12A – 130mins – Adventure/Drama/Fantasy – 15th July 2011
Hopefully everyone is aware of the storyline by now but for the nomads amongst us the eighth and final installment sees Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) along with his friends take on the evil wizard Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). In order to give themselves a fighting chance they have to hunt down the remaining Horcruxes before Harry can square up against him for the last time.
So let me dive right in. Was it a fitting ending? Yes I do believe so and it was certainly one of the best of the films released. Is it that good that it deserves all of the credit currently being flung its way? No not by a long shot. The majority of the reviews have fallen into the good old trap of media hype. Don’t get me wrong, it was very enjoyable and certainly entertained me for its entire duration but that doesn’t make it one of the best films of the year or worthy of any great accolades.
It certainly continues the trend of becoming darker than all of those before it (of which I am a fan) and with them having completely cut the massive battle scene at the end of the sixth film this more than made up for it with CGI and explosions galore. Although I knew that it would never happen, I’d always hoped for the last film to have a rating of at least 15 so they could unleash the evil and make it all just that bit more manic. Regardless, Fiennes and the rest of the crew impress with their acting abilities and even the main trio look a far cry from the original mediocrity of their first outing.
With a film of this stature you are going to get the people who are disappointed because if failed to stick to the book rigidly and missed out key details. Of course it did, it’s an adaptation of the book not an exact replica! If they included everything it would be 14.5 hours long and people wouldn’t go and watch it. The most important thing to ask was did they cover it in sufficient detail or did the variations from the book cause the film to suffer? Considering the average length of the Potter films so far has been 2h 30m I am slightly surprised that this comes in at only 2h 10m when 2/3 more scenes would have been all that was needed to keep the avid fans happy.
Although it was necessary for it to be put in for some sort of closure, the epilogue felt out of place with the rest of the film and the attempts to age the cast was something short of farcical. Considering the budget available you would have felt they could do more than just add some hair gel, a cushion around the waist and making all the actresses look extra frumpy. But what do I know?
Overall I enjoyed this both as a individual film and as I closure to the series. Despite it having several flaws and at times feeling like they were trying to see how many cameo appearances they could fit into the 130 minutes rather than telling the story, I would recommend this to most. Just be warned, it’s not quite the flawless and perfect film that most would have you believe.