Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter And The Last Goddamn Movie

It's over! Hallelujah! After ten years, 19-and-a-half hours and eight movies, There are no more Harry Potter movies to sit through! 

Thank God.

Actually, all things considered? This is a very solid series of movies. Especially after the first couple of cutesy-poo Chris Columbus flicks (Sorceror's Stone and Chamber of Secrets). The uneven third flick had some edge and real heart, with Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) at the helm, and Mike Newell (Prince of Persia) made the silly plot of The Goblet of Fire overlookable.

The last four films (Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows I and II) were all done by David Yates who has done a fine job, st least as far as creating watchable movies, I can't speak to faithfulness to the source material.

So, what to say about this one? Well, Ace of Spades lamented, when he heard the last book had been split in to two movies, that there wasn't enough material.

Not a problem. Part 1 moved along briskly, and Part 2 is actually pretty breakneck. There's a lot to wrap up here, and the Big Reveal to be revealed, and what-not.

The Big Reveal isn't going to surprise anyone, I don't think. My kids saw it coming around the fifth movie—well, The Boy did. The Flower was born the year the first one came out so she wasn't even prepared to be surprised by the twist.

Well, that's one reveal. The other reveal—well, that seemed obvious to me from the get-go.

This is not a bad thing, mind you. If they had really been shocking at this point, halfway through the last half of the last book, it would have felt like a cheat. (Though this theory about Neville would've been fun.) Really, for a movie series that's based on a fair amount of slapdashery, the final chapter hangs together and brings things together.

The movie could actually be stitched two the first half to make a seamless four-and-a-half-hour movie (yow!) beginning as it does at the point where Valdemort robs the Elder Wand from the grave. Meanwhile, Harry, Ron and Hermione are off to destroy the horcruxes (the vessels that hold Valdemort's soul and preserve his immortality).

This leads to a bank heist (with shootout!) and then takes them back to a thoroughly occupied Hogwart's (apparently Valdemort thought it would be a good idea to keep two horcruxes in the same place). And thus begins the last stand.

There's not much to say really. At this point, you know whether you're going to see it or not. Are you really going to see 6 1/2 chapters of a story without seeing the last? Although, in fairness, I know a guy who has only seen the last three or four films and enjoyed them.

To the film's, and the series', credit, this isn't the Star Wars prequels or Lord of the Rings, where I really did just see the last ones because I'd seen the first two. The Boy shares my opinion here: While far from a fan, he's been liking these later movies more.

The Flower, on the other hand, hates them. Not that she thinks they're bad, necessarily, but she's sort of picked up on the fact that Rowling basically dumps on Harry. He can't get a break. The Flower doesn't care for that sort of thing. (She hates Charlie Brown, too, for stuff like the ever-escaping football. "The most depressing series ever.")

Her opinion? "It's no Gran Torino, but it wasn't bad!"

High praise, indeed. (Gran Torino is one of her favorite movies and the funniest she's ever seen, she says.)

The movie suffers a bit from a few things. For one thing, if you primarily watch the movies when they come out, you're basically seeing the second half a movie after you got interrupted 6-8 months ago. It takes a while to catch up.

For another thing, you're wrapping up this near 20 hour story. If you've come to care about any of the characters, there's a good chance you won't find out what happened to them. A lot of creatures drifted through the stories over the years and are left to drift.

Also, a lot of the characters die. Now, it's a war, so you expect that. But you just see them stretched or crumpled over and you don't really get a chance to—well, hell, you're wondering who it is when they flash by and by the time you think you've puzzled it through, a bunch of other characters end up dead.

And when it's over, it's over. They very wisely did not do the LOTR thing with the four hundred different endings, but the price of that is a sort of anticlimactic denouement, if that's even possible. It's almost a "monster's dead, movie's over" situation, though there is a nice (short) epilogue.

So, yeah, good ending to the series.


  1. Is Hollywood in terminal decline?

  2. Since the day the studio system ended.

  3. I have never seen a Harry Potter movie.

    We went out for dinner with our friends who went on vacation with us last night. The husband is a big reader and hard core science fiction fan and for his birthday I got him all the Harry Dredson books by Jim Butcher is a far superior "magic" series to Harry Potter.

    Not the less it shocked them that we didn't care about Harry Potter.

  4. The four of us are going to see Captain America next week though.

    That should be fun.

  5. Me and my husband watched complete Harry Potter Series from 1 to 7 last week..It was really amazing weekend..I simply love Harry Potter movie..


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