Cooper and I were part of the insanity of the midnight showing of the final movie in the Harry Potter universe. (Which, btw, I don’t think it is the final movie. There is too much money to be made for them just to leave it alone. See Star Wars fiasco.) I have never seen a movie theater so packed. We parked out in the street, the lobby was full of people. Every theater was full. My guess is they made their year in one night. This movie will break every box office record. I’m calling it now.
Second observation – not as many people dressed up as for Star Wars movies. I mean, I remember when the Star Wars 1 (which is really 4) came out…it was crazy. Everyone had a light saber or mask or robe. Not so much last night. Maybe because Topeka isn’t a hotbed of Harry Potter fans but it wasn’t the crazy scene that I thought would happen.
On to the movie…
Visually, the movie is stunning – what we’ve come to expect from the HP franchise. It’s incredible how much better and cleaner the effects look like since the first film. And the film (learning from the disaster that was HP4) stays close to the book. Every film I am amazed at another layer of Hogwarts or the magic world in general they expose. It’s a beautiful thing and just complete eye candy.
It’s nice to see the characters grow up. Do you remember watching the first film and thinking – ‘can I really handle too many more films with these whiny kids?’ I am glad to say that the actors have ended the series with their best performance yet. Each film they got better. This one is by far their best performance. They grew up and they grew their characters up. Great performances all around.
The story is great. Yes, a pastor has said that. I love how clear elements of the Gospel are in the story. Did Rowling mean to do that? I have no idea. I do know that it is impossible to keep the gospel out of a great story (who said that, btw?) and this is a great story. Sacrifice as the path to redemption, love trumps hate, evil collapses on itself – all get played out in the final film.
For those three people who have not read the book and don’t know what happens, might not want to read this next part.
There were really only 2 hiccups in the movie. The final scenes tended to drag a bit. You know what it is coming next and there is a part of you that just wants to get on with it. Was the director having a hard time letting go? Not sure. It’s not horrible and it in no way ruins the movie but it is noticeable. There are about 5 minutes of…are we going to end this movie or not…then it passes.
The second hiccup is really up for debate as to if the director meant it to be as funny as it came across. The Epilogue scene 19 years into the future. Seeing an older Harry, Ron, and even Draco made the audience laugh out loud. There were more than a few groans as well. It just didn’t seem to fit. Of course the question then is – how else are you going to film that scene? I have no idea but perhaps they should have gotten somebody from the Benjamin Buttons or Forrest Gump movies to do the special effects on aging. Because it looked…weird.
**End of Spoiler**
Neither of those two issues take away from the greatness of the movie. It’s expensive to go to the movies but this would be one film that I think would be worth it.