Director: David Yates
Stars: Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint.
Synopsis: The eighth and final movie in the series based on the novels by J.K. Rowling. Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.
Review: This film is drawn out. Its one big war, which is inevitable. So there are a bunch of video game style Horcrux side missions that Harry and his team go on which acts as filler for the two hour time slot of the film. After all, the creators of these movies can’t just shoe horn in the final Voldemort boss fight and kill him off too early or they will have a very short movie series. There are some sub bosses like a giant snake and Bellatrix Lestrange. The movie is just like a video game. There is not much story at all compared to Half-Blood Prince, which was a great movie. Ron and Hermione. So I guess Ron is suppose to be Hogwarts version of Sylvester Stallone? He has redeemed himself from the whole slug in the mouth thing. He is a boss in this film for sure. No more Mr. Nice Weasley! He’ll take your wand and your girl! Even Hermione recognizes the high level of epicness of Ron in this film. Finally Ron is winning. It took a while but he is the man in this movie. If you think about it, Ron is the smart one. He gets Harry to think that he is the chosen one all the while Ron gets the girl and Harry takes on the burden while Ron kicks it back, just kidding. Hermione has done well across the whole series. She has been the nurturer, the warrior, the friend, and the adviser. I am so glade at how her character was used in these films. She is a member of the team and she is respected but also respects other people. She knows when to be logical and emotional in a precise balance. This is great because in the real world you work with other people. Having great soft skills will help you network with people which will open up many opportunities for you compared to the characters that are lone wolves and are always by them selves. Of course this is not real life, its a fantasy movie. Even so, I appreciate the great writing of the team in this franchise. I’m not really surprised that J.K. Rowling has written a more realistic female character. Its actually refreshing to see this in a major film. I hope this trend continues into other movies as well. Hermione is superb.
So lets talk villains starting with Bellatrix Lestrange. She is used properly in these movies when it comes to story telling. The villain only shows up when the main hero is effected by a major change in the story, which causes the plot to move forward. This is elaborated in the book ‘Story’ by: Robert McKee and ‘The Anatomy of Story‘ by: John Truby. Much like Darth Vader in ROUGE ONE or The Joker in the Dark Knight, they show up when a major change is happening. Also the Villain can powerfully effect the main hero, usually by killing some one close to the Hero like Bellatrix Lestrange to Sirius Black, Dark Vader and Old Ben, or The Joker to Rachel Dawes. Doing this creates a real sense of danger when the villain shows up. Why? The characters are in the story to serve the plot and not the other way around. I love the fact that the creators of this franchise did this for Bellatrix Lestrange. It makes her far more sinister. Voldemort on the other hand barely ever shows up and when he does, he’s obsessively looking for a new pointed stick ( wand ). He’s gone for so long that Bellatrix Lestrange seems like she is the real villain of the series. An example of the wrong way to create a villain is Joel Schumacher’s ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ where the Phantom shows up in the movie for no good reason other than to take up screen time, in effect making his continued reappearance in the film weak since nothing new really happens. The live action stage plays on the other hand uses the Phantom properly causing him to have a sense of mystery and fear at his appearance in a scene. So this is one of the contributing reasons why still to this day a evil and nefarious character like Bellatrix Lestrange is adored regardless of her being so damn maniacal. The creators of this franchise are smart enough to know how to use her in a film the right way. Thank you so very much for that!
I see a lot of movies and I can tell you there are so many ‘film makers’ who don’t know what the hell their doing! They are shocked when their movies crash and cost their studios millions! The Death Eaters are able to kill off any character not wearing plot armor. Great! That means they are way stronger than the pathetic ‘Puddies’ from ‘The Power Rangers’ TV show from the 90’s. All they do is fill in the time slot with nonsensical video game like violence. The Death Eaters on the other hand, actually eliminate characters that the main hero has a strong emotional connection to, causing him to change base off of either post traumatic stress and or growth. Bellatrix Lestrange takes the place as the main villain only sometimes. This is because killing off Lord Voldemort too early in the franchise would cut the eight movie series short, so she does some of the hard work to make the series last a little longer. Bellatrix Lestrange being apart of Lord Voldemort’s crew, make his side of the field look stronger, which is much needed since they seem a little week and silly. Bellatrix is most definitely an Apex Alpha female. She has influence over her subordinates. When she screams at them they can feel the fear and her wrath. She has the same philosophy as Tubal-Cain ( Ray Winstone ) the main villain in the movie Noah ( 2014 ), another Emma Watson film. When Bellatrix says to Dobby ‘How dare you take a witches wand! How dare you defy your masters!’ she is engaging in the same philosophy as Tubal-Cain ‘Superiority’. The belief is that nature and every creature that is considered to be inferior to humans are meant to serve the humans. she also considers the regular non-magical humans inferior to the pure blooded wizards. there for she is the next evolution on top of the food chain. She is my favorite villain in this series. Yeah I know, I’m suppose to hate her because of what she did to Sirius Black, but she is awesome. She is a real evil witch. The villainess the story actually needed.
So if Bellatrix Lestrange is an example of how a film maker does a villain the right way, Voldemort is an example on how to do a villain the wrong way. Voldemort is so disappointing. He barley ever shows up in the series to the point where you forget that he is even in the franchise! The best fight Voldemort has is when he fights Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was the best fight in the whole series, it was great. But when you think about it, that should have been Voldemort’s end from a story point of view. Thanks to the whole Horcrux side stories, the franchise was drawn out even more. I’m not kidding when I say that you could ask a friend to grab a water hose, you grab another, both of you turn on the water pressure all the way up, point the nozzles at each other so that both water streams cancels each other out, and there you go. You now have the final battle. You can record it with your phone and add special effects to make it look good if you want. Draco had to make his choice. He chose sanity finally! I had written him off as a typical, run of the mill, every day, nothing out of the ordinary, mental patient that belongs in a psyche ward, but he finally stopped being a Beta and grew a pair. Well done Draco, well done! Snape has all the charisma of a door handle. It seems like he is a dead man come back to life like the character ‘Kai’ from the TV show ‘LEXX‘. There is not much personality in this guy at all. When he speaks every one listens because they have never herd any one speak like that before. I don’t know what is worse? Listening to Snape give a long, drawn out speech, with elongated words, and his hypnotic mono tuned voice that puts you to sleep ( with out magic mind you ) or running your finger nails over a black board.
These movie where better without Voldemort in them. There was adventure and mystery. Now Voldemort is suppose to be very powerful and scary, but come on. He is a powerful wizard right? Make your self a nose! As far as a the movie goes, this is one of the weakest of the series since its a free for all. The Half-Blood Prince was a movie well done and the strongest in my opinion. I like a lot of the earlier Harry Potter movies because the creators focused more on the story telling elements that makes a strong story based movie with great character development. That is definitely missing from this film. The cinematography was alright. The musical score was OK as well.
Lets talk about the Harry Potter series as a whole from the first movie to the last movie. This series as a whole is stretched very far into eight movies. This series is at its weakest with the Horcrux story line. One excuse after another for why Dumbledore cannot just kill Lord Voldemort out right. Dumbledore is the dumbest wizard in media period. This guy does not know how to vet the teachers that come into his school, shouldn’t he have a job as a wizard teacher after training the most powerful Dark Lord of them all, does not use any of the available magic to predict the probable future regarding Tom Riddle as a child, and lies to Harry causing more trouble for the side of light than necessary. The wizard fights don’t make any sense. I like the fight between Draco and Harry in the boys restroom. That fight was intense but most of the wizard fights don’t make any sense because they are shooting at each other and not taking cover. Only sometimes do they take cover, all the while having some kind of shoot out. If they lose their ward they cannot defend them selves, just like Hermione could not defend herself from Bellatrix Lestrange and was tortured by her. No back up secondary wand, know taser, or mace spray. Nothing that could ever help out in a pinch. Bellatrix Lestrange used a knife to kill some one and that was extremely effective. Over all the only true wizard fight was Voldemort vs. Dumbledore.
Now for the good in the series. This is a very rich universe that J.K. Rowling has made. As of the time of this review, more movies and books are still being made. The franchise is very strong. Most of the viewers that visit this website are from the Harry Potter fan base. They want to read about Emma Watson and learn more about her movies. This franchise focuses very well on mystery, adventure, and character development. Its an adventure that could keep going on non stop, which is great. Over all production value is strong. I like most of the cinematography across the board with this series. The characters are used well. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are not too powerful to the point that they are ridicules. I like how they work as a team together and not just hyper focusing on one character even if the main character is Harry, he cannot accomplish every thing on his own. Each character has a natural ability that is not magic related. Luna and Hermione can say the right things to Harry and Ron that makes them feel so much better when they are emotionally down. Hermione heals the boys with her amazing natural female nurturing ability that makes all the difference for Harry and brings him back to sanity when he is highly stressed. She keeps him grounded. Ron has a natural ability to mess thing up like no other person in the whole franchise. He is the major cause of most of his own problems. But in all seriousness, when Harry is not sure of him self, Ron is their to be some one Harry can relate to being another guy about the same age carrying the same burden. Harry is over all a forgiving person that is a peace maker. He is well done as a character. When its time for him to take orders, he listens. When its time for him to be the leader, he takes the lead. He is very versatile and can adapt to his changing dynamic environment. I like the team synergy. Series Final Score: 8/10. Verdict: A very strong franchise and fun to watch!
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