This critique might be a little harsh because I am an avid fan of the book series, and my biggest complaints come from the fact that there was some integral parts of the books missing from the movie, but that always seems to be the way when a book is adapted into a movie. Especially a series. So let’s delve right in, shall we? ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
The movie was disappointing right in the first few minutes as Harry and Hermione say goodbye to their families, and the poignant book scene where Harry and Dudley make amends was completely eliminated. All you see is the Dursleys piling into their car and leaving Harry in an empty house.
The plot picked up from there and soon you were right in the middle of the adventure, as Aurors all drink polyjuice potion to become versions of Harry to trick the Death Eaters. Bam, right away we have flying, two deaths and wand fighting to beat all hell. The chase scene was done well, though there should have been a little more emotion from Harry about the death of…well, you know. After all, she was super important to him. (Leaves ya wanting more info, doesn’t it? Mwahahaha)
At first, the movie went along at an even pace, giving you nice jolts of energy and intrigue. But cut to the long and tedious scenes where the Power Trio are in the woods, near a lake, amidst the trees. Oh look, a new patch of trees. Now this isn’t the fault of the actors or the director. It was this way in the book, and it was damned boring. But when they got out of the woods for brief periods of time it was good, and even (dare it be said!?) well-acted.
The most interesting part was the story of the Three Brothers and the legend of the Deathly Hallows. They go into a type of animation they haven’t done in any of the previous Harry Potter movies, to play the story out while Hermione narrates it. It was a curiosity before seeing the movie as to how they would deal with the wordiness of it, and that was a good choice from the director.
There is a lot of story to fit into a movie, which is obviously why they split it into two, but even with the split this movie ran about two and a half hours long and you could feel that. There were just too many slow parts to keep the pace of the movie going in such a way that you would forget you’d been sitting in an uncomfortable squeaky chair for a long time. (With children sitting behind you, shaking their box of Goobers! Christ kid, reach your damned hand inside instead of shaking them out! Silence is Golden. Little bastard…)
There were some great new additions to an already stellar cast, including Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans) as Rufus Scrimgeour, Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, Session 9) as Yaxley, Rhys Ifans (Little Nicky, Hannibal Rising) as Xenophilius Lovegood and Nick Moran as the ever-so-sexy Scabior. Seriously hot. Check him out:
Scabior didn’t have much of a part in the book, but he had some lines in the movie and I must say, we’re appreciative. Pretty dark-souled boys. Ahh. Oh right, back to the review!
You can expect the same performances from Harry, Ron and Hermione as you got from the sixth movie. They have relatively good grasps on their characters (as well they should, after so many years playing them…) and there were a few shining moments for all of them that hadn’t really been seen too much in the previous films. Rickman was good as Snape (as always), and can you ever get enough of those quirky Weasley twins?
All in all I would have to give this movie 3 out of 5 stars because of the lack of poignant moments in the transfer from book to script, and the slow pacing. However, it did leave off on a nice cliff-hanger just as most fans expected it would and left the audience wanting more, as was evidenced by the gasps from some of the audience members. Definitely recommended for fans of the movie franchise. Fans of the book should be warned that, like the other movies, you’ll be left feeling like something is missing.