TFG Does The Summer Blockbusters : “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows : Part 2”

Posted: July 25, 2011 in movies
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So, yeah, it all ends. And it ends with a bang. And hard-core Harry Potter fans everywhere are wondering what to do next with their lives. And it’s grim and gritty and dark and foreboding and most definitely not for little kids. Harry grew up, things got dark, and then it all ended.

Honestly, that’s the trajectory of the Harry Potter franchise summed up as simply, and yet completely, as possible. And yet —

I find it hard to be anywhere near as dismissive of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows : Part 2, or, for that matter, of the entire Potter series in general, as I am of the Transformers cinematic printing press, simply because what we have here is both a genuine cultural phenomenon, the like of which will probably never be seen again, and because the folks who made these flicks never seemed to be content to just stop caring, go on autopilot, and assume we’d all just show up and fork over our cash. In short, they did their best to earn the public’s hard-won dollars. They never stopped giving a shit, and it never stopped showing.

Now, even though your humble host has seen each and every Potter movie, I’ll confess right now to never being the hugest fan of the series. I had no problem with it, per se, and generally found them to be well-executed and more or less interesting. they just never grabbed me enough to form the emotional bond with the characters that so many fans seem to have — but you know, I get it. Especially when it comes to the people who came of age while this series was going and literally watched Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint grow up with them. This thing has been a part of their lives, goddamnit, and I understand why they’d find it so hard to let it go. There weren’t too many dry eyes in the place when the end credits rolled, that’s for sure.

And just to give more credit where credit is due, just as J. K. Rowling’s book series got kids reading again for the first time in forever, the Potter films have gotten a new generation of kids into movie magic, and the technical art of making good, solid films. Not since Lucas and Romero’s venerable cinematic series captured the imaginations of teens and young adults who wanted to make the art of creating celluloid illusions the backbone of their lives’ work has anything like this happened. The next wave of special effects and CGI superstars are going to be folks who grew up on Harry Potter.

And so an era, well and truly, has ended here. And it’s ended in grand style. Director David Yates has crafted an engaging and dare I say even thrilling finale that ticks every box on the Potter fan’s checklist yet somehow avoids feeling like a cynical technical exercise. If you loved these films, you’re gonna love how it all turns out, and even though you probably knew the story going in, you’ll still be on the edge of your seat most of the way through. That’s saying something. If you’ve loved this whole thing from the start, this is a final chapter that returns your love and says “thanks for being with us” while giving you everything in a Potter story you’ve ever wanted. A flick that the uninitiated can still enjoy while the diehards have, quite literally, the time of their movie lives.

And that’s probably the secret to this series’ success right there — it managed to keep the masses (like myself) entertained, while creating, and then consistently reaching, a core audience of true believers on a level few movie franchises can ever hope to achieve.

My wizard’s hat is off to Yates and company for sending off this series in the way that it — and its million of loyal fans — deserved. The Harry Potter series may be over, but magic, especially movie magic, is definitely alive and well.

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