Thursday, July 7, 2011

Final ‘Harry Potter’ Film: The First Reviews Are In

Yahoo News

The wait is over: The first reviews are in for the final movie of the much beloved "Harry Potter" series based on the J.K. Rowling novels. The last installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows -- Part 2," directed by David Yates, opens next week. 

The second and final installment depicts the battle between good and evil in the wizarding world as it escalates into war. Harry Potter (played by Daniel Radcliffe) is called upon to possibly make the ultimate sacrifice in his showdown with Lord Voldemort. The young wizard is joined by Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, who reprise their roles as Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. 

So what do the critics have to say about the end? Let's take a look. 

Todd McCarthy for the Hollywood Reporter raves that the franchise goes out with a bang: "An outstanding capper to the most lucrative film franchise of all time." 

The reviewer adds, "Fully justifying the decision, once thought purely mercenary, of splitting J.K. Rowling's final book into two parts, this is an exciting and, to put it mildly, massively eventful finale that will grip and greatly please anyone who has been at all a fan of the series up to now." 

Variety's Justin Chang gripes at the short film time -- at 131 minutes, it's the shortest in the series -- and unsatisfying ending. The critic notes that the movie "surges ahead with tremendous urgency, superb spectacle and powerful, even overwhelming emotion, only to falter with a hasty sendoff that seems to buckle under the weight of audience expectations. Tears will be shed as fans bid farewell to Hogwarts, but catharsis remains just out of reach." 

Chang adds that fans may actually prefer the lively pacing of this movie to the first installment: "'Part 2' will strike many viewers as a much more exciting, involving picture than the slower, more atmospheric 'Part 1.'" But the critic is left unhappy with the quick ending: "While Yates' economy is admirable, this is one picture that had every right to take its time and allow viewers the courtesy of a more ceremonious and protracted farewell." 

The Telegraph disagrees, preferring this cinematic version of the tale, writing, "Perhaps the greatest triumph of this final film is its ability to overcome the deficiencies of J. K. Rowling’s writing," adding, "But Yates here transmutes it into a genuinely terrifying spectacle, as bloodied students fight desperately against a horde of screaming black-robed Death Eaters." 

Parting is such sweet sorrow. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows -- Part 2" opens Friday, July 15.

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