Deathly Hallows Part 2 Review

Whilst Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1  felt like the preamble it was, now with Part 2 we're finally getting the payoff. Last week in my review of Transformers 3 I noted that half the actual movie was just one action sequence. Well in Deathly Hallows Part 2, that's true of most of the film. Whilst Part 1 preoccupied itself with being tense and suspenseful and ripping off lord of the rings in as many ways as conceivable, Part 2 is a straight up action adventure from the get go. Oh, and don't let the Transformers reference throw you, it is far, far better than that. Minor Spoilers to come, but really, is there anyone who doesn't know the ending by now?
Harry dies, Neville kills Voldemort, the end. 
We pick up right were part one left off: Harry, Ron and Hermione  have just buried Dobby (stops writing review to shed single tear) and now seek the advice of the goblin Griphook. The trio believe the next of Voldemort's horcruxes to be hidden deep within the goblin bank Gringotts in the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange. With some assistance from Harry's invisibility cloak and the ever useful polyjuice potion Harry and friends sneak their way through the main reception and into the labyrinthine caverns that house the bank's many vaults. And that's where the fun begins. It seems fitting that this is the first time we've seen an extended sequence of the bank since Philosopher's Stone, and the sequence is very reminiscent of Harry's first visit to the vaults.

The wizarding worlds' most popular TV show is the
goblin version of pimp my ride.
Again, not wanting to spoil anything I won't go into to detail but I will say the bank scene involves some great action and some excellent special effects that set the tone for what's to come for the rest of the movie. The film features giant trolls, huge explosions, sentient floods and an assortment of spells, curses and jinxes all rendered really well. These are the best special effects of the summer so far for my money, though I should point out that many of the spells used in this movie seem to resemble fireworks both aesthetically and practically. You'd think there would be a bit more variety to magic in the wizarding world. At one point it seems Voldemort and the Death Eaters try to destroy Hogwarts by attacking it with Roman candles.That said the effects still look great, and there really is a great sense of scale and wonder to many scenes in the movie inducing the one involving Roman candles. 

Of course if there's anything the Transformers films have taught me, it's that looking good does not make a movie good. But fortunately Deathly Hallows Part 2 has a good plot, nice pacing, and some terrific performances from just about everyone save the students themselves. The students of Hogwarts  have definitely  gotten better as the actors themselves have aged, but they still feel like nothing special in terms of raw talent. None of them have delivered particularly memorable performances except maybe
Matthew Lewis  as Neville Longbottom who gets a few moments to shine in this film, and Evanna Lynch whose Irish tones really suit the constantly bemusing Luna Lovegood. The main three of Radcliffe, Grint and Watson fit the roles nicely, looking adequately like their characters, but none of them excel. 
They've aged before our eyes.
Some better than others.
However, when it comes to the other supporting characters nearly everyone gets it right. Robbie Coltrane is always heartwarming as Hagrid, Maggie Smith and Julie Walters are simultaneously motherly and bad-ass as Professor Mcgonagall and Molly Weasley (yes, Molly Weasly is bad-ass in this film). Of course the real stand outs are the villains, who all chew the scenery left right and center. Helena Bonham Cater is crazily sadistic as Bellatrix Lestrange,  Alan Rickman is stoic and menacing as Severus Snape, and of course there's Ralph Fiennes in his best role since Schindler's list. 

Voldemort and his homies.
The cast, the action and J.K Rowling's great plot all come together to make this the best film of the series. It serves as an extended climax that stands out less as an individual movie, but more as the last chapter in a saga that's spanned a decade. This is the best potter movie of the bunch and a great summer blockbuster. If, like most of the planet, you've followed this series from the Philosopher's Stone to Deathly Hallows Part One you don't need me to tell you, go see this.