Harry Potter mini-review

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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9 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    A dull, teen romance, and hardly a mention of a magic wand and the movie is so dark, both in the characters and also the camera work. The previous Harry Potter movie formula of good defeating evil, dark arts, and mystery, was missing completely, and this was more of a teen love story, with the occasional mystery thrown in. Seems the boys are more interested in their “pink wands” now.Report

  2. Kyle says:

    Yeah, Snape’s declaration seemed wholly unnecessary in the movie, in a way that wouldn’t have worked in the book.

    In quite a few ways the sixth movie felt like the opposite of the fifth, which I think more successfully pulled off action, dread, and teen romance. Then again, I thought better thoughts of the this movie until the end so maybe the sour taste at the end has poisoned my opinion of it as a whole.Report

  3. Michael Drew says:

    Totally ignorant of the books, I just go along for the ride with the gf when the movies come out, so take this with a grain. But I agree that the end was flat. I definitely didn’t think it was clear why Dumble had to drink all that liquid/poison.

    The only thought I would have about the battle might be that they needed to save that for the two movies that are being made from the last novel, so they’re moving it around in plot sequence(?).Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Michael Drew says:

      The potion covering the amulet was also a barrier – you couldn’t reach through it – so Dumbledore in the book, if I remember correctly, tries to poor it out but can’t – tries a spell and that doesn’t work, and so surmises that he must drink it – and that it will not be pretty.Report

  4. Kyle Cupp says:

    You’re not wrong. Driving home from the movie, I remarked to my wife how the ending fell flat. There wasn’t enough dramatic build up towards the Death Eater’s entry into Hogwarts. Nor was there, as you say, battle and chaos, a strange absence for a movie. Don’t movie adaptations usually err on the side of too much action?

    A small detail that I thought hurt the scene was Harry’s not being magically paralyzed and hidden. In the book, he wants to act but can’t. That’s intense. In the movie, he can act but doesn’t. No intensity there.

    I did enjoy this film more than the others. Loved the set designs, especially. I wanted to get out of my seat and run through those dark alleys.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Kyle Cupp says:

      Kyle – I think there was actually decent build-up toward the Death Eaters entering – but then it just wasted all that build-up and fell flat.

      Excellent point about the paralyzation. I had forgotten that, but yes it very much added to the intensity and frustration.

      Personally, I still think Prisoner of Azkaban is the best visually and the best directed of the films, but you’re right – this one was also very aesthetically pleasing.Report

      • Kyle R. Cupp in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        Thinking back on the film, I recall seeing the Death Eaters trying to enter the school, and the focus near the beginning of the film on keep Hogwarts safe. Of course, Malfoy was constantly working on the teleportation box. I guess when I said that there wasn’t enough dramatic build up, I meant that the ending confrontation with Dumbledore seemed detached from those moments that foreshadowed it. Perhaps this was because the ending itself dropped the ball and thus stopped the momentum.Report

  5. I thought visually the movie was great and rivaled Prizoner of Azkaban in visual appeal. The scene where they are playing Quidditch in the snow was great.

    **Spolier Alert**
    I will join the chorus of folks who thought the ending was lousy. If I was watching these without having read the book I would be certain that Snape killing Dumbledore was planned. It was utterly unconvincing. (Did Dumbledore say, “Please” just before he was killed int he book? He doesn’t seem like the begging type.) I remember spending the period between the Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows books going back and forth on whether I thought Snape was a villain or not. The movie wasn’t nearly as ambiguous. Of course, I’m viewing it through the eyes of someone who knows how the story goes, so….

    I wonder if they are going to do Dumbledore’s funeral at the start of the next movie instead of the end of this one? That was a key piece that was missing in the finale as well IMO.

    Overall I still loved it. It’s just so hard as a huge fan of the book series and knowing how true they have tried to stay to the story, etc to not end up enjoying it. It’s also, of course, great fun to see them with my oldest daughter who has read all the books as well and gets just as excited as me.Report

    • Dumbledore does, in fact, say “please” to Snape in the book – but it is couched in overall chaos, and we are certainly left wondering what exactly it means. I, too, came away from the book trying to work out the riddle of Snape, but the movie was far, far more obtuse in its handling of it.Report