I’ve read all the books and I’ve seen all the movies, so the culmination of all these years should be something magnificent. Unfortunately, I felt less than I wanted to and I felt almost underwhelmed by this final movie, not achieving the epic climax that I was expecting and hoping for.
So what does work?
The action scenes are pretty incredible and much more epic than I even imagined while reading the books. The effects during these scenes are spot-on and incredibly believable. I was on the edge of my seat as the Death Eaters attacked Hogwarts. Simply amazing stuff.
I also appreciated the pacing, mostly. Since they split the book into two movies, this allowed them to dwell on some moments that really deserved it. But unfortunately, they also dwelt too long on other sections, while completely blowing past some pretty important events. In one instance, Harry has to ask a ghost for help in finding an ancient artifact. This scene seemed to take forever and there was no real payoff. Other events, such as the many deaths in this movie, were almost ignored. Characters that we’ve fallen in love with were killed off-screen and we just see a brief shot of their corpse.
This begins what doesn’t work. I wanted to feel something. I wanted to bawl my eyes out. Just as I felt nothing when Dumbledore was killed in book 6 (another “I wanted to feel something” moment), they wasted every occasion to invoke some sort of emotion in the audience. In Part 1, they give Dobby the death he deserves, but in Part 2, they don’t even show some of the characters, just reference that they were killed.
And even the deaths they did show were lacking the punch that I wanted. The moment that I’ve been waiting for (the series of flashbacks that Harry witnesses which changes everything we thought we knew) was rather uneventful. I was expecting this film to be an epic and emotional roller coaster that had me smiling and crying at the same time.
Instead, I got a film that summarized the books without any of the heart.
And even though I applauded the effects during most of the action scenes, some of the other effects were horrible. I found Voldemort’s nose to be more distracting than usual and the effects (both CG and makeup) in the “epilogue” were atrocious. It was supposed to be a heartfelt ending but the whole theatre was laughing.
In general, a few things were right on the money but everything that I wanted fell flat and I was disappointed. I know the critics are giving this movie rave reviews (currently 97% on RottenTomatoes.com) but it just didn’t do it for me.
Feel free to disagree in the comments below!