This is the end. Ten years, seven movies and more than seventeen and a half hours of film later, the saga of young orphaned Harry Potter reaches its climax with Deathly Hallows Part 2 and a generation who were kids when it all began sadly realise that it’s now time to grow up and leave JK Rowling’s wizarding world behind.
Happily, the eighth and final instalment, as directed by David Yates (who has shepherded the Potter movies since Order Of The Phoenix), gives the whole adventure the sending off it deserves. Following the slightly disappointing first part of Deathly Hallows (aka Harry And Pals Go Camping), this is far more action-packed as Harry, Ron and Hermione (disguised as Bellatrix Lestrange) attempt an impressive bank heist at Gringotts to retrieve a Horcrux, one of those thingies that contains a bit of Voldemort’s (Fiennes) soul and is the key to destroying him. The next Horcrux is at Hogwarts, so Harry and his pals return to their school, now a shadow of its former self under Snape’s (Alan Rickman) stern rule, only for Voldemort’s army to besiege the place for a final showdown that (as readers of the books will already know) causes the death of a few characters and the emergence of a sweet new hero (Neville!)
While there are a few embarrassing moments – anything involving Hermione and Ron’s budding romance, the brief epilogue set 19 years on in which Emma Watson is just given a bad ‘mum’ haircut to indicate the passing of decades – this is still one of the best instalments in the saga, and a fitting finale. Mysteries are solved, motives are revealed, good and evil face one final explosive battle, and through it all there is our beloved Harry, emotionally and physically bruised and battered as he prepares for his own showdown with Voldemort. The fight finally comes back to Hogwarts where it all began, and while some characters are sidelined (Watson’s Hermione among them, but that’s not a great loss) others, such as Snape, Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter terrific as Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix, too) and Maggie Smith’s Professor McGonagall (who kicks ass) get their moment, however brief.
It is, from the opening credits to the tearful finale, Harry’s movie, of course, and Radcliffe, at his best ever, uses every moment to show what a terrific leading actor he has grown up to be. Among a huge cast of acclaimed British thespians and up and coming young actors, against a backdrop of impressive effects, his portrayal of the little bespectacled boy who grew up to be a wizard will always be the heart of this terrific tale, and all the previous Harry Potter movies, too.
Is Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This film has a 12A certificate and will be too dark and scary for most children under 10.
Children may find the Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, frightening.
The attack on Hogwarts is intense and well-known characters die (one in quite nasty fashion).
The aftermath of the battle will be upsetting for younger viewers.
In a fantasy sequence, Harry sees a curled up, bloody body that may upset younger children.
If you like this, why not try: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, The Golden Compass, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Witches,