Harry, Ron, and Hermione finally come face to face with Voldemort in a harrowing battle for Hogwarts and, the world. Made for hardcore and casual Potter fans will love this action-packed ending to the franchise.

Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Ten years after the first Harry Potter movie the franchise has grown into the highest grossing franchise in film history. Each movie has been a box office juggernaut. Now we’ve finally come to the end where Harry and the gang must face down Voldermort one last time. A few of the movies haven’t been up to the expectations of the devoted fanbase, but it’ll be hard to find anyone with complaints after they witness this finale.

Not only is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 a rocking good tale of wizards, magic, and mayhem, it’s also the best action movie we’ve had this year. Yes, a story about three young wizards who wave wands and cast spells is the best action movie of the year. It’s because director David Yates and his crew understand something about action. That it’s a fluid motion, and even when the action is filled with numerous pieces of inserted-after-the-fact CGI animation, that you can still make coherent, cohesive action set-pieces. The action from the Deathly Hallows makes Transformers 3 look amateurish by comparison. It’s nice to know that there’s filmmakers out there that believe audiences can’t just be fooled by big, shiny explosions. That real action is a dance of sorts. It’s a story in its own right. You know you’re watching good action when you care about what’s going on. Perhaps, that’s the biggest reason why the action in this movie is so good. We actually care about the people involved.

When we last left Harry, Ron, and Hermione they were on the course to finding horcruxes and defeating Voldemort once and for all. Voldemort had taken over the Ministry of Magic and plunged the entire wizarding world into a not-so-subtle Nazi analogy. Voldemort wants to purge the muggleblood (witches and wizards with non-magic blood) from the wizarding community. He believes in a pure, unfiltered race. Hmm, sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Throughout the years at Hogwarts Harry has battled his snakelike nemesis in a variety of forms. Each time he’s able to overcome Voldemort and prevail because of some seemingly simple magical clause, weapon, or ritual. Up until now it’s been hard to feel that Harry and his pals were ever in danger. However, when Voldemort flanked by his legions of followers shows up at Hogwarts it’s at that time where we begin to question the safety of Harry, which is crucial to the overall effect of the film.

I haven’t read all of the books (I’ve only just finished the fourth), so I can say that this movie still takes liberties with the more intricate parts of the story. Non-readers may find themselves a little lost at times, but as soon as the action starts up it’s unrelenting and you’ll find yourself immersed in a few set-pieces that are beautifully arranged. There’s real, honest-to-Dumbledore, danger happening here. People are dying. This isn’t a children’s story anymore. Harry is in mortal peril, along with everyone else that stands against Voldemort and his army.

Deathly Hallows Part 2 is not only one of the greatest cinematic thrill rides you’ll have this year – Super 8 being the other – but at its core it’s a story about characters we’ve grown to love. When we care about the characters amidst the action and mayhem, that makes it that more exciting, believable and personal. That’s what action movies are missing nowadays, a personal touch. Not to worry though, because Deathly Hallows Part 2 is as intimate a movie as you will ever see. It’s a perfect way to send off the franchise on a high note.

4 1/2 out of 5

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