Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The Harry Potter universe has taken an even darker turn with the first part of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. Gone are the days of cute animal sidekicks, dorky muggle cousins and grumpy old wand-makers. Now, death looms at every corner and evil seems destined to find our young hero and destroy what good is left in the world of magic. Instead of Hogwarts, which doesn’t even appear in the film, we spend most of our time in new locations and instead of our favorite characters being classified by houses, they’re on two separate sides representing good and evil. Harry, of course, is the focus as Voldermort seems intent on finding him and finishing what he started 17 years ago.
Taking such a drastic turn for the darker is a tough move to pull off, but could have been successful if the pacing had been a little faster. Instead, we spent half the movie with the kids talking in the woods about how bad things are. Maybe I catch on to things faster than most, but I could have sworn we spent the first six movies setting up the fact that Voldermort is evil and he wants to kill Harry Potter. I didn’t need two hours of Harry and Hermione talking about it to convince me Voldermort is serious. And since I haven’t read the book, I don’t know what importance the horcruxes have on the story but what I can say is that the movie didn’t explain it, even though it spent an excessive amount of time showing us how hard the one they found was to destroy. Oh, and there’s seven of them in the beginning of the movie that the kids have to go find. One was found four movies ago and they only found one in this movie. If it takes 2.5 hours to find and destroy the other five horcrux’s, then these kids are going to be 50 years-old before this series ends.
But I have to keep reminding myself that this is the first part of a two-part film and the second part promises to be exciting as it wraps up 10 years worth of movies. However, after watching the first part, my feeling is that they had about 3.5 hours worth of a movie for the seventh book and then split it into two parts, forcing them to drag out the first film. I say that because there was barely 45 minutes worth of footage in this that I found interesting. We had some exciting moments, especially when they snuck into the ministry of magic and then returned to Harry’s birth place. Unfortunately, a lot of talking and planning took place between those scenes.
Keep in mind that the Harry Potter movies mean something different to people that have read the books. I talked with people that have read the books several times and they felt the film was spectacular and held pretty true to the source material. But looking at this strictly through the eyes of a movie fan (and a fan of the previous Harry Potter films), I felt it dragged and its only purpose was to set up the second part. Director David Yates did another fine job, but too much time was spent on scenes that didn’t further the plot. We had some good moments, but we really need a strong part 2 in order to wrap this franchise up nicely. Assuming Part 2 lives up to expectations, then I think history will look kindly on Part 1 and like the KILL BILL series, the films will have to be taken together as one complete movie rather than judged separately.