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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 (DQ)


Stars: See AF review

Director: David Yates

It's nice to report that the Potter series goes out with a bang rather than a whimper. This is a good deal better than the previous two films, as indeed it needed to be.

Apart from a thrilling sequence when Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson) escape from a bank vault on board a dragon and swoop to freedom across leaden London skies, practically the whole film is taken up with the siege of Hogwarts bv Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in his efforts to find and kill H Potter.

Here, Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith), sidelined for the past few films, comes back to the fore, marshalling Hogwarts forces and bringing an army of stone warriors to life. 'I've always wanted,' she confides with a chuckle, 'to use that spell.'

The film does have a few slow patches here and there, but the lightning pace of the action amply compensates. Radcliffe puts plenty of guts into his final battle with Voldemort, but Ron and Hermione prove surprisingly wimpish when confronted by the villain's giant snake (don't they know any spells that turn things to stone?) and it's left to the much-maligned Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) to save the day.

There's a lot of fire in the film - the dragon, a fireball monster - not to mention firepower (or should that be wandpower?) as well as a rather touching coda '19 years later' in which Radcliffe does well, while Grint and Watson (who earlier share an unexpectedly convincing screen kiss) sheepishly fail to look any older than their real ages.

David Quinlan

UK/USA 2011. UK Distributor: Warner Bros. Technicolor.
130 minutes. Widescreen (3D in some cinemas). UK certificate: 12A.

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

Review date: 09 Jul 2011