Double Feature

October 2022 - It's been more than 11 years since Harry Potter hung up his wizard's hat. It's taken me that long to realize that I reviewed the first of the last two movies but never got around to reviewing the second. So, without further ado …

OK. Maybe just a bit more ado. Before we get to the final film, let's recap the one leading up to it, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

It's always darkest before the dawn goes the old saying. And these are dark times indeed for Harry and company in this PG-13 movie from 2010 based on the final book of J.K. Rowling's wildly popular series (which I still have not read). Here, Harry, Hermione and Ron leave the increasingly dangerous confines of Hogwarts to go in search of the Horcruxes. Each of the seven Horcruxes contains a piece of the soul of Harry's mortal enemy, the Dark Lord, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). If Harry can find and destroy all the Horcruxes, he and his friends will have a shot at defeating Voldemort when they meet for the final battle.

In this episode, Hermione gets to strut her stuff. She casts the spells that allow the trio to hide while they search for the Horcruxes. She also is skilled in the healing arts. And she proves that she's becoming a real woman by carrying around a very deep purse. Her contributions are vital as the three friends undertake their perilous journey.

Overall review: Liked it. The focus on the three characters helps give this movie the, well, focus that previous installments have lacked. For me, it seemed easier to follow than the others; it's more viewer-friendly for people who haven't read the books. The cinematography is dazzling. And one more note. Part 1 ends on a cliffhanger that made me wish I didn't have to wait several months to see the exciting conclusion.

But wait I did. I saw the PG-13 rated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 soon after it came out in July 2011. The big screen adventures of the boy wizard come to a satisfying conclusion in this, the eighth and final film in the series. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint star along with Ralph Fiennes, Dame Maggie Smith, Julie Walters and Helena Bonham Carter.

Part 2 begins where Part 1 ended, with Harry, Hermione, and Ron on a quest to find the Horcruxes. The trio found and destroyed some Part 1. If they can find and destroy the rest, then Harry can defeat Voldemort once and for all. The search ultimately brings Harry and company back to Hogwarts, where they believe one of the Horcruxes is hidden.

At the same time, a weakened Voldemort is preparing for the final battle. He has gained possession of the powerful Elder Wand, one of the legendary Deathly Hallows. He and his minions lay waste to Hogwarts in an attempt to kill Harry or, at the very least, to draw him out for a final showdown.

Overall review: Loved it! A fantastic finish to the cinematic series. The action and special effects are great, there's a suitable level of suspense, key questions are answered, and storylines are tied up with a neat little bow. Well done, Harry. Well done.