He is not one to read much into the adventures of teenage wizards but many years ago a little film directed by Chris Columbus captured El Jefe de Santo's attention. A decade later and 8 films attributed to the J.K. Rowling franchise the flicks are well-crafted fantasy adventures that demand the attention of audiences everywhere. There are few translations from an original work of literature more faithful aside from Jackson's Ring triology. The final installment of the Harry Potter series has arrived. Magic suplexes and rides on the Hogwart's Pain Express for everyone!
There have always been a few things about the Potter franchise that are constant. There has never been a shortage of brilliant British actors to play supporting roles and that producer David Heyman and the various directors in the series take this universe very seriously.
The first constant has allowed for performances over the years that, frankly, outshine anything the young trio could deliver on screen. That's all a part of the brilliance of the series as a whole, though. Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) is a kind-hearted wizard that is truly all-knowing yet flawed. Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) is the sort of dark-hearted sorcerer that walks in shadows yet the darkness beguiles his motives. Rickman gets special mention here as we get to see the history of a character I've been dying to know more about since the very first film. The sequence involving the scrying pool is fantastic and nearly worth the price of admission alone. Professor McGonnagall(Dame Maggie Smith) is stern yet cares so much for the students in her charge and she's also a magnificent witch. Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter) is a truly horrific and twisted individual, relishing every bit of pain she inflicts. She is truly a delight to watch work. The Dark Lord, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) however has always been one of the strongest parts of the series as a whole.
The second part of the Deathly Hallows is heavy on action and VERY heavy on Voldemort. That's fine by me, though, considering that so much scenery is chewed by the slit-nostril monstrosity that by the end of it I was left wanting so much more. The dialogue was given time to breathe and establish its presence and, thankfully, we had skilled thespians to deliver it.
The marvelous acting aside from the Dark Wizard and supporting cast there is action a'plenty. There aren't too many sequences of just exposition that aren't immediately bookended by stellar action setpieces. The CGI is top notch in regards to making this magic REAL. I've always felt one of the strongest parts of the films, in terms of visual effects, is just how well they managed to translate Rowling's version of magic into beautiful technicolor reality. All of these fantastic elements combine with well-paced and choreographed sequences to make for a, dare I say it, rip roarin' adventure worthy of midnight showing let alone a matinee.
I'm finding it hard not to reflect on the series as a whole here, but honestly this is the capstone to one of the most successful franchises in all of entertainment. It is a fitting finale to, and the trailers are right to say this despite the smug sound of it, a global phenomenon. The books have been monstrous, but the movies have been something spectacular.
David Yates has been at the helm for Part 5, 6 and all of 7. He really hit his stride with DH Part 1 and by the time the credits roll on DH Part 2 I was left feeling that Yates had really made a name for himself. The flick is paced well, choices in photography grandiose and the reality of an arcane war coming to the Hogwart's School of Magic made so compelling. I've always felt that Cuaron (He directed Part 3: Prisoner of Azkaban) crafted the best of all the films, but damn if Yates didn't knock it out of the park with the Hallows.
The young trio (Gint, Radcliffe and Watson) have come a long way as well in their journey along the road to completing this franchise. Whether or not Hollywood holds much for these folks or not they've left their mark on cinematic history nonetheless. Radcliffe, in particular, has shown glimpses of brilliance here and there along with Watson.
I honestly want more of this universe, though I know we won't be getting it. It's interesting to think that El Jefe de Santo would long to see more of magic and Muggles instead of Clotheslines from Hell but I do! This was a fitting end to a long road traveled from the beginning of our education at Hogwarts to, ultimately, salvation. Well worth it.