Premiering this weekend on HBO was the penultimate movie in the Harry Potter franchise, 2010’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”.
When I think of the final two “Harry Potter” movies, the analogy I can’t resist is the 1998 movie “Twins”.
In it, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito play a couple of genetically engineered twins, separated at birth. The gag is, Ahnuld was spawned from the most desirable elements of the genetic code, and DeVito was created from the residual elements.
To me, that’s how I feel about the final two “Potter” movies. The second part is a nonstop explosion of action, character reveals, battle scenes and resolutions. It’s a phenomenal movie, a genuine big ticket movie.
This one? Not so much.
Until this movie, the Potter films had always been “stand alone”, even though they were part of a larger story. And if viewed from that perspective this is a fine chapter within the series as a whole. Were one to watch the entire series as a single 80 hour long movie, this portion would be fine. Kind of a “darkest before the dawn” segment. Hell, even if you were to consider this the front half of a single two part movie, it would be fine.
But in spite of the name, that’s not exactly how it works. I mean, HBO didn’t premiere BOTH parts this weekend.
And so, I have to call it like I see it. This movie was dark, and dreary, and felt extremely uneventful to me. A major portion of this movie is the just the three kids wandering in the woods. The action revolves around
a MacGuffin chase the search for Horcruxes, and introduces “The Elder Wand” I recognize that these movies were based on the books, and as such, there was a perceived requirement to cover everything that was written in them, but I found myself questioning if this entire chapter couldn’t have been eliminated.
I’m pretty certain that the fact they could make another billion dollars played into the decision making.
It IS a Harry Potter movie, so it isn’t totally awful… I mean, there’s super high production values, we do care about these characters, and we are invested in the story.
But a lot of that was earned prior to this.