Sunday, July 24, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 (David Yates, 2011)

So I take this very long hiatus on watching movies (life, it gets in the way sometimes) and what do I see?  Damn right...Harry motha Potter! I don't really know if I feel satisfied for finally ending the series or for elbowing some obnoxious teenager in line for the tickets, but it is undeniable that the satisfaction is real.  The movie itself does nothing but toe the line of fear and violence that has been the hallmark of Hollywood and American cinema for the ten or so years--one could argue that the series itself is a byproduct of the pervading fear that has defined the 2000s--but it is satisfying in a sense that the last Matrix movie or the second Lord of the Rings was satisfying.  The makers know that the series is done, and whatever thing that needs to be expunged was already elaborated many times over in previous films.  The last film then becomes just a way to get things blasted into space with a very big explosion.  Two hours of destructive money shot, ending in the catastrophic (yet unsurprisingly, bloodless) death of villains and anyone else we didn't like before.  There was some effort to make the characters more conscious of their existence within this magical milieu, but it failed because it was either weak or insincere, especially when presented in context of relentless dichotomies between good and bad with no areas for ambiguity.  In the end, it sated the desire for closure, for completing, and for wholeness, and that is really what a movie should be all about.