If you recall, my first impression of Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 was less than stellar. I liked, but did not love it. I’m a little late in posting this second review (I saw it over a week ago at the midnight showing). So, how did my second viewing go?
Well, sadly to say, my opinion is largely unchanged. Once I got over the shock of it, I felt a little more forgiving, but on the whole…I still find it a bit of a let-down. I know I’m really in the minority in this. This film, more than any of the others in the series, has received hugely positive feedback. Yet I (and most of my family members who saw it, plus one friend) still prefer Part I.
My main complaint is that the film was too rushed. It was the shortest in the series, yet it didn’t need to be. This was the ending, so I feel like they could and should have taken all the time possible to make it perfect. A lot of the key points and characters from the book are in there, but for a split second! Hardly anything made much of an emotional impact on me because it was just BANG, move on to another scene without any time to digest anything. The moments that moved me the most were The Prince’s Tale and The Forest Again, because they were slower pace. Like a lot of Part 1, they gave the scenes time to breathe so I could actually digest what was happening.
I was so disappointed with the lack of the side characters. They were all brought back and there was all this build-up in the beginning leading the audience to believe that they would be featured in some epic battle scenes. But they weren’t! We saw a couple cool shots of them getting ready for the battle and a couple seconds of them fighting, but that was it. Lupin and Tonks had one nice moment reaching their hands out to each other, but that was it before we see their dead bodies. We never learned about their son, so when Harry mentions it in The Forest Again, instead of being an emotional moment, it’s just a head-scratcher. The same goes for Fred Weasley. The twins have a nice but waaay too brief scene on the roof and Fred’s only line in the movie is “yeah.” I was so mad we didn’t get the wonderfully written, abrupt, and tragic death scene in the book- or at least have him featured in the movie a bit more! Lavender Brown is clearly brutally killed, but it’s never mentioned again. Hagrid is mysteriously absent during the whole movie until he suddenly shows up as the Death Eaters’ hostage in the forest. How did he get captured? What was he doing the whole time?
My next big complaint also has to do with battling- namely, the handling of the Molly/Bellatrix and Harry/Voldemort duels. Where were the audiences during these scenes? Molly vs. Bellatrix is over in a second with no one watching. The intensity of the book scene is totally absent because it’s over in a split second and it wasn’t treated as as big of a deal. Mrs. Weasley just smiles in satisfaction to herself afterward, which I felt was totally out of character. Harry and Voldemort’s duel, on the other hand is terribly drawn out to be made more “cinematic.” I didn’t really care to see them falling over the side of the castle or the Dragonball Z-esque long-ass shot of their spells colliding. And then Voldemort just disintegrates once Neville kills the snake? Okay, I get that all his horcruxes are gone, but he still actually has to be killed! I never saw the spell actually hit him. And once again, like Molly and Bellatrix, no one is watching. And afterward- where’s the reaction from everyone? They’re all just chilling in the Great Hall waaay too casually. No cheers and whoops or sobbing and laughter? It was too toned down.
I think the easiest thing to do is list the rest of my quibbles/complaints.
- Angle of Ron/Hermione kiss scene- All you could see was the back of Ron’s head.
- Draco apparating into the castle- why couldn’t they all just apparate away then?
- Luna randomly appearing in the Room of Requirement when she had been at Shell Cottage earlier that day.
- Voldemort hugging Draco- no, just no.
- Awkward/forced Harry/Ginny- always big fail in the movies.
- Random Neville/Luna
- No explanation for the end of Wormtail. He was clearly alive at the end of Part 1, yet nowhere to be found here. Did Voldy kill him in rage at some point in between?
- Young Lily clearly has brown eyes. No one caught this?
- I wasn’t crazy with Harry telling Ron and Hermione he was going into the forest, but their reaction pissed me off. Hermione hugs him and offers to go with him, but Ron does not and they don’t hug?
- Harry breaking the Elder Wand and not repairing his old wand.
Ah, my expectations were just way too high for this. The wonderful book and Part 1 just got my hopes up so much. Part 1 was so faithful and let the story breathe. This didn’t have the same feel for me and of course I was let down. My rating is up, but not by much.
My Rating: 7/10