Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part One Review With Slight Spoilers (3 of 5)

Just to make it clear, I have not been a fan of this series. I’ve seen them all and with the exception of the third installment this has been the most over-rated franchise in movie history. It has completely lacked any substance and again , with the exception of The Prisoner of Azkaban has felt like that JK Rowling just writes as she goes along, stealing from other better stories (see movie poster above for instance riffing The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe) and ignoring any semblance at clarity. Never has so much acting talent been wasted onscreen. Each film has displayed some of the greatest British actors of the time and has them to do little more than hit their marks.  The latest film is no different.

This scene with Voldemort... Not in this film. You'll have to wait for Part 2.

Worse still, is the fact that the studio knows that it’s coming to an end, so what do they do? They take a cue from Kill Bill and split the final story into 2 parts.The difference is that Kill Bill had a worthwhile story. It had ideas and imagination. Deathly Hallows Part 1 is inconsequential and although I did enjoy this one probably more than the previous episodes. Emphasis on ‘episodes’. This is episodic teen melodrama to be sure.

This guy looks interesting. This scene isn't in the film, though...

WARNING: SOME SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW. I TRY TO KEEP THE DETAILS AND SURPRISES QUIET, BUT DON’T BLAME ME IF THERE’S SOMETHING YOU DIDN’T WANT TO KNOW THAT’S IN THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

This isn't in the film, either... Next time...

The movie begins with Rufus Scrimgeour, theMinister of Magic (Bill Nighy), giving an important sounding speech. Voldemort, the noseless Harry Potter nemesis who has never been very good at being bad,  has gathered together all of the characters from the previous films (those who only possess black clothing in their wardrobes

 

Not the scene I'm speaking of. This is in the sequel to Harry Potter 7.

Any other color in their wardrobe would disqualify them from this). He states that he must kill Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and he has to do it with someone else’s wand fror some reason.

This scene's in the next film...

This is really the first time in any of the films that I can remember where Voldemort (played by Ralph Fiennes) is actually shown to have any kind of schemes and is at least given a few moments to display some sort of personality. Voldemort is portrayed by an incredibly talented actor in Ralph Fiennes and it’s stunning how uninteresting his character is. He wants more power and the only way he can get this is to kill Harry Potter? That’s his entire motivation? Really? Again, at least he got A scene to show him scheming for once.

A similar scene was in Part 1... This will have to wait for Part 2.

Apparently there was some stuff going on  between the last film and this one. That guy Dumbledorf  (Harry’s mentor and played by Michael Gambon) arbitrarily died in the last film. It seems as though all of London is getting out of Dodge in the beginning because some crazy magic went down in London last time, but later it looks like noone left.

OYou won't have to wait until next time for this exciting scene.

Hermione (Emma Watson) even (magically) wipes all remnants of her herself from existence and from memory (of her parents). Why did she do that? Got no idea. To add to the angst I imagine. Artificial tension. She later does this to a bad guy trying to capture/(kill?) them; wipes him from existence. I’m thinkin’ why don’t they just do that with the Voldemort guy?

Part 1 is mostly Snapeless. A complete waste of Rickman..

Anyway… All of Harry’s allies, led by Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody (played by Brendan Gleeson),  show up at Harry’s place. The Dursleys (Potter’s relatives who despise Potter openly to a cartoonish level) have already abandoned Potter and home to get out of town. It’s all about Harry and all of Potter’s friends are going to risk their lives to protect him from  Voldemort. How do they do this. All (or most) of them drink/eat an elixir that makes them all look like Harry. I don’t want to think about that for some reason.

 

This isn't the attack. This sin't in the film.

Anyway…  They leave and of course Voldemort knows who the real Potter is and attacks, so the whole subplot of the disguises proves to be irrelevant for the most part. Voldemort lets him go, when he’s getting the better of him… Someone told Ralph they still have another film to release, I guess. There was no reason given why he calls off the attack.

 

Not in this movie...

So here they are where a wedding’s going to happen. The evil Dark Lord is trying to kill them and they go on about their wedding. Harry does try to get out of it, but of course he’s stopped by best buddy Ron. Befor or after this (I don’t care which), the Minister of Magic shows up . Apparently he’s an estate lawyer because he bequeaths 3 items of Dumbledore’s to Harry , Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione.

 

Part 7B is where you'll see this scene...

Ron’s item is yet another blatant ripoff of another series (The Lord of The Rings). Tell me I’m wrong when you see it. And when they find the hidden item  that Harry inherits, ask yourself why it’s in the location where it is. There is absolutely NO REASON why its there other than because Rowling is writing this as she was going along. And why wouldn’t Dumbledorf tell them in the will what it’s for? Moving on…

 

Cool dragon... You'll have to wait for next year to see this scene, though.

There’s another attack and the wedding ends I suppose. Harry, Hermione and Ron teleport into London, leaving all those other people being attacked. That’s heroic. It’s all about Harry, though. They’re somehow found in town… Magically . I guess it’s great that they can chalk up any problem in plot or story with that incredibly lazy explanation: It’s magic.

 

Okay, this was in the film. But tell me what happened to the guy giving chase. It's not explained.

Anyway, they soon, through plot entanglements too murky to explain in less than 3000 words, I’ll just say that things get worse. The Minister of Magic disappears offscreen (maybe Nighy had another movie to do) and he’s replaced. Muggles and halfbloods are being persecuted. And Harry and Co. find out about 4 objects called the Horcruxes that they have to destroy, but Dumbledorf didn’t leave any instructions how to do that, so they do the only logical thing: they travel into the woods and pitch a tent.

 

Nope. Next movie...

Ron’s upset by this (influenced by the evil Horcrux that they are in possession of (inherited by Harry) and leaves only to show back up when the plot calls for it. He comes back just in time to find Harry… in the middle of the night… in the wilderness… in the water… under ice.

Hey! This was in Part 1, also!

Okay… Okay…Hmm… Okay, I want to stop right here and  remind you, as ridiculous… as confusing… as convoluted… as conveniently and capriciously written as this is, I still like this film more than the last 3 films in this series… I was so disappointed with the last one that I couldn’t even bring myself to write anything about it…. Big sigh….

 

No, this guy's barely in the movie. Next time.

Another example of the poor writing: when one of the Snatchers(?) are about to capture Harry and Co. when (thinking quickly) Hermione disguises Potter’s face so they don’t recognize him. This has NO payoff. They’re taken to Bellatrix Lestrange (great name) who immediately figures out who it is. Then Harry and Ron are locked in a dungeon while Hermione is tortured briefly. They meet up with Luna Lovegood (who does manage to provide a laugh or 2 in a brief appearance), Ollivander (John Hurt) and Griphook (Warwick Davis). Are you keeping up?

 

Not one of the 45 seconds for Hurt. I guess he's in Part Deux...

Anyway, Hurt is in the film for all of about 45 seconds… Immediately Potter’s elf friend Dobby teleports into the dungeon. They escape along with Hermione, although Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter) manages to kill one of them as they teleport away. Is it Harry, like That Which Has Been Rumored? I’ll leave that for you to ponder if you haven’t seen this yet. I’m betting Harry Potter will be over the title, though. The whole sequence though: captured, altered face, the reveal of who it is, the torture, the escape and the killing of an inconsequential character was a waste of film.

 

This was DEFINiTELY not in this one.

So there’s a burial and the film pretty much ends. Quite a mess for a film where nothing of  any significance occurs and no real point is being made except maybe that Harry loves his parents…. The parents who died when he was an infant. If in the next film the ‘obliterate’ spell has some relevance to Harry’s parents, I might admit that some of the myriad of story threads were trying to actually work towards something, but I’m betting I won’t have to do that.

 

This looks like some big Braveheart style fight. You'll have to wait for Part:The Second.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not in the demographic for this film. I like GOOD movies. I like stories that are well written and not just a film full of  ‘kewl’ FX. Don’t get me wrong,

 

A sample of the 'kewl' FX NOT in this movie.

I like FX movies, especially when they’re done well and the Harry Potter movies are at least a slight notch up from the mindlessness of your typical FX laden films (such as the recent release Skyline). The  telling of the story of the ‘Deathly Hallows’ by Hermione by way of storybook was neat, but it felt like they mad a short film and dropped it into the movie. The style of the animation was very un-Potter like and I liked it. There’s even a few scenes (that didn’t quite work here) that were an attempt at indie-film like ‘focus on characters’. One scene I speak of is the ‘spontaneous dance’ that occurs between 2 of the characters (won’t say which 2, but it won’t be hard to figure out). It was very AWKWARDLY shot, but at least they tried.

 

Surprisingly in the movie...

This one does manage to be a little more humorous and engaging to a viewer who is not a diehard fan. It’s not the most accesible, though, probably being the least so. If you want to follow this  properly, you’ll need to watch the first one. If you want to know who the hell all of thee characters are, you need to go back and watch them all.

 

This set and sequence is not in this film...

One of the best facets of this series are the sets and locations. They’ve spent a lot of money on these things to make it back and this one’s no different. There are times where the movie is lit very well and sometimes when it’s a little too gloomy.

 

Big showdown!

They wanted to make it look so dark, that sometimes it just looks like a black screen was dropped aver the lens.

 

Harry vs Voldemort!......................... Again!

For the most part the movie LOOKS fantastic.

 

Oh, wait.. This wasn't in Part Uno... Or is it Siete?

It’s too bad most of what looks to be the most spectacular setpieces and sequences of the trailer won’t be seen until Part 2… or 8… or whatever.  3 of 5 Whatevers. I guess the characters were likable enough this time to give them a positive rating.

Radcliffe hopes all of his scenes weren't used in Part 1.

 

 

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3 Responses to “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part One Review With Slight Spoilers (3 of 5)”

  1. Crash! Landen Says:

    If you can’t write an intelligent sentence Jack, don’t comment.

  2. Crash! Landen Says:

    Yes, I think stated I HAVE NOT read the books somewhere in my many posts, BUT… We’re not talking about the books and JK Rowling is not adapting her books to the big screen. Other people are. I as a muggle non-fan of the JK Rowling books have to rely on what’s presented onscreen. I will concede that as far as the movies are concerned, this was the best film since ‘Azkaban’. The rest of the films have been relatively pointless endeavors… TO ME. The books may in fact be FANTASTIC, but I only have the films to go by.

    Thanks for speaking your mind, though. I am hoping that the next installment will have something profound or poignant or… something. I’ll hold any judgements on the entire series until I’ve seen HPATDH part B.

    If you like the films as many others do, then they’re succeeding at what they’re supposed to do. Entertain, I guess. Since I have seen all of the films, the completist in me forces me to see the last one. Hopefully it will end with something spectacular (and you probably have an idea whether it will or not).

  3. Elaina Nicholson Says:

    You obviously haven’t read the books. There is a reason for everything. J.K. Rowling knows what she’s doing.

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