Does Harry Potter and the rest of his gang go out with a whimper, or a bang? I’m Keith Kelly. My review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” coming up right now.

Well, this is it-the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga, ten years in the making. I tried very hard to get totally up-to-date before I reviewed part 2 of the finale. I have already seen all the films, but was lacking in the literary department. So I started reading the whole series soon after I watched part 1. Better late than never. My nephews joined me in this reading quest, which made it a fun family affair. However, they beat me to the punch, with the 9 year old finishing all 7 books first, followed by his 11 year-old brother, with Uncle Keith in last place. I’m currently about halfway thru book 4. So I will not be able to compare the book version to the film version. Maybe I’ll do another review when the DVD is out-I should have all the books wrapped up by then.

The “Deathly Hallows” Part 2 was a very satisfying filmic end to Harry’s journey to adulthood. Like Part 1, this last entry was mostly a somber affair. Gone are many of the trappings of the first 6 films-very little lighthearted whimsy, or bright-eyed innocence and fewer humorous moments. It’s not a film for the very young. This is the most action-packed film of the series, with death and destruction around every corner. It’s literally “do or die” time for our heroes.

The production design and special effects wonderfully fit the epic nature of this tale. Daniel Radcliff puts in his best performance yet, and shows a lot of promise for his post Potter career. However, this is not a perfect film, with most of the failings belonging to director David Yates. Many important plot elements were rushed thru. Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were not used to their full potential, and seemed more like minor supporting characters than integral parts of the trio. Some heavily emotional moments were too quickly glossed over and lost much of their significance. The big war between good and evil was not epic enough. The end result was a mostly thrilling film lacking in deep expressive undertones. It tugged at your heart, but could have ripped it open.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is a fitting finale, swift, relentless and bittersweet. Even with all my quibbles, it’s still a very enjoyable movie, and I give it a grade of B+. I’m Keith Kelly.

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