SO, the end of the magical mystery tour is nigh, and Harry Potter fans are preparing themselves for the final showdown between the boy-turned-man wizard and his arch-nemesis Lord Voldemort.
Those who have been with Harry and his pals for the whole journey – either in book or film format – will not be disappointed with director David Yates’ handling of JK Rowling’s action-packed story.
Picking up from where Part I left off, audiences hurtle with the speed of the Hogwarts Express into the remainder of the tale, which succeeds in cramming emotion, high energy drama, romance, mystery and intrigue into the 130-minute running time – perhaps Yates had picked up a thing or two from Hermione by charming a whole lotta story into a confined space?
From the burial of a good friend at Shell Cottage, viewers are whisked with Harry, Ron and Hermione to an edge-of-your-seat scene at Gringotts Bank before depositing the lot at Hogwarts – which has turned more war zone than wizarding school thanks to Voldemort and his evil cronies.
A battle to end all battles ensues, and we bid a fond final farewell to several witches and wizards who fans will have come to love over the years. But along with the tears, expect some happiness when THAT kiss finally takes place between Harry’s two best friends.
Yates cleverly gives his audience time to reflect, using back stories and intimate moments to calm the break-neck pace. Still there are some bits missing, Dumbledore’s family history is glossed over, and elements have been changed for dramatic purposes, but considering the challenge of book length versus film time, it’s not a bad effort.
Unlike many of its predecessors, this film is also available in 3D, but while the special effect firmly ticks a ‘must have’ 2011 movie box, it adds little to the viewing experience.
Paired with Part I – which was criticised for its plodding pace – Part II ramps up the action and leaves the viewer wanting more – a desire unlikely to be fulfilled if JK’s vow to put the franchise to bed is anything to go by.
For anyone who finds themselves unwittingly in the audience having not seen or read any Potter plot lines beforehand, my advice would be to return to the desk and swap your ticket for another film – this will make absolutely no sense to you whatsoever.
But for those who have watched the franchise from the start, those who have watched Harry, Ron and Hermione grow up, this is a near-perfect end.
From the trio’s fairly awful acting in The Philosopher’s Stone, to their grappling with adolescence in The Order of the Phoenix and their coming-of-age in The Deathly Hallows Part I – these films have become, like the books, a close and trusted friend. It’s not going to be easy to say goodbye.
l Winners of the competition to see The Deathly Hallows Part II in 3D at the IMAX cinema in Bradford were: Renate Scargill, of Springhill Drive, Crofton; Sarah Ellis, of Valley View Road, Ossett; Lynne Stringer, of Sussex Crescent, Castleford; Andrew Jackson, of Carleton Glen, Pontefract; and Trevor Stead, of Ringwood Way, Hemsworth. The correct answer was Daniel Radcliffe.