Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (David Yates, 2011)

What's it about? After the aimless Part 1 (read my review here), Harry, Ron and Hermione quit faffing about in tents and get down to the business of destroying the Dark Lord Sauron - sorry, sorry - Voldemort. But since he is in possession of the One Ring - sorry, sorry - the Elder Wand, he won't go down easily, so the scene is set for an epic showdown at Helm's Deep - sorry, sorry - Hogwarts. If that makes no sense, best read the books or watch the previous 7 films first. Seriously, don't start here.

Is it any good? So that's that. It's a big improvement on Part 1 and a rousing enough finale to the franchise, tying up various story threads and featuring some climactic wizard smack-downs and magical face-offs. Although for a film in which a shedload of people die (including some that were in the other films, I think), there is little sense of genuine loss or emotion. However, it was fitting that the best moment of the film, in which the 'secret' of Harry and Voldemort's connection is finally revealed, was linked to Professor Snape, who has been the most interesting character throughout the series and who has been memorably played by Alan Rickman all the way. I liked that. Ralph Fiennes also delivers a quite scary and (literally) hissable villain and together these two gave this final film some much needed heft, whilst everyone else, including the three leads, struggle to get screen time and make any sort of impact at all. As for the unlikely hero who finally saves the day, I couldn't quite get past the fact he was wearing a cardigan. I hate cardigans at the best of times. In good-vs-evil battles to the death, they really have no place.

I don't trust you. What do others think? For the legions of Harry Potter fans who have grown up with the books and films, this proved a satisfying climax. They laughed, they cried, they waved their wands and immediately put the 8-film box-set on their Santa lists. For everyone else, it was generally considered the second/third best of the series, lagging behind the really-rather-good Prisoner of Azkaban and more-or-less on a par with the surprisingly dark Order of the Phoenix. Naturally, it made a bazillion, trillion dollars at the box-office and at time of writing is third on the all-time list of box-office champs. Author JK Rowling was presumably happy, although that is not known for certain, since she now resides at the top of a vast mountain of money and no-one has been able to climb it to ask her.

Anything else I should know? My great-uncle was called Harry Potter. True story. He wasn't a wizard, though. He just wore that cape and carried a wand for the craic. He also had a woolly cardigan, although he was not foolish enough to wear it into battle with the forces of evil. He understood that only one man has ever worn a cardigan with style and that was Starsky in the opening credits of Starsky & Hutch. Or was it Hutch?

What does the Fonz think? Potteris Climacticus Finitis!

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