Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the best Harry Potter movie ever. Yes, even better than The Prisoner of Azkaban.
You know what I hate about the Harry Potter movies? (That’s a great way to start a review, right?) Just about everything. I think the series has been terribly miscast -- Alan Rickman, I love you and all, but you’re no Severus Snape -- the plots are condensed beyond measure, and while the spells are all there, the magic is completely gone. For me, anyway. This is, of course, coming from an avid fan of the books, and I mean no offense to those who haven’t read them. And if you haven’t been privy to the wonder of Rowling’s books, then I’m sure the movies are fine. They do a good enough job of telling the story.
But here’s the thing. While Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is definitely my least favorite book in the series, it just so happens to be my favorite movie, and here’s why. It doesn’t have to pack everything in. Deathly Hallows: Part 1, while an overall decent picture, definitely took the brunt of what made the book so boring -- seemingly endless wandering through the woods and a lot of plot to get out of the way. But Part 2 doesn’t have that problem at all. It’s straight-up action, and everything’s already been established. By this point, we know about the seven Horcruxes and the quest for the Elder Wand. We know about Voldemort’s ambitions and Harry’s worst fears becoming realized. We know all of these things already, and we got them out of the way in Part 1. So in Part 2, we get to see the great battle, and man, is it epic. It makes up for all the plodding in the last movie. I wish all of the books were split in two for their movies. It makes the series that much more satisfying.
The best part about Deathly Hallows Part 2 is that all the good guys have some really winning moments. Harry Potter does, of course (spoiler alert), being that he’s the one who ultimately trounces Voldemort. But even the lesser characters like Professor McGonagall, or even Neville Longbottom, who turns out to be the biggest badass of them all, have their moments, making this final film seem that much more justified and conclusive. Everything just seems to work. Also, the stakes are raised really high. In one pivotal scene, which I don’t remember from the book, all of the slain and injured are laid out on the ground, with some fan favorites laying amongst the dead. If you hadn’t read the books, then I’m sure you’d be shocked. It makes you think that anything could happen, and it does.
Overall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the best movie in the billion-dollar franchise, by far. If you made it this far in the film series, you’re in for a treat with this last one.
A little while back, I said that the Pulp Fiction Blu-Ray had the most exhaustive special features I’d ever seen on a disc (http://www.cinemablend.com/dvds/Pulp-Fiction-Blu-Ray-5500.html). Well, it hasn’t been more than two months and I already have to take that back as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has the most special features by far of any disc I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s seriously packed to the nines.
The “Maximum Movie Mode” alone is one of the greatest features I’ve ever seen on a disc. Those Harry Potter people sure know how to treat their fans right. Basically, it’s the entire movie, but with tidbits, extra scenes, past recollections from the cast, costume discussions, and more. And it’s all discussed by the producers, director, actors, and anybody else who could possibly do it. It’s incredible and fans of the movie series will eat it up. All discs should be packaged this well.
There’s another section on the movie itself, focusing on the characters' journeys, like Neville Longbottom and Aberforth Dumbledore. It’s a really long feature, but enticing to the very last still. But let me tell you something, those huge features are just on the movie disc itself. There’s also a whole other disc specifically for special features. I’ll try to run them off for you. As I said before, it’s exhaustive. If you pop the special disc into your PS3, you can actually play a demo of the Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 game. It’s a nice little touch. There’s “A Conversation with J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe,” and like I said before, I really don’t like the actors in the series. Radcliffe, like he does in all the movies, speaks way too fast and it’s hard to understand what he’s saying sometimes in this feature, while Rowling is as cool as a fan. You can tell that he’s kind of nervous interviewing her. It’s interesting to hear his journey, though, going from a regular boy to a superstar, and it’s a feature any fan will want to hear.
“The Goblins of Gringotts” has Warwick Davis of Willow and Leprechaun in the Hood fame talking about the various costumes he donned in the series, and he seriously did every scene where they needed a little person. He plays more characters than probably anyone else in the series. “The Women of Harry Potter” is probably my favorite feature as J.K. Rowling talks about the female characters in her book, and each one of the actors talks about their role in Rowling’s work. It’s fascinating. The deleted scenes are great, and they fit in the film as well. I wonder why they took them out. There’s also a brief look at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, and a preview of Rowling’s new site, “Pottermore.” Overall, there are literally hours of special features here, and the true fans are going to love them all.