If it's crap ... We'll tell you
....Well of course I was going to end up seeing this!
I have a weird thing when coming out of watching a Harry Potter film, it's rather strange, but for some reason, I always come out of it as some giddy child who feels like he has just reached the pinnacle of enlightenment. I feel as if I've always seen the greatest thing ever made, or at least always the second best film of the series (for some other strange reason, my fave has always been Chamber of Secrets). Last year I gave Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince a glowing review, I got sucked into the excitement and looked past all the flaws, and I'll admit now, I overrated it quite a bit (I now think it's one of the weakest links of the films). So I went into this, convinced, that I would not get sucked into how great my perception makes it out to be, so either I failed, or this is a really good movie.
As you've guessed, it's quite a dark movie (don't worry though, you can see what's going on most the time *comedy drum roll*). Bodies drop left, right and center. Yet it still maintains the charm that has pretty much been rolling thoughout all the films, it still has it's humor, yet it never comes off forced or distracting.
The story of the film, while complex and has many things going on inside of it, never feels overwhelming or patronizingly spelt out for you. Actually, this feels more like a rounded out stand alone movie than Half-Blood Prince...And this is part of 2.
The pacing is never slow, you never feel like it should get moving, or it hasn't hit it's top gear yet. There is always that over-looming threat that the whole world are against Harry and his pals, that wasn't in previous films. This always has you tense and almost terrorized throughout. And there are genuine scares in here (The old woman in this film could give the gypsy from Drag Me To Hell a run for her money). This is evident as when I got out my chair being sat there for 2 hours 20 mins and I didn't feel numb in anyway. That, sir, is proof, of great film-making.
Moreover, as the characters are dealing with far more complex emotions this time as well, means the cast get to show off how good they really are, as it becomes obvious how devastating this quest is becoming. Yet again, there are some characters you wish to see more of, like Snape and Mad Eye (quite disappointed with how they handled him, really).
And how awesome was that animated segment?
Now, it isn't all perfect, though most the action scenes are quite good and well shot, there is just that chase in the woods, which is too damn shaky. Like Christ, I have a high tolerance for shaky cam, and it usually doesn't bother me, but I had very little clue in what was going on. And yes, I did think Twilight for a short moment during it...that is NOT a good thing in a Harry Potter film.
And this might come off a bit nit pickish, but what was up with a few of those fade to blacks. It made me think that I was watching a made for TV movie. Actually, there are a few cheesy moments in there where all I could think was is there an ad break soon or what.
But in all fairness, those are very minor gripes. The woods scene was just bearable enough to work out what was going on, and only a few moments seemed like I was watching a Channel 5 afternoon movie for pensioners. For the most part, this is a better rounded, better paced and just better movie than Half Blood Prince. I still struggle to see how it's getting just mediocre reviews, but yet again, that might be my biasedness working again...I guess the only way you'll find out is by checking out my review for Part 2 next July then.