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Capt. Sage's Review of the Film:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two

It's the last movie in the series, and it was an excellent ending. It included all of the lines from the book that I wanted it to, and it did them well. The cast performed excellently, and it was so good to see so many of them there. The cinematography was brilliant, and the special effects were marvelous. Its main but relatively small problem was similar to that of most of the rest of the movie series, the problem of using movie-logic instead of sensible-logic, thus both deviating from the book and becoming more confusing. These failures, however, are minor compared to the movie's triumphs. (See the spoiler section below.1)

The movie is rather violent, but much less violent than it could've been, considering that this is the climactic battle between good and a very cruel evil. What gore and carnage is shown is meant to demonstrate the cruelty of the villains, and the horror and sadness of the mayhem they create. Nevertheless, this is perhaps not the film to take your youngest children to.

The ending was very well done. All of the characters in this movie were sent off well; nearly all at least got a final glance, and others got to exit the stage in a good way as, well. (See the spoiler section below.2) A short epilogue before the credits was good, so good that its main problem was that it was too short. (See the spoiler section below.3) The series, however, is done, now, and it was good to see that it was given such a fantastic send-off.

SPOILERS

1: There were several problematic deviations, deletions, and additions from the book. First, the plotline about how trustworthy Dumbledore was almost totally collapsed, which was too bad, since it had been going fairly strong in the first part, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One. In fact, I saw Part One shortly after Part Two, and was surprised to recall that the plotline had been so strong in Part One, considering that it was almost nonexistent in Part Two. The result was that Aberforth's scene, and the King's Cross station scene, made a good deal less sense, and didn't truly manage to resolve the plotline at all.

Next, in a strange addition to what the book has, Prof. McGonagall sends all of the Slytherins to the dungeon, under the custody of Filch, the caretaker. This is monstrous when one thinks about it - the whole of Slytherin is being taken captive just because of prejudice and a few bad apples. What about the first-year Slytherins who never did any harm to anyone? Prof. McGonagall is responsible for teaching them, too. This part makes more movie sense than logical sense, and it also violates one of the themes of the book, which is that Slytherin house is not, in fact, a house of evil. Further, the scene is more movie sense than logical sense, in that Filch alone is expected to be able to force them all into the dungeons. It would be a difficult feat for any lone wizard to compel at least dozens of wand-wielding wizards anywhere, and this is compounded if one knows from the book that Filch cannot, in fact, perform magic at all.

Snape's memories being held in his tears was both an interesting and confusing deviation from the book. The movies have followed the book's convention of having memories extracted from the head by a wand, and having the memories look like wispy, grey hair. At that scene, I knew that they were supposed to be collecting Snape's memories, but I was still confused, wondering if the movie was having something else be collected from him instead. Violating the established convention of the movies and books in the last book resulted in a good deal more confusion that could've been easily avoided by sticking to the convention.

In an addition to the book, Draco goes over to the Death Eaters when it seems that Voldemort has won, but only at the insistence of his mother. This completely violates the exploration of Draco's character of the sixth and seventh books - Draco is not a black-hearted villain, he is not a believer in Voldemort's evil doctrines of wizard supremacy, and he loves both his parents, not only his mother. In addition, we later see them fleeing the final battle. It's not clear at all what we're supposed to learn about the Malfoy family, and it makes the epilogue, in which we see Draco's son being sent off with love, feel very odd, instead of inspiring, as it did in the book. Also, in the book, Harry and Draco nod at each other in the epilogue, suggesting that while they may never be friends or even like each other, they do understand each other now, and have buried the hatchet, which was uplifting.

Finally, the Battle of Hogwarts was excellently done - the final fight against Voldemort was not, because it made movie-sense, not logical-sense. Why is it that the hero always dies, but not quite? Why is it that the villain never finishes the hero off quickly when he is in his power, but instead employs a slow and dramatic technique to slowly kill him (in this case, special-effects-enhanced robes.) Why is it that good guys always fumble or are forced to drop their weapon (in this case, the basilisk fang?) I'd really hoped that we'd get to see Neville unexpectedly earn a major victory over Voldemort by killing Nagini. I was glad that it still occurred, but having it delayed made it a bid odder and weirder. Overall, I think that sticking closer to the book would've made a better scene.

2: I've complained so much about deviations from and additions to the book that it seems only right to point out an addition to the book that worked. In his last scene, Filch, the caretaker, seeing the massive piles of debris now laying about the school, grumbles, then begins to ineffectually but stubbornly sweep up, his faithful cat by his side. It was funny and endearing at the same time, and it was a perfect sendoff for this character.

3: As I've mentioned above, the odd things they did with Draco in this movie made his part in the epilogue a bit awkward, but I was still glad to see him present in the epilogue. It seems like many of the characters should've had many more lines, but I was glad of the ones they did have. The characters were aged very well and sensibly. Overall, I'd say the epilogue was almost perfect. Well done, all.