Voldemort Leaves Nowhere to Run in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

Well, I guess I should preface this entire review by saying first and foremost that I am not a Harry Potter fan.  I have never read the books, but many have told me that they are fantastic.  And no, I have not taken very well to the films so far (#1 and #2 are sure fire cures for insomnia, in my opinion), but maybe, just maybe, the seventh and final two installments may be the charm?  Who knows?  I don’t know, but going into Tuesday evening’s press screening, I was definitely interested in finding out while keeping an open mind (a necessary evil in the world of film reviewing).

So here we are.  It’s November 2010 and I ask, are you dying with anticipation, Harry Potter fans, or are you dreading your beloved franchise coming to a screeching halt next July?  Either way, you have to feel something, right?  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a two-part ordeal, directed by David Yates and written by Steve Kloves, based on the novel of the same name by an author that needs no fancy introduction, J.K. Rowling.  Like its predecessors, Deathly Hallows Part I stars everyone’s favorite boy wizard, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry James Potter, and his two best friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson).

As you probably already guessed, today’s topic of discussion is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I.  It will be released nationwide in 2D and IMAX today, November 18th, with Part II in 2D, 3D and IMAX on July 15th, next year.  I don’t know all the particulars, but Warner Bros. pulled the plug a few months ago on a 3D release of Part I.  Just the same, I’m not a big fan of 3D, anyway.  If they can spare me another horrible Titans or Airbender 3D conversion, then I am a very happy moviegoer.  However, I will say this about the beloved Potter franchise, at least they kept the three main stars intact and under contract all these years.  In this day and age, that’s a very rare feat to accomplish and I applaud that.

So in addition to the film’s three main stars I mentioned before, other familiar faces making an appearance in Deathly Hallows include Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter (hell yeah!), Warwick Davis, Ralph Fienners, Tom Felton, John Hurt, Bill Nighy and many more (too many to list here).  The movie picks up right after the events of the sixth film.  Now remember I said I am not a Harry Potter fan?  Well I was not kidding you.  I have not even seen the 5th and 6th films, but I did catch myself up to speed as to the events leading up to this 7th film as to not to be ignorant to the league of fans reading this review.

Following Dumbledore’s death, Voldemort has gained control of the Ministry of Magic and will stop at nothing to find and destroy the young boy wizard, Harry Potter.  On the run, Harry, Ron and Hermione aggressively search for Voldermort’s remaining Horcruxes with hopes of destroying them.  These Horcruxes are much like the “One Ring” from Lord of the Rings.  Wear them a little bit and you never know how you might act.  And even when you possess this so called Horcrux, it’s nearly impossible to destroy.  It was only by infiltrating the Ministry of Magic that Harry and the gang were able to acquire the first of three known Horcruxes, represented in a locket form.  I guess I can mention that it also takes a very special sword to destroy this item, but you’ll find out more during your viewing.

During the course of their travels the trio comes across a strange symbol.  They later find out that this symbol represents the mythical Deathly Hallows.  The Deathly Hallows contains three objects: the Resurrection Stone (the ability to revive the dead), an Invisibility Cloak (the ability to hide from death) and the Elder Wand (an unbeatable wand).  So I think it’s pretty safe to say, someone very powerful might have great interest in this so called “unbeatable wand,” but where, oh where can it be?  Hmm…I will give you a hint.  You won’t have to wait until Part II to find out.  And that’s all I’ll say!

So how did I like it?  Actually, much to my surprise, I loved it.  It’s not in my Top 10 of the year, but I loved it nonetheless.  However, I probably love it for all the wrong reasons, but I did not walk out of the theater hating it like I thought I would.  That’s a bonus!  I’ll tell you the same thing I told the PR marketing people today that are responsible for graciously arranging the press screening.  I was intrigued throughout by the dark and ominous nature/tone of this film.  This is definitely not a kid’s movie.  Given the undertone upon which this film begins (the death of the patronage figure, Dumbledore), one can only assume that this is the Revenge of the Sith of the Potter franchise.   There’s going to be tears, death and despair throughout, but just maybe a brief glimpse of light may shine by Part II’s conclusion.  What do you think?  I already know the answer to that, but do you?  I liked this so much that I promised myself when all seven of these films hit the Blu-ray format with a good price; they are mine for the taking.  I’ll give them all a second chance and if nothing else, my nephew can feel free to enjoy them whenever he is over the house.  After all, we don’t want him watching these films on a DVD or streaming format, do we?  Heck no!  Only the best!

Anyway, so what does that say about me?  How did I go all this time not appreciating the Potter franchise and all the sudden like this one?  I’m not sure I can really answer that.  All I can say is that this film had everything I was looking for.  It had zany action at times (although limited), tear-jerking moments (why oh why did my favorite character have to die), B-love story tensions and of course, Helena Bonham Carter.  I love her!  So I guess what I am trying to say is that it’s never too late to convert to a fan of the Potter franchise.  If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.  This film obviously ends on a cliffhanger, but don’t worry, it’s not as bad as Matrix Reloaded’s abrupt ending.

All the Potter fans will be at the theater in full force supporting this newest entry, no doubt, but for all the Potter haters out there, like myself, I urge you to fetch yourself a cup of coffee (8 hours of sleep the night before doesn’t hurt either), down it and give the movie the benefit of the doubt by checking out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I this weekend.  Maybe leave Thursday and Friday viewings to the Potter fanatics wearing their robes and waving their wands and save your movie going experience for the weekend.  But whatever you do, give it a chance.  You never know.  Like Life cereal, you just might like it.  The film is not going to be to everyone’s liking, but if you can sustain a slow burning storyline and have room in your heart for a darker motion picture, then maybe, just maybe, this might be the Potter film for you!  Brian likes it!

Buy Harry Potter advance tickets now.


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

11 Responses to “Voldemort Leaves Nowhere to Run in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I”

  1. Sean Ferguson

    I wish someone other than David Yates had been picked to helm this based on the first HP he directed but the story is so well done, that I think just about anyone should be able to make a good movie out of it. Hopefully, Mr. Yates will improve upon his earlier performance.

  2. Gregg Senko

    I’d like to preface my comment by saying this movie was awful. At two and a half hours overflowing with filler, I wanted to run full speed through a closed window. It was tedious, EXTREMELY tedious. I have never walked out of a theater and this one had me very close to that point.

    Also, I have truly grown tired of Potter fans telling me to “watch the next film, it gets better.” Really? If I have to keep watching more to finally see a good one, that doesn’t speak too highly for the franchise.

    Brian, I don’t believe for a minute that you “loved” this movie.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Gregg really knows how to get me psyched for a movie 😉

    Can’t wait to unleash my take on it.

  4. Brian White

    I liked it for the dark and ominous undertones. I eat that kind of stuff up. I’ll check the next installment out. It has me intrigued, at least, to see where it’s going. Now I did say above, although I loved it for its darkness, I would not go out on a far limb and say it was one of the greatest of 2010. Heck no! I’m not that crazy. I liked it because it was more adult than I was expecting and I had run an hour earlier so I was wide awake 🙂

    For the record, I have only walked out on one film…The Chronicles of Riddick and wanted to on two other ones, but did not…Blair Witch and Thin Red Line.

  5. Gregg Senko

    I came close on A.I., iRobot, and Wild Wild West. However, by far and away the worst film I’ve ever seen in the theater was Dungeons & Dragons. Deathly Hallows cracks that top 5 list.

    So Brian, did you like the movie (which is what I think the case is here) or did you love it?

  6. Sean Ferguson

    Jami loves the Chronicles of Riddick so you better watch out! There was some good moments in Wild Wild West. There was also plenty of poor choices in that movie too but you guys are a tough crowd. I don’t think you guys know what a bad movie really is. You should watch Troll 2 and then tell me how bad AI and Wild Wild West really are in comparison. You all need a reality check!

  7. Aaron Neuwirth

    Riddick was pretty sub par. Pitch Black was way better. Hoping the third movie, if it ever happens, works out better.

    I’ve been pretty silent about the walking out thing, but I have very little respect for people that do it. Not quite sure how Harry Potter, of all films, is the one that brings in that notion. Sounds like Gregg came into the theater with some anger baggage already.

    However, Wild Wild West was so bad that even Smith spoke about how he felt bad about that movie making so much money.

  8. Sandy

    I LOVE that you love it! Finally… allowing yourself to feel the enjoyment that a Potter film can give you. Cannot wait to see it!
    p.s. Plz ban Greg from further commenting on this one / sorry Greg

  9. Brian White

    I want you to look directly in my eyes when I type this…I love the darkness in this film 🙂

  10. Gregg

    Sandy, please spell my name correctly. I’ve been a writer on here since the beginning and while I may agree or disagree with others here, I am respectful of the opinions of others, so long as they are being honest with themselves. Hey, can I ban you for not paying attention to detail?

  11. Brian White

    Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Let’s not fight. You know how many times people misspell my name as Bryan or Brain. No biggee! Okay…I loved this film. It’s my #15 of the year. Why did you think I was so quiet coming out of the screening. Everyone was blasting it except me. I was too tired to argue. Again, no biggee! I watched Avatar Collector’s Edition last night and guess what? I LOVED that film SOOOO MUCH! It is now on my Top 20 of all time. The more I watch it the more original it feels. Although I did discover a big plot hole yesterday, but that’s neither here or there. Not being a fan of the Potter franchise I absolutely adored this film for all the reasons I liked Revenge of the Sith.