Release Date: 11 July 2011 (USA)
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman
Running Time: 2h 10 min
In the epic culmination of the Harry Potter franchise, good vs. evil finally come to blows as Harry, Ron, and Hermione battle to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Starting where the previous movie ended, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 begins as Harry Potter buries the dedicated House Elf, Dobby. As they seek haven at Shell Cottage, Harry enlists the help of goblin Griphook to break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault in Gringotts to find Horcruxes. They find Hufflepuff’s cup, but after being tricked by Griphook, Harry, Ron and Hermione are stranded, and break out of Gringotts on a dragon. They secretly make their way back to Hogwarts, where Voldemort is preparing for battle.
As the trio enter Hogwarts via the Room of Requirement, they are welcomed by school gang Dumbledore’s Army, who want to help in any way to defeat headmaster Snape and Voldemort, and take back Hogwarts. Dumbledore’s Army get themselves ready to fight off the Death Eaters, as Harry, Ron and Hermione trail around the castle to find the remaining Horcruxes.
As the battle rages on, Voldemort takes Snape away from the chaos, and incorrectly tells him that he cannot truly own the Elder Wand unless he kills the last owner – which he believed to be Snape. Voldemort orders his snake, Nagini, to kill him. But before he dies, Snape asks Harry to take his memories to Dumbledore’s Pensieve. Within his memories, Snape reveals his love for Harry’s mother, and his allegiance with Dumbledore, rather than Voldemort. Harry also learns that he, Harry, is one of Voldemort’s last Horcruxes.
Believing he must sacrifice himself to finish Voldemort once and for all, Harry makes his way to Voldemort who performs the Killing Curse on him. However, rather than killing Harry, Voldemort kills his own Horcrux and leaves himself vulnerable.
As Hagrid carries Harry’s supposedly dead body back up to the castle, Harry realizes it’s time to fight Voldemort one on one once and for all.
For those of us who have been dedicated Harry Potter fans from the book series, and the first movie – the culmination of the franchise was epic, intense, and absolutely perfect. It made us happy, scared, excited, extremely sad and everything in between. Which is exactly what we wanted from the last movie.
Although the movie did not stay true to the books in every sense, it was close enough, which is just enough for Harry Potter fans. The most impressive aspect of this movie was the production. As the years have gone by, and as the movies progressed, the magical aspect of Harry Potter has become even more real. With effective CGI and intelligent lighting and staging, not once did this movie seem fake or forced. Hogwarts could have been just down the road.
Like most finales, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 tied together every single loose end that developed throughout the franchise. Hermione and Ron revealed their feelings for each other, Voldemort was defeated, Harry was finally free from his ties to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Neville proved that he was so much more than the bumbling idiot the previous movies portrayed him to be, and we finally learned Snape’s true story.
As the movie closes to an end, we get a real feel for the characterization and the actors in the Harry Potter franchise. Growing up with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson was a truly magical experience, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was a rite of passage. And our story ended when theirs did.