The final installment for the generation of Harry Potter’s clan (like all good producers, the epilogue leaves the sequel door shamelessly wide open) settles scores, sorts out relationships (dead or alive) and puts on a pyrotechnical display that is yet another feather (and likely Oscar) in the cap of the series’ special effects wizards. More than Harry himself, they have created a bounty of magical moments that will make the film a must-see even as the narrative runs out of inventive gas and Horcruxs. What a pity that everyone’s favourite deadly snake, Nagini, will coil no more.
As usual, Daniel Radcliffe ably carries the action while he learns more about his own talents and looks into the mind of his arch enemy. Ralph Fiennes is once more delectably evil as Lord Voldemort whose wanton disregard for life and desire for power at any cost is not dissimilar to Africa’s (amongst other continent’s) greatly endangered band of despots.
Ever faithful and quip rich (“If you survive I’ll kill you”) Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) is in top, devoted form; Hermione Granger completes the joined-at-the-hip trio with just the right mix of wiliness and femininity (their BIG kiss after a daring bit of steal-the-fang-and-destroy-the-cup seems totally out of place given the precious little screen time devoted to preparing the way for love).
Much better than the last outing (cross-reference below), director David Yates has marshalled his army of actors and designers and technicians like never before and kept the pace moving steadily forward right through the resurrection of biblical proportions.
In the spirit of Wagner’s Ring, tossing the source of his power into the churning waters below, Harry Potter, having completed his quest, is ready for a different sort of adventure in life. Surely no one will be smart or greedy enough to forge together the wand of self? JWR