumbledore’s and you never realized it, because of the thing (love) you can’t understand. You never saw Snape cast a Patronus, did you, Riddle? He was Dumbledore’s spy and he’s been working against you.

4. You think Elder wand is yours. Didn’t you listen to Ollivander? The wand chooses the wizard. The true master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy. Then I overpowered Draco. If the wand in your hand knows how its last master was disarmed, then I am the true master of the Elder Wand.

And also some acerbic remarks like “You don’t learn from your mistakes, do you?” shattered Voldemort’s ego. Voldemort’s realization that all things have gone against him, and that Harry (albeit getting help from others) has turned out to be smarter than him weakened him inside out.

All this cannot be summarized with what we see in movie- just “why do you live Harry?” “because I have something worth living for”.

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124 Peter August 5, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Not all book to movie adaptations aren’t horrible, but the directors of the Harry Potter series failed to show the real magic of the books. They under-analyzed the deep issues and emotions portrayed in the books.

I just don’t understand why they have to ruin some of the most captivating moments of the books by replacing it with bull-shit action scenes. Riddle and Harry’s face-off the way Rowling wrote it was a lot better than watching Voldemort and Harry tousle in the air at shoot sparks at each other.

Sure, bring in an audience that hasn’t read the books, but don’t wash it down to a simple formula that any idiot can follow.

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125 Lia August 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

Got to say i agree, this was possibly the most underwhelming of the Potter franchise.
Given the amount of huge emotional moments from the book that took place in this film there was incredibly little emotional content or punch.
I expected to be moved to tears by the ending of Snape’s character arc, to cry and laugh and smile at Neville’s continuing transformation into a reallife hero; to be saddened at the paralells between tonks and remus deaths and the potters deaths.

I didn’t, and as far as I could tell neither died anyone else in the cinema. Cinematography was good, the acting was some of the best I’ve seen out of the cast, but the direction or editing was appalling, rushing through the story in such a way as to leave the audience struggling to suspend disbeleif or engage with the characters, and then lingering over endless scenes of Harry walking down stairs, through the woods or round Hogwarts.

Watchign Harry return to hogwarts was painful, his hunt for the ravenclaw diadem felt rather like the director had gone off for a lunchbreak leaving a crowds of random extra’s saying well we don’t know what to do so we’ll just run round up and down stairs several times and get in Harry’s way.

Missing out on the opportunity to bring real adult complexity to the cast of characters was unforgivable, Snape, Draco and Dumbledore should all in this ending piece be revealed was both more and less than the black and white view of Harry (and us the audience) had in the first few installments.

A tortureed antihero torn between two demanding masters, playing spy for 20 years, hated by everyone and trusted by no-one.
A weakwilled boy struggling with family loyalty to a distant father, now out of his depth as his childish taunts at schoolyard enemies become a reality of war and death
A manipulative, clever ‘master’ wizard constantly plotting behind the facade of a twinkling greybeard, sending two generations of people out to die.

These were the characters I wanted to see, but their stories where dropped in favour of leaden set pieces of wand waving and unnecesary exposition.

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126 robertostacoshop August 24, 2011 at 12:20 am

Number one this a great example of Supply Side Economics.. when you are guaranteed well over a billion dollar box office no matter what you put on a screen funny how you don’t end up with Citizen Kane.. why bother making it good, it’s just another money suck device. The books are good but come on, seven volumes & well over 3000 pages for a coming of age morality tale? You can’t charge young people $245 for a set of hardcover books or whatever ipad charges (don’t believe in that) that’s supposed to be about putting family, friends & school first. And then do it again for bad movies. That’s called hypocrisy.

The movies, all after the the first were doomed anyway. Who in their right mind chains a megafranchise like this to 3 ten year old actors? This is what you get, no 1 is a drunk, no 2 is a recluse, & no 3 went darkside after puberty & btw none of them can act at all. Americans don’t get Queen’s English & will never understand anything.. plus the director thinks theme is a grey lens filter.

Even the books are overblown, allegory in this day & is as profound as it gets; it’s like a virus in Harry Potter, everywhere and there’s at least 2 dozen Chekov’s Guns. There’s one truly great character, Snape and his journey from static villain to to dynamic tragic hero is worthy of comparison to Holden Caufield but there’s no subtlety anywhere. Everything is way overdone, totally linear and never gives a young reader or viewer any challenge or crisis of conscience. Maybe most have been to annihilated by commercial television and video games to even get Mockingbird or On the Road & they have to be pandered to with nonreality & lowest common denominators but my kids haven’t & I wish they had something with substance to hang their generational hat on, they deserve better than this. Paying this kind of money for this is just more extortion.

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127 Puberty 101 September 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I must say I completely agree with your review here. The climax scene was a real let down. I enjoyed the book more than the movie.

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