Monday, April 15, 2024

Harry Potter Ends Darkly and Beautifully: Sniff!


“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2” opens tonight in New York with a big premiere and Friday everywhere. If you’ve read the books, you know what happens. Either way, I can report that “DH2” is a satisfying finale for “Harry Potter,” tying up all the loose ends and giving all the characters one last chance to say goodbye. “DH2” isĀ  dark movie, and by that I mean, it has its grim moments that are very arty on behalf of director David Yates. After all, it’s not all fun and games anymore at Hogwart’s. Indeed, poor Hogwart’s takes quite a beating in this eighth movie, although it survives to educate more classes of young wizards.

There’s not a lot of Quidditch this time around, not nearly enough flying, although one prehistoric bird does provide transportation for Harry, Hermione, and Ron. Alas, the latter two don’t have a lot to do in this final installment–it’s all about Harry, his parents, and circling around to the original story about Harry losing his parents. There are great special effects that will look terrific in 3D (I saw it on an old fashioned screen). I do agree with some of the criticism I’ve read — the ending is very much patterned on the book, and it’s a little economical.

The wrap up– a jump 19 years into the future–seems hurried after 8 movies. But in getting there at least Yates gives everyone a sayonara. “DH2” has no competition at the box office this Friday. Everyone wants to see the big ending. I do think this will break a lot of records, even though it’s really a piece of “DH1.” But it’s totally enjoyable, and a great way to say goodbye.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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