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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (AF)


Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Kelly Macdonald, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, David Bradley, Jim Broadbent, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ciaran Hinds, Gemma Jones, Dave Legeno, Miriam Margolyes, Helen McCrory, Nick Moran, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Clemence Poesy, Timothy Spall, Natalia Tena, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright

Director: David Yates

There’s good news and bad news for Potterphiles.

The good news is that Harry’s back to take on Voldemort yet again along with Hermione and Ron (who finally lock lips after eight films).

The bad news, of course, is that ‘Harry Potter and ‘The Deathly Hallows Part 2’ marks the movie end of J K Rowling’s extraordinary moneymaking machine.

I admit that I’m not a Potterphile (I never managed to finish the first book in the series) and found ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 1’ a tad over-packed with exposition and rather under-loaded with action.

Here, unexpectedly making sense of having turned the final book into two films which I had assumed was a way of wringing the last dollar out of the franchise, scriptwriter Steve Kloves and director David Yates have made sure that Potter goes out in a blaze of hugely enjoyable movie magic and magical action. They waste no time in getting down to the business in hand and do it so well and so pacily that even if every plot point fails to register, it really doesn’t matter.

In essence Harry, Hermione and Ron are pitted for the final time against Voldemort, magnificently brought to evil life by Fiennes who registers real emotions despite being buried under his regular (and impressive) facial prosthetics. Harry and Co. have to find four and destroy four remaining Horcruxes (it’s enough for Potter-life filmgoers to know they are evil, very evil), leaving Harry and Voldemort to sort things out in mortal combat.

The series goes out on a high note. The movie magic, which has Harry, Hermione and Ron escaping on the back of a huge winged serpent after robbing a bank, is impressively done and adds to the drama and suspense rather than overwhelming it. Ditto effective 3D filming although I imagine, such is the storytelling, that the film will work equally effectively ‘flat’.

Radcliffe has grown up after five films and so, happily, has Harry, who now needs a shave and is steely in his determination to win. Watson and Grint (at one stage sporting a red D’Artagnan-style beard with panache) make the most of their chances while, now running Hogwarts, like a World War Two stalag, Rickman sneers and sneers and sneers to the manner born. There are no poor performances, with Smith perfectly proving there really is nothing like a Dame and a welcome parade of familiar faces from the series.

It’s a wizard send-off that’s not to be missed.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Warner Bros.. Technicolor.
130 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 08 Jul 2011