Yes, I know, the movie has been out for three weeks. I am just now getting around to writing my review because I wanted to see the movie a second time before reviewing it. I am a huge Harry Potter nerd, so of course I went to the midnight premiere. While I do believe the movies can stand on their own two feet, this review is a book vs. movie, totally fan-girl review.
Some things I liked:
The bridge scene was very well done. The uber fangirl in me wants to say that the death eaters should not have been black streaks because the muggles don’t see them in the books. I thought this scene was visually appealing, and having the black streaks I think added a more frightening feeling, so I loved it. I thought it was great!
Note: for all the crazy fans out there. The bridge used for this scene is The Millennium Bridge in London. This bridge was built in 1999. The book takes place in 1996. Call that a “goof” if you want to, but really, the movies don’t have a specific time line, they are set in modern day.
The Unbreakable Vow scene was perfect. Almost exactly as I had imagined it while reading the book. I have always loved Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange.
The Pensieve Memories are something I have always enjoyed. I think they are done almost perfectly. The memories are a silvery string which is taken from the memory-holder’s temple. The only thing I didn’t love, but I can live with, is that in the book Harry and Dumbledore are invisible in the memory, like they are walking around with the memory. In the movie, they are just watching from above. This is fine, I think it works, it just is not exactly like the book. :p
The Diagon Alley/Knockturn Alley scene worked well. The viewer gets the feel that things are not right with Diagon Alley being all in shambles. We also got to see the trio follow Malfoy and his mother to Knockturn Alley and be all suspicious.
The cave scene was well done. The inferi were great! I can’t think of anything I would want to be done differently for this scene.
We didn’t get to see Dumbledore’s funeral. I am okay with that though. That scene in the book was definitely emotional, but I don’t think it was necessary for the movie. I thought the raising lighted wands to the sky and blotting out the Dark Mark was cool.
Some things I didn’t like:
I felt like there was too much humor in this film. The book is darker and you really feel like evil is starting to take over. The movie was a little too light-hearted for my taste. I can understand why the filmmakers did this, but still, fangirl wants more evil!
I have always thought there isn’t enough Neville Longbottom. I was sad that they skipped over the visit to his parents in St. Mungo’s in Order of the Phoenix. I feel like you just can’t help but love Neville. He becomes a hero in his own right and it saddens me that movie viewers do not get to witness this.
We didn’t learn enough about Tom Riddle or the Gaunts. There is way more back story on Tom Riddle and his family in the books. I think that the back story is important because it ties in with the horcruxes and makes them all the more meaningful.
Sectumsempra spell!! I was so excited for this scene to be in the movie! In the books, we really feel like the Potions book is evil and we are curious about the Sectumsempra spell. Then Harry uses it on Malfoy and Malfoy is just ripped to shreds! Okay, maybe my imagination is more intense but I think they could have ripped Malfoy’s shirt and given him more cuts, maybe some on his face? I was glad they included this spell but in my opinion, it wasn’t intense enough.
The horcruxes were explained, but didn’t feel evil enough. To me, the logic of what the horcruxes are adds to the intensity of Voldemort’s evilness. In the movie, Dumbledore says that horcruxes can be anything, just ordinary objects. Yes, they are ordinary objects, but each horcrux has meaning to Tom Riddle, which is why he chooses them and the meaning is what helps Harry figure out what they all are.
The Potions book feels more evil in the book. In the book, you really side with Hermoine wanting Harry to get rid of the book. While reading HBP I thought maybe the book used to be Voldemort’s or something. Then you find out who the Half Blood Prince is and I think the evil feel of the Potions book plus finding out who it belonged to makes you hate Snape that much more. I was always on the fence about whether I thought Professor Snape was good or evil. By the end of this book, I hated Snape so much!
In the movie Luna Lovegood finds Harry under the invisibility cloak because of Nargles. In the book, Tonks finds Harry. Harry being found by one of The Order makes you really get a sense that things are not right at Hogwarts. Luna finding Harry just adds some humor.
Harry and Ginny kiss. I wish they would have done it just like the book. Harry runs up to Ginny, grabs her and kisses her in front of everyone in the common room. The movie made it seem like they were hiding their love.
I have always thought they started the Hermoine/Ron attraction too early and strong in the movies. They made Hermoine too jealous, and I think it will detract from their big scene in Deathly Hollows.
Burrow Attack. WTF? Okay, I don’t even know what to say about this. Were they trying to give the viewer a sense of evil, a sense that the Death Eaters mean business? If so, they could have done that in many other ways. Now where are they going to have the wedding in Deathly Hollows? I guess they will just use magic to fix the Burrow…
Final battle, Harry doing nothing. This is my biggest complaint about the movie! In the movie, Harry makes the decision to do nothing when Snape kills Dumbledore. This is so wrong! If we want to look at just the movies themselves, then we know that Harry loves and respects Dumbledore so much. We also know that Harry has a mind of his own and will disobey Dumbledore when he feels he needs to. So! Harry just watching and doing nothing I feel changes Harry’s character as a man. The real Harry would have jumped up there, screamed, fought back!
The movie did emphasize Dumbledore pleading with Harry to do exactly as he says. So
perhaps Harry does nothing because Dumbledore told him not to, so Harry is just following orders. That is a silly reason!
OR, maybe they had Harry do nothing, because if Harry had fought back just then he would have had to be killed or captured by the Death Eaters and that just wouldn’t have fit with the story.
Whatever the silly reason for doing this, they really should have done it just like the book. In the book Harry is under his invisibility cloak because Dumbledore has him bring it in order to get Harry in and out of the castle. When they get near the castle, Dumbledore immobilizes Harry. Harry is stuck on his broom, under the cloak, unable to do anything. HE HAS NO CHOICE! This is the true Harry. He was under a spell which he couldn’t break so he had no way of doing anything. I love how Harry falls to the ground the second Dumbledore dies, because it really makes the reader understand that Dumbledore is dead. Any spell cast by a wizard is undone upon that wizard’s death.
The ending. Harry talking with Hermoine and Ron. I do not like this scene. Harry is supposed to have a little conversation with Ginny. Their conversation shows how much Harry loves Ginny, but it also shows how strong Ginny is that she understands what Harry must do and accepts it. Again, Harry and Ginny are supposed to have this awesome, long awaited relationship. The movies make you not really care about that relationship. After his conversation with Ginny he talks to Ron and Hermoine who pledge to help Harry in his upcoming trek.
All in all, the movie is fine. Of course I will buy it and watch it time and again, because I am a major Harry Potter fangirl. I do believe that the movies are fine on their own and enjoyable. Like I said before, this is my view of the book-to-movie conversion.