Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II

When I got back from my LDS mission to Monterrey, México [1], the first Harry Potter movie was already out. And everyone was ecstatic about it. So, for whatever reason, I was stubborn and refused to read the books or watch the movie. (But my family watched it so many times that I eventually saw enough excerpts to reconstruct the entire movie.) When the second movie came out, my roommate Ryan (a.k.a. "Dirty Ryan" [2]) asked if I wanted to go to the midnight showing with him. On a whim (and perhaps with a mild glee that I might be able to tease my sisters that I got to see it before them) I said yes. I liked it. After that I raided the Harold B. Lee Library on BYU campus and read all of the extant Harry Potter books. So I think it's fitting that this was the last movie that Leann and I went to see in the movie theater before we brought Lillian home and began restricting our public outings.[3]

My verdict: Harry Potter has come a long way. I say this both of the character and of the series.[4] As Harry has grown up, so has the content matter of the books and movies that portray him.[5] Overall, I thought they handled the movie well and I enjoyed it immensely. As is usual with Hollywood interpretations, they omitted some things, altered others, and drew out the action sequences for as long as they dared. One thing they skirted away from is the Christian overtones of the final Harry Potter book.[6] And I'm still disappointed that they didn't let John Williams come back to score the last movie.[7] Oh, and by the way, the thirty-ish version of Ron Weasley at the end was spot-on. Spot-on.


[1] For those who are unsure why Latter-day Saints (Mormons) go on missions, I recommend you visit here and here, where you can learn more about LDS beliefs concerning sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have more questions, ask and maybe I'll do a full post on the topic.

[2] You can learn more about that nickname in this post (scroll down).

[3] Due to her premature birth her immune system is underdeveloped (to learn more, start reading here), so we're restricting her exposure to the public. People who are sick go places they shouldn't. I'm sure I've even done it.

[4] You have to wonder, though, what J. K. Rowling has been doing for the last 4½ years.

[5] In fact, Roger Ebert smugly predicted that the Harry Potter movies would be getting an R-rating by the end of the series (see http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051117/REVIEWS/51114003/1023). I'll bet he was shocked when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince actually dropped back down to a PG rating. He also made the same prediction about The Chronicles of Narnia (see http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051207/REVIEWS/51203001/1023), which I think is just as unlikely.

[6] Thankfully they also steer clear of the "Dumbledore is gay" controversy and all the ways that destroys the symbolism of the books.

[7] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2#Soundtrack.

No comments:

Post a Comment