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Harry Potter’s Conclusion Will Satisfy Almost Everyone

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Directed by David Yates
Written by Steve Kloves from the novel by J.K. Rowling
Warner Bros., 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is probably the best entry in a tremendously successful franchise, mainly because J.K. Rowling’s 7-book series culminated with a great amount of action, tremendous plot points, and ultimately, character arcs that came to their conclusion with redemption, tragedy, and heroism.  I don’t think anyone was going to confuse Rowling with Shakespeare, but she got the matters of story down like the very best.

In movie terms, you’re not supposed to have one of your best entries at number 8.  You’re not even supposed to be good beyond 3.  But this is what happens when a franchise is based on something that actually took time to produce, rather than the quick turnaround for most franchises trying to land a great release date and cash in as soon as possible.

In the final Harry Potter adventure, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), along with friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), are trying to find and destroy the remaining horcruxes, the items in which bad wizard Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) stored sections of his soul to become immortal.  It begins with a “heist” of the Goblin-run wizard bank Gringott’s, and from then on, the action is pretty much in the magical school of Hogwarts, the heart and soul of the franchise.

Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) is the headmaster now, running the school like a dark wizard.  If you don’t know where Snape’s story is heading, I won’t divulge too much in the way of revelations.  The story of Severus is almost like Darth Vader’s, although even more tragic.  You could argue that the story of Harry Potter is indebted to Snape, that it is as much his story as Harry’s when you realize how important he is.  I don’t know if Rowling had this in mind all along for this character, but it worked out beautifully.  Snape’s character arc is as satisfying as the conclusion of the franchise itself.  And it couldn’t be a better actor to play him.  Rickman has played the bad guy (Die Hard), and he’s played the yearning fool (Sense and Sensibility), and here he plays both.

So we have the final battle between Voldemort and Harry, and that connection they’ve always had since Harry was little and his mother saved him in self-sacrifice will enter the fray as a life-or-death situation for the both of them.  And we get to see some final, mysterious words of wisdom from the former Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) about the matter.

The movie, just like the book, is a crowd-pleasing, emotional, exciting finale that I don’t think anyone who has taken it this far will be disappointed.  There are so many moments for so many characters.  Fans of the series will love the emergence of the not-so-extraordinary Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), the Aliens-esque line of dialogue from red-head matriarch Molly Weasley (Julie Walters), the could-be redemption of bad boy Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), and the finally-realized romance of Ron and Hermione.

I guess if you’ve gotten to this point, you were wondering if there was any way they could mess this up.  They didn’t.  It’s everything you want out of Harry Potter.

Follows: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

All of the Harry Potter Reviews

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