Harry Potter 7.1

Monday November 15th 2010

Before I get into the whole business of actually reviewing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I might as well get the important stuff over with:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

As you can see it’s smack bang in the middle, but fear not, it has far more in common with the top three than the bottom three.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that Harry, Ron and Hermione abandon their halcyon Hogwarts days in the opening scene and spend the rest of the movie hanging around inside a tent, this is by far the most sombre Potter adventure yet. Sure, there are LOLz to rival the classic ‘pincers’ moment from Half-Blood Prince, but the general tone is one of frustration, fear and ‘YOU FOUL GIT!’-style conflict.

With such a sudden shift of pace, lesser directors <cough>Chris Columbus</cough> might have panicked or overcompensated. Instead, David Yates proves yet again that he’s the only man for this particular job by instilling the film with the same charm, style and delicate balance of tragedy and comedy that his entries have been known for.

There are certainly problems. The decision to split the film has left this opening half feeling slightly impotent, as Harry & Co. search in vain for Voldemort’s complete set of magical ‘horcruxes’, the audience well aware that they’re going to have to wait until at least July for the last four. The slightly overzealous trailer didn’t help by showing off a whole host of orgasm-inducing scenes from the second half that outshine even the most dazzling set pieces in Part One.

Luckily, these reservations only serve to make me a fuck sight more excited about Part Two. And of course, the inevitable 5-hour Blu-ray ULTIMATE CUT.

So when you head out to the cinema this Friday, don’t go expecting common room hijinks or detentions from that mean ol’ Professor Snape. Instead, expect the most subdued, mature and nonetheless captivating Potter entry yet, from a franchise that still refuses to disappoint. Wizard.