With the lack of excitement from the last Harry Potter film winging it’s way through my minds eye, I felt duty bound to watch the last in the sequel, knowing full well that the magical experience would perish in comparison to the first film. Just as with the James Bond films, because the story was written by a Brit, we all feel as if we have to put the disapproving opinions of film critics to one side and endure it personally.
Just as I started off the last Harry Potter review with a small disclaimer, I have not read the books, and therefore I am not comparing it to how original the book is, I am comparing it to the previous films. I am not a Harry Potter purest, I enjoy a good film, and if the Harry Potter film doesn’t do the book justice than that is an argument for another day – I’m reviewing the film, and the story the film puts across, the quality of the acting, and CGI.
With the opening credits rolling, there is a sense of magic in the air, for those who have viewed all of the films as they came out, it does feel as if this is one of the ‘childhood heroes’ which you have grown up with, and dedicated a large proportion of your life to; and as such there is an air of sadness in the air. For those who have not read the books, you will still know that JK has already categorically stated that there will be no more Harry Potter, and even the story like confirms this.
The seventh and last book was divided into two films, this can either be interpreted to make more money in ticket revenue, or because if both films were combined, it would have been an unhealthy length. Regardless of whether I thought the story line of part 1 could have been written on the back of a postage stamp, my life has not revolved around Harry Potter, nor did i watch the past 7 films back to back before heading out to the cinema so I can’t remember where we left the story.
What I needed at the beginning of film was a ‘previously on Harry Potter’, a prequel if you will, to refresh your memory, sadly this wasn’t as in depth as I would have liked, and I had to spend the first ten to fifteen minutes trying to recall the storyline.
If there is one thing that is spot on with all Harry Potter films, it’s the sound track, the music either playing in the background or taking centre stage depicts the mood perfectly and adds what the acting by the main characters do not.
The last review I wrote slated the acting ability of the three main characters, I begin watching part two with an open mind, and I almost willed Harry, Ron and Hermione to show the same level of acting as they did in the first film, however it would appear that they acting ability has not grown to the same magnitude as the characters they portray. Daniel Radcliffe’s acting is desperate at best as he attempts to fill the shoes that the Harry Potter franchise has created, with his two supporting actors doing their best with the inexperience they have.
The best actor by far is Alan Rickman, from the very offset I knew that he would have been the person I would cast to portray any villain. I have been promised by those who read the book that the final film would be the one where Snape would feature the most. His acting is by far the most original, he adds a touch of class to the proceeding with his subtle ‘villain tones’.
With regards to CGI, a vast improvement on the last film, I could have chosen to watch it in 3D, however that gimmick as sailed, dragons and spells looked realistic (well as realistic as a spell can do), CGI was used sparingly, and I can tell that this time the producers were focused a lot more on getting the story across, rather than glitts an glamour.
That said, storyline was a bit hit and miss for me, the film was lengthy and once again feel that it could have been compressed into a third of the time. A few elements of humour were sprinkled throughout, however most of the time you were left with the three main characters on screen doing their best to act out a part that had outgrown them.
Looking back on the Harry Potter films as a whole, all the magic, awe and surprises came with the first few films, and gradually got weaker. I don’t think this is a fault of the directors per say, it’s the natural progression of a multi-part storyline. When the first one is so good, and so original, sadly there is only one way to go and that’s down.
Having said all of that, was it a good film, yes it wasn’t too bad. I really did want to dislike it as much as the previous one, however no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t. The storyline was a bit of a miss for me, but it was well put together, the music, graphics and emotion was spot on. You could feel that it was the end of an era, and that after 8 films the magic of Harry Potter is no more.
Would I watch Harry Potter 7 Part 2 again, probably not, it’s the end of a story and indeed a milepost that we have been waiting for a long time, the film wasn’t the worst by far, however it was neither the best. If you’ve watched all of the films so far then you have to watch the last one, however if not, if imagine you would be rather disappointed.