Review: HP and the Deathly Hallows is fun but flawed

By Rob Howell
Lambda Film Critic

If there’s anything to be said about Harry Potter’s fanbase of readers, it’s that they’re rabid. I spent an hour and a half of my Thursday night standing in line, waiting for the movie to start, and all the while being bombarded by people I’ve decided are stranger then me – and that takes a special kind of strange. There were costumes and screaming and people trying desperately to re-read the book before the movie started. It was like a World of Warcraft convention, just with more girl boobs and less dude boobs.

Now onto the review.

It’s Harry’s final year at Hogwarts School of Paganism and Demon Worship, and his class attendance is about as good as mine. The movie revolves around the characters traveling around in an attempt to destroy the evil wizard Voldemorts Horcruxs (since every evil wizard leaves the artifacts that make him immortal just lying around.). Really that’s it, the movie’s plot ends there.

FROM LEFT: Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Emma Watson as Hermione, and Rupert Grint as Ron in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Photo supplied.

Now, this is part one as they’ve decided to split the book into two movies so the actual conclusion will be occuring next year in part two. This seems like a bad thing – having a movie with a paper-thin plot try and storm the box office, but it works. The characters do just bumble around from place to place, being the heroes, but as a movie it all ended up being fun, even ending off at a perfect point to leave enough tension for you to want to keep watching, but without making you feel like they just cut the movie of half way through.

This isn’t to say the movie was flawless though. There were two glaring problems that honestly bothered me the whole movie. Everything’s solved off screen. A character gets himself killed in a heroic battle? Better have that off screen. Need to solve a problem introduced maybe ten minutes ago? Better have someone already think ahead of that and solve it off screen. Evil villain overthrowing the government? Better just mention that after the fact. The movie suffered from this throughout – everything awesome that I wanted to see was never shown and just mentioned. If I’d wanted to hear about it instead of see it, I would have listened to the audiobook.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Photo supplied.

Film is a visual format. If you want to have something action-packed, then show some action, and leave the exposition to Kevin Smith. The other problem? Costuming – everyone dressed like a stereotype and it just didn’t work for me. I understand that Voldemorts followers are racists but do they need to look like the wizard KKK? Does the government really feel like the second they become evil everyone has to dress like the Hitler Youth? And why do all the snatchers dress like they’re going to a Sex Pistols concert?

In the end, Deathly Hallows was an alright movie – fun to watch when stuff happens, and you feel like talking about it afterward. Honestly, the Harry Potter movies have never been attempts at Oscar gold. They’re just pretty fun movies made to make as much money out of the franchise as possible, and in the end if people have fun watching, it’s a success.