Saturday, December 04, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deus Ex Machina

I'd like to think I have a sober grasp on my appreciation for the Harry Potter movies. I'm often a sucker for fantasy and sci-fi movies that present a different universe in a somewhat comprehensive manner. Even if I don't think said movies are particularly good, I will probably enjoy watching them. With varying degrees of quality, the Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Harry Potter movies each succeed for me in this sense. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1 continues this trend.

Why I liked it:
- I've already invested 6 other movies' worth of time in these characters, their world, and the overarching narrative. Assuming this movie wasn't a complete train-wreck, I'd probably enjoy it.
- It wasn't a complete train-wreck.
- The seemingly random use of a Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song. Kind of an awkward scene, but it's cool to see a Nick Cave song prominently displayed in a big-time movie.
- The return of John Hurt's character!

Why I was underwhelmed:
- The movie more heavily focuses on the three main "kids." This means less screen time for the many many awesome British actors in the franchise.
- Granted that this was only the first half of the novel, this half of the 2-part movie felt like an incomplete story. It seems like not a lot happens for a while.
- It can a bit tiring that everything MAGICALLY falls into place all the time. There's always a spell to do this. Or this character has the ability to do that. Just when a person needs help, they realize that another person had given them a do-hickey which initially seemed random but now is more than apropos. I'm not unreasonable, though. I know these situations are just going to come with the territory.

Overall, there are much better movies in the series. This one is fun enough, though. Sold cheap theater viewing. Looks like the last one will be pretty epic.


agust symeon said...

I have only seen the first four installments, all of whom I found very well made and enjoyable, but I've always had a certain underwhelmed experience upon watching these films. Maybe it's unfair to compare them to such an epic series as the first Star Wars trilogy but I guess it is inevitable to do so. I kind of find the Harry Potter films to exist in a somewhat uncomfortable "Timberwolves" medium between the darker fantasy world of Jim Henson (Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, The Storyteller) and the ultra-budget slickness of Star Wars (especially the prequels) and The Lord of the Rings. All the actors are rather wonderful, though, especially those classic, British character actors, though those three kids have been extraordinarily good, so far. I must say that I do genuinely look forward to seeing the rest of the series.

Reido Bandito said...

3,4,5 are my favorites