DH2 finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) searching to destroy four Horcruxes that contain Voldermort’s (Ralph Fiennes) soul. Along the way we things get explained, loose ends are finally tied, and we see Harry’s most serious and mature side (He has chest hair for God’s sake). Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) take on one last adventurous trek that includes Ron and Hermione’s first kiss, the death of some major players, and some amusement park-like visuals. I’ve already given away too much. Just go see it. Potter fanatics and casual fans alike should get a kick out of Harry’s farewell roller coaster ride. Ralph Fiennes continues to steal scene after scene as Voldermort and really ends up being the driving force behind the last few films…especially this one. I couldn’t imagine anyone elses slithering tongue sadistically deliver tasty lines like, “Harry Potter, the boy who lived…comes to die.” Fiennes elevates Voldermort to one of the classic movie baddies in recent memory. He’s no Darth Vader, but he’s not too far off. It also doesn’t hurt that the always excellent supporting cast in the series includes Alan Rickman and the devilish Helena Bonham Carter. Director David Yates, who helmed the last four Potter films, shows concise control over the story and actors and proves he was the right man for the job all along.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2 is definitely one of the more entertaining of the franchise, but for my money’s worth I say Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix are right up there with this one for the franchise’s top spot. With Harry darker is better, and a down and out Hogwarts serves as a graveyard of Harry’s innocence lost in this extravagant effects laiden grand finale. You can tell that a lot of the story gets crammed into a running time of just over two hours, but I think the film is better for it. With a final battle at Hogwarts that is extremely long, but never once boring, Harry Potter gets the proper send off that he deserves. Harry Potter goes out as the most successful movie franchise of all time, and that makes the fireworks between Lord Voldermort and Harry all the more apropos.