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Wick's Review

Created Jul 17, 2011 11:07PM PST • Edited Dec 27, 2019 09:51AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Cinematic sensations conclude no better than HP|DH:P2. We’re talking multiple climaxes, legitimate ones. This perfect finale gives us final scenes with most every significant character from the entire magical series, many consisting of just one freighted line, each perfectly crafted, all sublimely delivered.

    Goodby Harry Potter. Your kind comes along only once a lifetime. Your sendoff could hardly be more satisfying, even for viewers who’ve skipped more installments than they’ve seen. Um, that would be me.

    It’s got everything we want: titanic wand wars between Potter and Voldemort; precious hand-holding between the couple everyone wants to see together, a first kiss even; Dumbledore times two; Snape as sniveling as ever; a houseful of Weaslies. If it charmed before, it’s here.

    There are several eye moistening moments, two sad, one happy. First, when Maggie Smith’s Professor McGonagall bids Harry well, we’re truly saddened because Harry’s end is coming for us too. The next involves Dumbledore. The happy tears come courtesy of Ron and Hermione.

    Speaking of the kids, all three have grown into young adults, gracefully shedding their awkwardness. As with all avengers, their heroics can only rise as high as their villainous opponent is evil. The Noseless One doesn’t disappoint, slitheringly sinister, especially as played by Ralph Fiennes — Fiennes sans nose.

    And in the end of the end, J.K. Rowling gives us an epilogue for the ages that is simply the best ending ever. Deeply satisfying, it caused peals of LOL joy to ring out across the Santana Row CinéArts audience.

    Magic. Pure magic.

  3. Perfect 5.0

    Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter, slightly diffident yet supremely courageous. It’s going to be a treat watching Radcliffe graduate to a lifetime of adult roles.

    Emma Watson’s Hermione Granger has no faults. She’s a perfect person. It takes a perfect actress to play such a role without inciting jealousy or hatred.

    Rupert Grint’s Ron Weasley proves that sometime the nice guy gets the girl with no faults. (Of all J.K. Rowlings gifts, this is one of the sweetest.) Perhaps they cast Grint as Weasley way-back-when because his real name is almost as funny as his character’s name. In any case, Rupert’s Ron is one of moviedom’s all-time great second bananas.

    Bright lights from the massive supporting cast:

    • Ralph Fiennes’s Lord Voldemort becomes one of the great movie villains of all time, up there with Palpatine from Star Wars.
    • Michael Gambon’s Professor Albus Dumbledore is a supremely comforting wiseman.
    • Alan Rickman’s Professor Severus Snape pegs the unctuous meter.
    • Helena Bonham Carter’s Bellatrix Lestrange is a classic HBC character. ’Nuff said.
    • Kelly Macdonald as a heavenly mother.
    • Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton and Helen McCrory as the Malfoys, father, son and mother. Lucius & Draco are blond devils incarnate.
    • Ciarán Hinds (the great Ciarán Hinds) makes his Potter debut in the finale as Albus Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth.
    • Matthew Lewis as the unfortunately named Neville Longbottom.
    • Maggie Smith as the strong Professor Minerva McGonagall.
    • Julie Walters, Mark Williams, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Chris Rankin and Rupert Grint as the Weasleys. Love that family.
    • Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid the giant.
    • Gary Oldman as Sirius Black, once the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Really Great 4.5

    Has there ever been a more human fantasy than Harry Potter? In between the curiously commonplace supernatural events, there are moments of real human connection, reaction and emotion.

    At times it feels like some of the chase scenes are prototypes for the theme park rides, but then something delightfully unexpected happens to refresh our love affair with movie magic.

    Perhaps it can all be chalked up to the British theatrical apotheosis that the Harry Potter films represent. The craft, the talent, the tradition of Her Majesty’s theatre seems heaven sent to create these films.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0

    This is the first of the David Yates’ Potter movies I’ve seen. Perhaps I need to screen the previous three he directed.

  10. Play Really Great 4.5

    Reveals paternity issues that rival Luke’s with Vader.

    As great as it is, it occasionally reveals itself as high camp. Kind of like how Voldemort hid for much of the series but couldn’t evade revelation forever.

  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Amongst the visual wonders is the return to Hogwarts, now under attack from Voldemort’s army. Glorious.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.2

    Truly scary. Death seems real. Harry faces it with bravery, ever the brave boy, now a stalwart man. Still, scary dreams are made of these visions. Beware the little ones in your care.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.3

    Has a movie kiss ever been more cheered?

  16. Violence Savage 3.7

    One scene flashes by quickly, but is seriously scary. On the run, Hermione spots an undead creature gnawing the bloody neck of a child. She shouts “No” and the vampire runs off, but the image remains. Beware.

  17. Rudeness Salty 1.7
  18. Fantasy 4.1

    Let me get this straight, Harry Potter is an all-time great wizard, complete with superpowers, yet can’t seem to lose the glasses? Clark Kent wore his specs as disguise. What’s Harry Potter’s excuse?

    BTW, how do they create all this movie magic? Nearly 100 stuntmen doesn’t begin to explain the magnitude of the production. We’re talking countless artists, perhaps 750 of all kinds. 2D artists, 3D artists, flame artists, look dev artists, senior model makers and junior model makers. A 15 person R&D shop. Wouldn’t you love checking that out? A home economics department of three. What the hell do they do?

    Finally, J.K. Rowling’s heroes act in both good and evil ways, which gets to the root of the story’s cheesy theology. In legitimate theology, good and evil are not so nearly interchangeable.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.3

    Why only a 2.3x circoreality? My take is that given the obviously fantastical physio and bioreality, the circoreality is merely surreal.

  20. Biological Fantasy 5.0
  21. Physical Fantasy 5.0


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Jul 31, 2011 9:40AM

Regarding Spaceghost’s Review
Great review Spaceghost. I’m with you that Luna Lovegood never felt right, but that the movie well earned a Perfect.