Ten Word or Less Review: A heck of a 1/2 of a mess.
This is the lumpiest and most off center Potter film of them all, and it’s only half a film. Within its many nooks and crannies are characters and situations which feel like useless clutter. In better Potter cinematic outings much of Rowling’s literary sprawl were wisely pared down or even exorcised completely for the sake of cinemas more rigid narrative demands. Now blessed with two movies to work with, the creative team has taken the extra allotment of time to cram in more details and characters but instill them with no relevance. It’s the long lost Weasly brother! He’s gone. It’s a new minister of magic! He’s killed off screen. It’s Doby! Dead. When it’s over the thing feels like a giant ball of loose ends. That beings said any kind of final word will have to wait till Part 2 next summer.
On the plus side we can still appreciate that Radcliff, Watson and Grint have grown into a trio with solid chemistry. With many of the usual supporting players greatly diminished, or all together absent, “Deathly Hallows” falls on their shoulders to carry. The three of them do their best to make the material spark as much as possible. Saddled with the long, long walk of uncertainty that Rowling set their characters up for they get by as well as can be expected. This ‘lost in the woods’ section wasn’t much fun to read and it’s a momentum killer here too. The movie has bright spots around a lot of corners though. Its opening scenes crackle with an energy and zeal that should’ve been sustained longer. There’s a Del Toro worthy animated sequence towards the conclusion that’s a true attention grabber. There’s even a shared dance between two characters to a Nick Cave song that this viewer never would’ve fathomed. It’s the kind of small, real world nod that Potter flicks never indulge in.
There will be a final word for Potter’s movie outings next summer. This mixed bag of fantasy cinema will come to its conclusion and what that final word will be is still unknown. If the second half of Deathly Hallows is as unkept and all over the place as the first, then Potter’s screen legacy concludes as a dubious one. It will be seven movie series with a couple of bright spots that didn’t pan out when all was said and done. If director David Yates can reign in this monstrosity of narrative and give a beat again then he stands to be the man who guided the most ambitious film series in history to a fitting and just conclusion. Here’s hoping.