Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 1 review
The key to a "part 1" movie to work is the ability for it to stand on its own and to be a worthy film regardless of whether or not there is a part 2. That's the difference between a film and a mini-series. One film, no matter if it's a part of a series of films... or not, must be able to work on its own. The quality of the film is severely hampered when that's not the case.
"Deathly Hollows Part 1" is an interesting situation because it's a very entertaining film on a superficial level despite those who claim it's "boring" (there's like an action queue every 5-10 minutes, how is that boring? [i use the term "action queue" loosely since that really just means something wizard-like is about to happen]). It's true, it is a fairly entertaining film. Actually, Deathly Hollows part 1 had all the right tools to be a great film on its own, but unfortunately, it ended in a rather subdued fashion. It was a clear indicator that you must watch part 2 in order to "complete the journey." The ending definitely feels like a middle rather than an actual ending and that's the problem with the film. It's sort of the way Kill Bill vol. 1 ended but at least that film was very lean and strong on action. Deathly Hollows part 1 has a deliberate pace and it's carefully constructed. The emotion is definitely strong and all the actors have really grown into their roles nicely, but you can't possibly fully judge this film on its own merits because it's the first half of a full film. So, we all watched half of a film. And what good is half of a film?
If you don't know what's happening in Harry Potter land at this point, then that's ok. All you really need to know is... Dumbledore is dead, Voldemort wants to kill Harry Potter, and in order for Harry to kill Voldemort is to find more of his horcruxes and destroy them. That's really the jist of the whole story. That's basically where we're at and Deathly Hollows part 1 doesn't really change that. Some things happen, but nothing big. But we're pretty much guaranteed a very climactic, and hopefully satisfying, ending.
So, while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1 does leave us much hope for the 2nd Part, on its own, it really only adds up to half of a film. There's enough good in Part 1 that it deserves to be watched, but really, I wish I could just watch Part 2 immediately after. As it stands, Part 1 barely delivers.