Harry Potter Movie Review - Possible Spoilers

We saw the Midnight showing and I am working on 3 hours of sleep. It was worth it though. I love the Harry Potter books. I really enjoy seeing them adapted to film. I've seen almost all of them at the midnight show and I will continue until they have finished.

Now, let me take a sip of RedBull, rub my tired red eyes, and get started with my review...

My first thought after watching this movie was, "well this was certainly made for people who know what's going on."

What I mean by this is, if you haven't read the books you might get a little lost. I don't think I blame them much at this point. By book/movie 6 you should be pretty familiar with this world and its inhabitants. My husband however, was a little bit confused. He buzzed in my ear a few times asking, who so-and-so was and what they were doing.

I don't mind that so much, but when it comes to things that are specific to the book they are adapting to film, there are somet things that need to be explained. The movie makers forgot this it seemed. For example; Dumbledore does not tell Harry the reason behind the specific cave they chose to visit. They just show up and Dumbledore says something to the effect of, "this cave has known magic." That of course could have been shown in the memories of Tom Riddle's youth, had they chosen to give us more of those.

That brings me to my main gripe of this movie. Based on the previews I was assuming we would be getting a great look back at, "he who must not be named." In the books if you remember, (Yes I am running off of the idea that most people to have read the books) a great deal of time was spent flashing back as they viewed the memories of Tom Riddle's life. I remember being fascinated by the back-story. I loved learning about Tom's mom and dad and how they came together and eventually separated. I wanted to see Tom's dysfunctional wizarding family. I wanted the question of the Half blood prince, out there. Remember Harry thinking he had Tom's old school book? How interesting a twist was it when you found out who the book really belonged to?

Needless to say, I was very disappointed that they chose only 2 memories to visit and if you've seen the previews, then you already know one of those. Very Disappointing there.

Yes I know film is limited by time, but if they have chosen to spit apart book 7 into two films, they could have done something similar to this one. Tom Riddle's history is key to knowing how to defeat Voldemorte, remember? If you recall they did push back the original release date from fall 08 to summer 09. That additional time could have been spent making sure they covered all the bases.

Spoiler Alert... Read on at your own risk.

Back on track here. Another disappointment was the anti climatic climax. I can remember reading of Dumbledore's death. Emotions ran deep. There was anger, confusion, resentment, and a need to make Snape pay! I can remember all of the guessing that was left after reading book 6. Is Snape good or evil? Did he kill Dumbledore because he had to or because he was an agent of Voldemorte?

I can tell you this, Snape does not come across with any ambiguity (at least in my opinion).

The movie makers really played that down and made him off to be just your average undercover agent doing what he has to do.

Snape, shushes Harry just before he goes off to kill Dumbledore, so that Harry will not be discovered. Dumbledore's, "please," comes out as an order to Snape, rather than the ambiguous pleading it was supposed to be. When Harry chases Snape down calling him a coward, Snape barely blinks an eye. Where was the anger, where was the loathing for this boy who he has to protect but despises with every ounce of his person? How about the revelation that he was the half blood prince? That seemed tossed in their at the last second.

I felt the climax fell short of the depth it was supposed to have. It was like they rushed to get to the end and once they got there they set up for the next movie, rather than making you sick with grief and anger. Part of the anticipation between book 6 and 7 was the question as to Snape's allegiance. It helped keep curiosity piqued and made you salivate for any information. I remember wanting book 7 so badly I bought 2 copies. LoL. The movie failed to hit that note. Yes I know we all know what happens. We've all read book 7, but does that mean we can't still make you loathe Snape at the end of this movie, does it? If you are holding true to the book then you would have to.

I'm getting a little off point now.

I did feel a small tug at my heart watching the lifeless body of Dumbledore plummet to the ground, but that wasn't enough for me. I wanted more. I think the whole ending could have been played up. You get my point? Ok, I'll stop harping on this now.

Some positives.

I feel as if I am being overly negative. The movie was not bad. In fact, I enjoyed it as much as some of the earlier offerings. I felt they lost the "feel" of the books somewhere around move 3 and 4. This one certainly had the "feel" right, just not the depth.

I loved the transformation Draco took. He really looked like the troubled youth he was. You could feel the pain radiating from that character. His character has come such a long way from the standard cocky rich boy.

I loved watching Hermione and Ron's love blossom. The bit with Lavender was a little over the top, but I still thought it cute.

Harry and Ginny's love was sweet, but not given enough attention when compared to Ron/Hermione.

It was nice to see Tonks and Lupin together.

The Weasely twins were entertaining as always.

Slughorn's character was exactly as I imagined (minus a few lbs. I thought he was supposed to be a heavier set man). He was fun to watch.


Overall I enjoyed the movie. I wish they had spent more time focusing on Tom Riddle's history, as well as the climactic ending, and a little less on teenage love.

How did you feel after watching the movie? Did you enjoy it?

Comments

Lazy Writer said…
I haven't seen the movie. I really hate to admit this, but I haven't seen any of them, so I'd probably be a little lost. Maybe I should rent the other ones before seeing this one.
Angela said…
Oh this was such a power struggle--I wanted to read the spoilers, but no, I mustn't! I'll have to come back here once I've watched to movie.
Danyelle said…
Nice review. :)
Jessica said…
I haven't read the books or seen the movies, but your review was interesting. I think keeping momentum with several movies in a row might be tough to do, plus it seems movies based on books are rarely as good as the book itself.
quixotic said…
Wow, I am surprised to see some of you have not seen the movies or read the books. Not a bad thing, just surprising given the uber popularity of the series.

And yes, Jessica, you nailed it. Books turn movies are never as good. They are still entertaining though.

Anyone see My sisters Keeper? I'm debating on that one. I've read that they completley altered the ending in the movie.
KLo said…
I'm glad you added the positives because, like you, I pretty much enjoyed the movie but found myself reeling off negatives and then feeling like kind of a jerk, like I was really nit-picky.

As you know (thanks for visiting my blog, by the way :-)), I had some specific concerns with the movie. I can't believe it didn't occur to me to express my outrage with the lack of back story regarding the illustrious Mr. Riddle. When I think about it, my sleep-deprived brain thought that what ended up being Slughorn's house was the Riddles' at first. You're right, that backstory was fascinating and it's a shame they cut it out.

Cool review : )
KLo said…
Oh, and don't see "My Sister's Keeper" if you're really attached to the book. I was VERY disappointed and angry about the ending. It basically turned what made the book so rich and unique into a story we've all heard a million times. In fairness, it was really good for the first three quarters or so, but when it fell ... it fell hard!