“Deathly Hallows” a Tad Bit Boring
Movie Review: Deathly Hallows
In a perfect world, the climax of an endearing and incredibly popular film franchise should provide some sort of dramatic payoff – some kind of closure, an ending that says it was worth the wait. Well, the wait is still on for “Harry Potter” and his skittish young band of witches and warlocks.
With “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1,” audiences are presented with the opening portion of what should be a rousing and emotionally satisfying struggle between the forces of good and evil, told in grand style and with epic import. What we get instead is a middling entertainment that borders on the boring.
Depending on your tolerance for unfolding story-lines, ‘boring’ may be too harsh a word for the “Deathly Hallows” – but it fits. For those of us (yes, there still are a few) who haven’t read the J.K. Rowling bestselling book series, waiting for the story to reach its conclusion is like watching grass grow. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson turn in their usual steller performances (indeed, they have literally grown up before our eyes) but it is the pacing of their journey that is, at best, meandering.
Make that glacial. Slow pacing in the service of character development is one thing – slow pacing with well-known and established characters is another, and it’s called a “waste of time.” You want to scream at the screen, “Get on with it already! I know Harry is torn! I know Valdemont is evil! I know Snape is a snake! Wow me with some narrative thrust!”
The previous installment, “HP and the Half Blood Prince,” was the first in the series to ratchet up the darker elements of the story and transform it from a children’s adventure into a decidedly adolescent search for meaning and destiny- but it also drained the life out of the storytelling. What emerged was a slowly paced and quite boring exercise in dark fantasy. “Deathly Hallows,” whelmed by the same director, is more of the same. Unfortunately, “Lord of the Rings” Harry Potter is not.
Make note that several elements of the “Deathly Hallows” are quite good. The first 45 minutes zipped by quickly, some welcome dark humor alleviated the brooding nature of the tale, the special effects (of course) were spectacular and the performances were uniformly good.
Radcliffe had aged and matured admirably and Grint has grown into a fine thespian. Watson, as heroine Hermonine, is often off-putting but grows into her stressed-out character nicely. All the supporting actors shine in their various roles and the tangled elements of the story are aligning nicely. One hopes that Part 2 will skirt all the buildup and get to some wicked warlock smack-down action! It’s about time already!
To put it bluntly, there is the problem with the Harry Potter franchise - and it’s called pacing. Or lack thereof.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1″ is worth a look-see if you’re a die-hard fan. If not, skip it and read the book instead. It’ll take up about as much of your time.
This movie review was provided by James at the Starstruck Video Store in Conway, Arkansas as a public service. To learn more about Starstruck Video, Click here.
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