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"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two" is good

July 15, 2011 - Andrea Johnson
Watching a midnight showing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two" is for the young. No one past college age is meant to stay up until 3 in the morning.

But I did it anyway, for a chance to see the very last Potter film and review it. I was by far the oldest in a crowd full of teenagers and twenty-somethings who have grown up reading the tales of J.K. Rowling's magical wizard. I did see a couple of starry-eyed elementary kids in the audience with bleary-eyed parents and a pair of twenty-somethings who couldn't wait to see the movie walking home with their wide awake toddler at 2:45 a.m. I wouldn't want to be the mother dealing with the cranky child today.

Every kid in the auditorium seemed to be wide awake and a bona fide Potter geek, from the girl wearing a T-shirt with a picture of baddie Bellatrix LeStrange to the two boys behind me who were discussing the best moments from the seven previous Potter movies and how they compared to the books. Then they moved on to a discussion of another fantasy series, which they said wasn't as good as Potter.

"I'm going to see it again, like five times!" exclaimed another girl.

For a film where everyone knew what was going to happen and who was going to die, there was a lot of cheering.Here we have the ultimate battle of good against evil, the final showdown of the teenage wizard and the evil wizard Voldemort, who by the final film has turned the wizarding world into something resembling Nazi Germany.

How could you not cheer when Harry and his pals Hermione and Ron looted Bellatrix's bank vault and escaped the goblin bank atop a liberated dragon? Or how about when Professor Minerva McGonagall animated a bunch of statues and gargoyles and sent them lumbering forward to "do your duty by our school. Protect us!" Then she impishly said "I've always wanted to use that spell!" and the crowd burst into applause. When Molly Weasley stepped forward to protect her daughter from the evil Bellatrix and began to duel, the entire audience seemed to be waiting for the line they knew was coming and a few recited it along with Molly.

There are also several deaths, including some of beloved characters. The scene where Harry walks through the battleground and sees the dead is terribly sad, but not as sad as the one where the 18-year-old says "I am ready to die" and makes of himself a sacrificial lamb, walking forward unarmed to face Voldemort and end it once and for all. That scene won't surprise anyone who has read the book. Neither will Harry's survival. Still, it's a sad scene.

Also sad is the death scene of one misunderstood key character and the flashback showing why he did what he did throughout the series. It brought a few to tears.

I've read the entire series and I noticed several places where the sequence of events or the lines differ from the book, but the choices made resulted in a stronger dramatic film. The battle and action scenes add excitement even for those who have never seen a Harry Potter film. This is one of the best movies of the summer, well worth going to see.

I don't recommend going at midnight, though.


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