It’s mildly pleasing on some level to report that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Warner Bros., 7.15), which I saw this morning, is a tightly-scripted, action-heavy, relatively satisfying finale to a franchise that, for me, had worn out its welcome many years ago. When it ended I didn’t just say, “Well, that‘s finally over!” I also said to myself, “Not half bad.”
I wasn’t exactly tingling with pleasure, being a confirmed Potter-franchise hater and all, but neither was I scowling or groaning or taking e-mail breaks. It’s quite all right for what it is. Okay, maybe even better than all right. I was actually following what was going on and being said, which is saying something for easily distracted (and frankly bored-from-the- get-go) me. But there really is something to be said for finally tying together loose ends and being done with the damn thing already.
And the epilogue, which is set 19 years after final mano e mano showdown at Hogwarts between Harry and Ralph Fiennes‘ Lord
Mumblecore Elsinore whatevermore Voldemoort, is genuinely nice and sweet and satisfying. It puts an agreeable ribbon on it. Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy was exactly and precisely right when he said “it ends well.”
Let’s let it go at that. Nobody wants to hear from a hater who’s been suffering from this franchise for the last several years and is now in a forgiving…well, an eased-up frame of mind.
I have one complaint and one observation that no other film critic, I suspect, will bring up. It is profoundly displeasing to see Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) end up as romantic lovers and then as husband-and-wife with kids. Hermione deserves better and can do better. She’s too cool, too spirited and too alluring to end up with a red-haired, freckle-faced second-rater who’s been whining and shivering with terror in the face of each and every threat in every Harry Potter film from the beginning. A hot and brave lady should end up with a brave and strapping lad who’s earned her favors, i.e., not Grint.
On top of which Grint is becoming a bit of a pudgebod, and he’s only 22 now — 21 when the final film was shot. He’s developing a bit of a belly and the beginnings of a Uriah Heep look. It’s easy to imagine him having a kind of Shrek-like appearance by the time he’s 28 or 30. I don’t know if he’s been drinking along with Daniel Radcliffe but he’s clearly been leading a dissolute life.