This SNAKE-ALICIOUS Sequel has our scarred hero camping out at the gloomiest sites in Britain, wearing a bra and playing Harry Stumbledore to Lord Voldemort’s update of SPECTRE’s vision of world domination! I want you to die, Mr. Potter!
One Word Movie Review: Anticipated
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 finds Harry, Hermione and Ron (sometimes) camping out in the most desolate, depressing places in Britain, hiding out from the evil Voldemort until these three stooges can figure out just what the hell they need to do. In previous movies, the safety of Hogwarts School and the wise advice of their teachers drive the children through an escalating series of adventures to uncover the agents of the Dark Lord and thwart their evil actions just as summer arrives. Now the school is no more and the teachers are all in hiding. The grand protector/father figure of Dumbledore was killed off in the last movie and now, with his last will and testament leaving four seemingly innocent keepsakes to our three heroes, they are left to their own wits to “Stumbledore” towards their quest to destroy the four remaining charms (called horcrux) protecting Voldemort from certain death.
The entire movie is concerned with death, avoiding death, cheating death and mastering death. Muggles (the non-wizards of the world, i.e. us folk) are persecuted and enslaved and the coming victory of Voldemort requires one small piece of the puzzle to fit into place: the killing of Harry Potter by the hand of the Dark Lord himself. Of course, without this vain act of revenge, the epic saga would have ended long ago.
Instead we get this meandering camping trip punctuated by battles against the many minions of Voldemort and a few truly excellent moments of SNAKE-CITEMENT (which should be the tag line for this movie). The gigantic reptile is the star of this movie, sparking the few audience gasps as it leaps towards the camera. Obviously, this was the reason the filmmakers wanted to adapt this movie for 3D but scrapped the idea (and the $10 million cost to convert the images) at the last minute. The dark hue of this movie would have been murky and lifeless with the 25% loss of light when exhibited in 3D. The snake works fine in 2D and the box office will be just fine without the extra $3 surcharge.
The opening night audience watching with me was packed to the rafters with rabid fans who laughed at every tentative romantic moment between Hermoine and Ron, Hermoine and Harry and Harry and Ginny “can you do up my zipper” Weasley. They cried when a cuddly character dies and cringed at a few horror moments which have become more and more common as the series progressed and the characters aged. In this movie, we even get a view of a partially-severed arm and an intense torture scene with nasty screaming.
We even get an animated fairy tale in the style of Tim Burton, explaining the meaning behind the Deathly Hallows symbol.
What we don’t get is any relief from the tedious scenes of our heroes sitting around camp wondering what the hell they’re supposed to do. Ron gets so fed up, he leaves his two friends, but we’ve paid our money for a ticket and so we stay to watch Harry Stumbledore pursue his horcrux hunt, getting nowhere for the longest time.
This is the final problem with Part 1, the first movie to end half-way through the school year around Xmas. Things usually just get moving when the snow falls in all the previous movies but in this one, the producers wanted two paydays at the box office. You can’t fault a studio for wanting to make a few extra billion dollars.