Maybe this is something I take some kind of relativistic social solace in, kind of like the feeling of moral superiority I got when I attended the advanced screening press premiere of the Star Wars animated movie (I was there, and interested… but at least I wasn’t dressed like a Stormtrooper). Yeah, so what if in playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for like 70 hours Toby the Less became the master of the Thieves’ Guild whilst acquiring the Imperial Dragon Armor and restoring existential balance to Tamirel. I don’t like fantasy stuff, so it wasn’t until like the 30th hour of gameplay that I really got into it.
And with that defense mechanism out of the way… So, the little lady and I saw “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” last night.
I haven’t read any of the books, and while I saw the first movie when it came out damn near 10 years ago, and I saw the second-to-latest movie when it came out last year… But still, it’s hard to keep up with the mythos of something that casts such a huge cultural shadow among nerds, children, and even mainstream society like the Harry Potter franchise as a casual consumer. Don’t expect too much in-depth plot analysis from me.
Since I’ve already buried the lede enough, I won’t make you work for it any longer. I liked the movie. It was well-made, at times whimsical, visually appealing and while a bit long-winded, thoroughly enjoyable.
It obviously compressed some tertiary plot elements (like how the Wizard Government suddenly transformed without much explanation from being kind of whimsical and fun to kind of whimsical and fun and the Spanish Inquisition) while at other times taking its good-sweet-time with the exposition. (Plenty of shots of Harry, Hermoine and Ron sitting idly in the British countryside, almost a little Cohen Brothers-esque.)
Still, the best thing about any goblins, magic, etc. fantasy is its good-and-evil story-telling elements it draws from its ancient mythology/religion roots. The Harry Potter character is a classic “unimpressive guy forced by impressive circumstances to rise above” character that appears over and over again in literature. And like any genre work that sets itself apart from it does so with style and humor. So, I guess this has become a fairly unnecessary take on the Harry Potter universe, except to say that the movie obviously leans heavily on the strength of the source material itself.
And the story is brought to life by an ensemble of great British character actors. As for the children *ahem* teens themselves… well, they’ve evolved beyond child actors who were probably cast strongly on looks (Daniel Radcliffe comes to mind). They won’t be hoisting high any Academy Awards any time soon, but they keep things moving.
I really can’t say too much bad about the Deathly Hallows. It’s a fun movie that moves at a decent pace and does a nice job setting up what I’m sure is an oh-so-thrilling conclusion. Despite being fairly gory and morbid for a kid’s movie, it is a kid’s movie at heart, so don’t expect it to change your adult perspective on shit. But my girlfriend likes it, and I’ve done stranger things (and seen way worse fantasy movies) for love.