So during the last week and a half or so, I've been prepping for the finale to the Harry Potter series by going back and watching all the films. It feels very strange that these films are ending, but even more strange to really realize what an accomplishment they were throughout the past decade. I don't think any franchise can boast about some of the things that really make the Harry Potter series unique. 8 films in the course of a decade all featuring the same actors? Pretty much unheard of. And seeing the childhoods of these actors and actresses and how they grow, being captured on film is really kind of special. And over the years, the films, along with the actors, have grown and matured. Maybe when Deathly Hallows 2 comes out on Blu-ray, I'll go through and critique each one, but for now I will keep this short and speak on them collectively, as a whole....as well as share my thoughts on the newly released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
I've never been a huge "Potterphile" as far as the books go. I've always loved the films and the stories that inspired them, but I chose to read the books after the films so I wouldn't be too picky on the whole adaptation aspect of the films. In that regard, I've never really had any expectations, so I've never been disappointed....well other than the anti-climactic ending of Half-Blood Prince, and the romance of Harry and Ginny that comes out of nowhere in the last three films/last two books. But with the trailers and hype of this being the epic conclusion, I had pretty high expectations for Deathly Hallows Part 2. Luckily, I was pretty happy with the end result! It was not only, a very fitting end to the era of the Harry Potter franchise, but a surprisingly epic end for a series that has never really struck me as such. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved the series....but it's always seemed a bit smaller scaled in its universe than Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.
Watching the story unfold and the twists and turns that come with it, was definitely rewarding as a dedicated viewer of the series. And luckily, I brought a book expert along with me to explain the stuff that I was a little confused about afterwards. The end of the series is plenty rewarding and worth the time invested in all the other films. In other words, the payoff is worth it! Well...except for the resolutions regarding Harry's love life. The famous epilogue scene at the end is just unbelievably silly. I've complained enough via facebook on what a terrible matchup Harry and Ginny are. They are just completely devoid of chemistry and thrown together for no comprehensible reason. It's just awkward to watch. Okay, I get it. Hermione needs to be with Ron. I think her and Harry are better matched, but I get it. Still? Ginny? Why not Luna? Even Cho has more personality. Or any other female in the universe of Harry Potter for that matter would make more sense than him falling for Ginny. Plus come on, everyone marries someone they met in high school? I shudder to think if I had to live in that world. Then again, I could perform magic, so it's not all bad.
Now, one final thought. Who would have thought that Neville Longbottom of all the guys in the cast would have grown up to be the most handsome and manly? Not in the movie, but the pictures of him in the premiere were kind of mind blowing. Late bloomers! Good for him! Man....if I would have known I definitely would have taken advantage of when I met him back when I was 17!! Fortunate for the filmmakers that Daniel, Rupert and Emma still look so young and didn't grow very tall...but unfortunate for them! It should be interesting to see whose careers continue after this and whose don't. I don't know how anyone can not think of Daniel Radcliffe as Harry for the rest of his life, and that will definitely be a hindrance to him getting roles I think. But Matthew Lewis, AKA Neville? I hope we see a lot more of him!
Anyway, to conclude this post...Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a wonderful way to end a special franchise and definitely worth seeing. I give it 8.7 magic wands out of 10 and say see it in theaters!