Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 review / Susan Granger
Brace yourself. The fast-paced, spectacular conclusion of this franchise has everything you could want in an action-adventure. Throughout previous episodes, Harry Potter has struggled with the difficulties of adolescence along with being a famous wizard with a villainous enemy. Now Lord Voldemort is using Horcruxes to become immortal, secreting fragments of his soul within various objects so he can be regenerated or resurrected.
Determined destroy the remaining Horcruxes, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), who have been hiding from the Ministry of Magic and Voldemort's Death Eaters, must sneak past the goblins into Gringotts Bank on Diagon Alley and then find the Diadem of Ravenclaw, which is hidden somewhere at Hogwarts. And in the terrifying, final battle for control of the Wizarding World, Harry must eventually confront not only reptilian-looking Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) with his snake Nagani but also enigmatic Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). Plus, there's the Elder Wand, Invisibility Cloak and Resurrection Stone which, together, are said to provide mastery over Death.
What's extraordinary about the "Harry Potter" series is how producer David Heyman, screenwriter Steve Kloves, production designer Stuart Craig and various directors - this time, David Yates - have not only explored J.K. Rowling's classic good vs. evil themes of loyalty and love, friendship and understanding, but also cinematically chronicled how these innocent, often bewildered 10 and 11 year-olds have evolved into bright, brave, resourceful, albeit flawed young adults. And as the children grew up, so has the audience.
In this fun-filled fantasy world, even the peripheral characters have their climactic moments, like when Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) curses Ginny (Bonnie Wright) and Mrs. Weasley (Julie Walters) comes to her rescue, yelling, "Not my daughter, you bitch!" And nerdy Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) heroically wields the sword of Godric Griffindor.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" is a triumphant 10 -- with an epilogue tying the final knot in the narrative thread of this spellbinding series.