Director: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Matthew Lewis, Maggie Smith
Plot: Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of Hogwarts' students and teachers make their final stand against Voldemort and his army.
Review: After 10 years, 7 books, 8 films and over six billion dollars, it's finally time to say goodbye to the boy wizard. My anticipation had been high leading up to this last film, but the result is a bit underwhelming. I'll get to that in a bit.
First, I'll say that a few supporting characters finally get the spotlight they deserve, starting with Neville Longbottom. Matthew Lewis has always played him as a bumbling student, but here he finally gets to show what Neville is really made of, as he becomes a hero more than once in the final fight. I liked how his character turned out overall.
Then there's Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, who had been sidelined in the last few films, finally getting some screentime, and she does wonderfully here. Over the years, McGonagall was usually the nice and fair teacher, but here she gets to become a general, so to speak. And Smith pulls it off splendidly.
But the real star supporting actor would have to be Alan Rickman, who brings Professor Snape full circle in this instalment. Now you'll find out the motivation to his character in the last ten years of Harry Potter, why he did what he did, and the reasons behind his disdain for Potter. Rickman brings the perfect amount of emotion and believability to his role, and you really couldn't ask for a better actor to do this.
As for the leads, I'll say that Daniel Radcliffe is the one who truly owns this film. The entire franchise has always been about him, I know. But it's in this film where it's most obvious. Kudos to Radcliffe for capably leading this film to where it ought to be. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson also shine in their roles, though this time around they take a backseat more than usual to Radcliffe. This being the final film, Ralph Fiennes gets the most screentime than he's ever had as Voldemort, and he is still great as the maniacal Dark Lord.
Now for the underwhelming part. I didn't like the epilogue Yates included in the end. It wasn't convincing to me, especially since his attempt to show the amount of time that had passed was poor. I felt that the film would end better without it. Yates also isn't very good at filming battle scenes, as the battle for Hogwarts was badly executed. We get minor glimpses of people and monsters fighting, then we cut back and forth to scenes of Harry, which distorts the flow overall. A bit more time spent on one-on-one duels would be nice too. I thought that Molly Weasley's duel with Bellatrix Lestrange was shorter than it ought to be, there's a good chance some of it was edited out. That's a shame indeed. And then there's a plot turn concerning Harry that wasn't explained after it happened (I can't mention it without giving it away), which makes it either confusing or silly. I guess if I read the book, I'd understand why, but as an audience member I'd prefer it being explained to me.
But in the end, I had a good time with this final picture. Not being a Potter fan, the emotional effect on me is much lower than people who are fans. But I will miss Harry a bit. My fondest memories of him will be mostly from the first film and not this one though. All in all, it's been an awesome decade. Goodbye Mr Potter. (3.5/5)