Harry Potter and The Final Furlong

Hey Gort-fans, sorry about the lack of post last week, but the poor weather left me stranded in Germany with only a broken iPhone for company.

Nevertheless, as soon as I returned I hastened to my local cineplex to catch up on the latest outing of the increasingly-unlikely teenage wizards. Hit the jump to find out what I thought:

On entering the cinema, I felt a certain trepidation. I don't like that they've finally bitten the bullet and split the book into two films; if that was right for the plot, then J K Rowling would have split it into two books and anyone who's seen the extended Lord Of The Rings films will agree that an abridgement is the best way to go. Nonetheless, you all told me that you considered this the best outing yet, so I kept an open mind.

Grudgingly, I must accept that the film could not have worked as a whole and must, again reluctantly, accept that splitting it into two parts was not just a money-grabbing exercise; yet, I cannot accept that it needed to be stretched out into two TWO AND A HALF HOUR films. Did we really need all those slow pans of deserted, wintery wastelands to convince us that Harry and co were really in it deep this time? Not really, thankyou, just get on with it.

When the film hits the ground running, however, it really belts it out. You lose track of the number of break-kneck, stand-out action setpieces and there is even a chance for some humour, which mixes in nicely. If only we could have cut back or rewritten such chaff as Ron's walkout or the wedding, we may have been able to get this down under the two-hour mark.

Despite all this, there is little doubt that this is the best of the bunch; all the key notes of the book are here in all their it's-hit-the-fan glory and the direction, ponderous though it may be at times, makes for some beautiful imagery. The three stars are really coming into their own at last, occasionally outshining the talents among the list of celeb cameos. Not to mention, it's getting more and more difficult to regard those leering at Emma Watson as perverts.

Overall, if your bladder can take it, Deathly Hallows makes for a solid evening's entertainment, but only time will tell if the second half can follow through.

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