Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger each had something in common.
For the most part they were good movies, but each lacked a satisfying ending.
For about a decade now, we’ve watched Harry go from being a fresh faced ten year old to a young adult. As he grew, we learned more about his main antagonist: Voldemort. Voldemort was a shadowy villain slowly gaining power so that he could return to life and eventually take over the world crushing the spirits of wizards and muggles for eternity.
I love the books and love the first four movies. By the fifth movie, the Harry Potter Series was starting to show some wear and tear. I felt myself by that movie saying and feeling, “can we finally get rid of Voldemort already?”
A good villain can wear out his welcome.
So… in good marketing fashion, the Rowling and Hollywood dragged out the inevitable clash between Voldemort and Harry. Books 6 and 7 introduced us to how Voldemort could be killed by destroying horcruxes, magically charged items that contain a piece of Voldemort’s soul.Book 7 leaves us with a mystery about how to find the horcruxes and figuring out how to destroy them.
In the movies, this gave us Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Where I’m willing to let a book leave me hanging for a bit, it’s not as acceptable to watch a movie and be left hanging. There are logical, technical, and marketing reasons why HP7.1 and HP7.2 were split into two films. Maybe people wouldn’t want to sit through a two and a half hour to three hour movie. It’s more profitable to make two films than one. Yes, yes… I understand that, but what left me hanging was that it took a year before they released the part 2. Yes, I could re-read the book. I could have watched the DVD before watching the movie. But… I’m old school. I waited, and there were bits and pieces of part 1 I had forgotten.
OK, I’m nitpicking.
I thought the HP7.2 was good overall. The effects were great, the acting was good, but the problem was Voldemort. Oh, he’s a cruel and evil villain but he worked best as a menace behind the scenes. I feel that he wasn’t as menacing in HP7.1 and HP7.2.
It still seemed like he was in the background during those two movies. He had his own story, and we were left in the dark not knowing what was going on in that rotten scheming brain of his. He was just evil, but kind of two dimensionally evil.
The final battle between Harry and Voldemort in HP7.2 was, to me, anticlimactic.
A final showdown between a main protagonist and antagonist should be memorable and very personal. I felt there needed to be some serious words between Harry and Voldemort at their final confrontation. Voldemort killed of Harry’s parents for Pete’s sake! Nope. They just sort of pulled out their wands and Harry dusts off Voldemort. – Poof!
We dragged you through 7 books and 8 movies for a simple quick and easy villain kill off. Poof! Dust, dust! “Well… let’s get some pumpkin juice.”
When you create a menacing and cunning villain, who commits lots of acts of evil, he shouldn’t be so easily beaten. OK, sure… it took Harry three movies to figure out how to make Voldemort vulnerable, but the final confrontation seemed lacking.
Despite that, I think the movie was good.
I left the movie with a sad feeling. I liked the Harry Potter movies. I enjoyed reading and watching the adventures of Harry as he grew from a misfit boy into a capable and heroic young man. What made me sad was that this movie and book series came to its final end.
I felt the same way at the end of Return of the Jedi. When I was a kid walking out of the theater of Jedi, I was happy because the movie was good, but sad because I believed at the time that there was not going to be another Star Wars movie.
In this case, I was most saddened because I don’t believe Hollywood has it in itself to make another good series of movies. CGI has come to dominate movie making so much, that its taking the place of storytelling. Stories are about characters not special effects. I learned that while studying how George Lucas made the original trilogy, and its true. However, his prequel movies didn’t resonate as strongly as the first because they’re special effects movies more than character movies.
I’m digressing… Characters are the key to good movies.
J.K. Rowling gave us good characters in Harry, Ron, and Hermione. She deserves to be rich in the creation of them, and kids of future generations can enjoy the exploits of Harry Potter.
I give HP7.2 five out of seven horcruxes. Overall good, just lacks a fulfilling climactic battle between Harry and Voldemort.
In my Captain America review, we’ll discuss suspense.