Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II

I've owed you this review for a couple of weeks now. If you follow me on Twitter you probably already know how I felt about the final installment in the Harry Potter films. This movie was far, far more enjoyable than its immediate prequel (my review of which was an exercise in not throwing a stream of epithets about how boring a magic tent can be) but as the previous parenthetical implies we're talking about a bar that isn't especially high. 

Per my criteria, yes, I had fun at the theater. No, the film did not clear my "Threshold of Awesome." It currently comes in at number 13 for the year.

Outside of my criteria, the film suffers from several serious problems. Enumerated:

1) It's not its own movie. For obvious reasons it needs to adhere to the canon of existing films and the canon of the books, and this means it couldn't really be rewritten much to make it a better movie. It can't stand on its own, not at all. 

2) Poor Ginny. This film (and the books) just don't do justice to the girl who saved the life and captured the heart of the Most Famous Wizard Ever. Yes, yes, the books really were centered around Ron, Hermione, and Harry, but that means that Ginny is never portrayed as strong woman in her own right. She's a trophy. And in the final shot of the final scene of the epilogue Ginny, Harry's girlfriend, lover, wife, and companion of the last 18 years (almost three times the amount of time Harry spent with Ron and Hermione fighting evil) isn't even there. It's just the gang of three again. Poor Ginny

3) "Oh, wait, that was the heroic fulfilment of a promise made in a previous film." Better brush up on your Harry Potter film canon, my friends. There are some fantastic moments in this movie whose significance will slip past you if you weren't paying lots of attention. I suppose this complaint is an extension of #1 above, but this one really cuts the film off at the knees (those knees it should be down on as it begs forgiveness for the way it treated Poor Ginny.) 

Maybe a year from now my kids and I will do a week-long series of movie nights in which we watch the Harry Potter films one at a time. But I suspect that by then there'll be something else out there, something worthier of our attention. 

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