Thursday, April 3, 2014

Movie #246: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 is the last in the Harry Potter series, and wraps everything up in a neat little bow. No, not really, though it does come close. Same cast.

So, we left off with Dobby dying and the kids figuring they needed to find the other horcruxes. They do that by getting a goblin (Warwick Davis) to get them into Gringotts, the wizard bank, and into Bellatrix' vault. There, they find a dragon guarding it, and a horcrux among her possessions, which they nick and escape on dragon-back. The goblin takes the Sword of Griffyndor as payment, but LOL, Voldemort shows up and slaughters everyone, and the sword vanishes.

The kids figure out that the next horcrux is in Hogwarts, so with the help of Dumbledore's brother, Alberforth (Ciaran Hinds), they get in, and discover the whole place has gone to fascist hell under the headmastery of Snape (a point: why on Earth are wizard parents sending their kids? Surely they've gotta know what's going on?). The kids get in, and after a confrontation with Draco and Goyle and not-Crabbe (since the actor playing Crabbe, Jamie Waylett, was imprisoned for violent conduct), Goyle dies in a fire, and the kids destroy the next horcrux. That leaves the snake...

...but in the meanwhile, Voldemort, now feeling his mortality and realizing he can't control the Elder Wand, figures that it's not responding to him because Snape is its real master, because Snape killed Dumbledore. So he kills Snape, and Harry, finding Snape dying, collects his tears and views his memories in the pensieve and holy shit, Snape was a good guy all along! He was in love with Harry's mother Lily from a young age, kind of lost his shit when Harry's father bullied him, became a Death-Eater, and then renounced that when the prophecy indicated that Lily's son was the Chosen One and Voldemort killed the Potter family. He killed Dumbledore at Dumbledore's own request, since he was dying of a curse anyway.

But here's the kicker...Harry's a horcrux. To defeat Voldemort, Harry has to die. So he agrees to meet Voldemort in the woods, where the latter strikes him down, and we get an afterlife-y kind of thing where Harry chooses to go back after a conversation with Dumbledore.

So back at Hogwarts, Neville Fucking Longbottom gets to be badass, and pulls the Sword of Griffyndor out of the Sorting Hat and kills the snake, which of course is the final horcrux. Voldemort dies, Harry lives, everyone's happy...

Fast forward 19 years, and Harry is married to Ginny, Ron to Hermione, and they're sending their own kids to Hogwarts. Aw.

Honestly, what can you say about a series that so defined literature for so long? I mean, that sounds like an exaggeration, and it was very chic for a while (probably still is) to decry Rowling's writing as simplistic and derivative, and yeah, there are things I quibble with. But honestly? The story is fucking intricate, some of the characters are really well-realized, and Alan Rickman's performance of Snape through the movies should earn him a Lifetime Achievement award somewhere (if it hasn't).

It's hard to judge the last two movies on their own, because without the rest of the series they're pretty worthless. But judged as part of that series, it felt like a good ending, and I like the epilogue because we get the VE-Day ending at the school, and then the happy ending two decades later.

My grade: A-
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: The Haunting