Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Video Review: "Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
I have not always been Harry Potter's best friend. I liked the first two movies in the series well enough. But by the third -- when most observers believed the 10-year, eight-film epic journey really took things to another level -- I felt like I'd seen this movie too many times already. The saga of the boy wizard and Voldemort, his mortal enemy, had become episodic and repetitive to these eyes.
But the last film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" was the grand payoff that I had been waiting for. No more exposition, no more new characters cluttering up the storyline, no more sense of the filmmakers dawdling -- just the logical, satisfying and sweeping culmination of a long voyage.
The story picks up with Harry, Ron and Hermione returning from exile to challenge Voldemort, who's tightened his death's grasp on the entire wizarding world. There's a climactic assault on Hogwarts School by Death Eaters and their minions, a terrifying chase through a maze of dragons, and of course the epic final showdown between Harry and Voldemort.
The stakes are high, and many people die. There's a sense of grandiose finality to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." This is the end -- and what a glorious one.
Videos extras are decent, though not quite magical. The lack of a commentary track is rather galling.
The DVD has a making-of documentary, deleted scenes, a tour of the Warner Bros. London studio where most of the films were shot, plus three featurettes: "The Goblins of Gringotts with Warwick Davis," "The Women of Harry Potter," and "When Harry Left Hogwarts."
The Blu-ray edition has all those, plus two juicy additions. There's an interactive pop-up collection of behind-the-scenes videos, and a conversation between author J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe.
Movie: 3.5 stars out of four
Extras: 3 stars