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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Let this be a warning for the movie goer that ventures into the screening of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 without having read the immensely popular books by JK Rowling or seen the previous chapters in the film franchise. You might as well stay home because you won't be given a backstory or recap to bring you up to date. As for this movie reviewer who has seen every installment, director David Yates (who also helmed “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”) working off of Steve Kloves' screenplay, delivers the weakest and least entertaining film of them all. To put it into a nutshell, I was bored.

In this seventh installment, what I call the beginning of the end, since it is the next to last film that brings the storyline to a close, the battle continues between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) deemed the Chosen One, and the evil, dark force Lord Vader, I mean, Valdemort, who is out to kill him and his followers. The snake faced Valdemort and his minions have infiltrated and taken over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts and seek to control the magic world.

Harry and his best buds/ fellow wizards Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint, who adds comic relief) who have grown up significantly since the first film, are trying to do everything in their power to stop Valdemort before it is too late.

After escaping a close call with the Death Eaters, the trio are forced to flee their homes and go on the run in a quest to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes, mysterious objects hidden away that contain pieces of Voldemort's soul.

For those who are curious about the title of this film, along the way, Harry, Hermoine and Ron each inherit an object bequested to them from Professor Dumbledor's will that will come in handy on their perilous mission. One, a book gifted to Hermoine is the most valuable as it holds the story of the Deathly Hallows, which are three powerful magic items with the ability to master death.

At two and a half hours long, there is not enough exciting action and too much talking as the trio travel from one place to another, occasionally using their magical powers to jump through space to get to their destination. Way too much time is spent at a campground and inside a tent where they chatter away and quibble, as we patiently await for something to happen.

Sorely missed are several of the wonderful adult cast members from the previous films including Maggie Smith as the headmistress at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Michael Gambone as Professor Dumbledore, who was killed off in the last chapter. Robbie Coltrane makes a brief, walk on appearance as the lovable giant Hagrid, and Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape does his usual sneering and says a few words but mostly is seen hurrying through corridors and up staircases. Helena Bonham Carter’s wildhaired, amusingly sinister Bellatrix is back and although this time around she doesn't get nearly enough screen time, she chews up the scenery. Believe it or not, the most emotionally riveting moment revolves around an entirely computer generated character, Dobby, a house elf, but that is as far as I will go without being a spoiler.

The additional supporting cast includes Imelda Staunton returning as the nasty, devious Dolores Umbridge, while new to the series is Bill Nighy in a cameo appearance as Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, and Rhys Ifans, in long white hair shows up as crazed magazine editor Xenophilius Lovegood.

Yes, the cast is great. I just can't recommend this film as a whole. No longer set at Hogwarts School of Magical Arts, this slow paced film lacks the magic. A few magic spells aside, there isn't enough to grab or hold my interest or keep me spellbound. Only die hard fans of the books will love watching this film as the rest of us snooze and wait for it to be over. That will come in the most anticipated Part 2, the finale, which will culminate in the ultimate showdown between good and evil, Harry and Valdemort. I can hardly wait. Yawn!

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