Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and director David Yates definitely saved their best for last.
This weekend was the moment fans of the young wizard had long been waiting for — the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” — the final chapter in an epic 10-year, eight-part journey.
How excited were some fans in Moore to see the highly anticipated blockbuster? Some camped out at the Warren Theater for over 24 hours waiting for the doors to open Thursday at midnight.
Part 2 picks up right where the first installment of Hallows left off — with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) feverishly searching for the three remaining Horcruxes, each of which contains a piece of the evil Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) soul. (Note: For the few of you that haven’t seen Hallows 1 yet, I’d suggest you do so. There is no time for catch-up in this installment.)
Their search takes them deep into the deadly Gringott’s bank vaults before leading them back to where it basically all started — Hogwarts, the magic school that has now turned into a fortress and is the final battleground of good versus evil.
Along the way, we learn important details about Harry’s past and easily the biggest revelation concerns a well-kept secret by the mysterious headmaster Snape (Alan Rickman).
Many supporting characters step into the spotlight for brief shining moments, including Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) who goes from a forgotten, bumbling wizard from Potter’s past to a brave, yet still funny, hero.
Fans also get to see the central threesome share long-awaited kisses that ultimately lead to marriage, but I’m jumping way ahead of myself.
Make no mistake about it, this is the darkest of the Potter films. There are some painful casualties during the battle between Hogwarts teachers, students and the forces of good and Voldemort’s horde of darkness. Death Eaters, after all, don’t pull any punches.
During flashbacks to Harry’s first days at Hogwarts, you realize just how much Radcliffe and company have aged and this film also shows just how much the lead actor has matured through the years. Was it really all the way back in 2001 when we first saw those young, innocent students take their first trip to Hogwarts in “The Sorcerer’s Stone?”. Time flies when you’re have fun.
Potter’s final showdown and magic wand duel with Voldemort is portrayed beautifully on the big screen. In fact, the effects in this finale were amazing from start to finish.
It’s a 130-minute (how director David Yates fit ALL that action in just over two hours worth of movie is beyond me) emotional roller-coaster, especially for Potterphiles who will likely feel a bit of emptiness knowing that this is indeed the end of the mega-popular motion picture series.
In the final scene, Harry sends his son off to Hogwarts, bringing the saga full circle. All good things must come to an end, and this one arrived quite well. It’s magically delicious.
(This film is rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images.)