Like a proud mother, it’s hard not to get a little misty eyed when reminiscing about the time we watched Harry get his letter from Hogwarts nine years ago. But now ‘The Boy Who Lived’ is all grown up and has a war to fight.
Part one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is centred around the three friends, Harry, Ron and Hermoine, as they escape from the evil Lord Voldemort whilst simultaneously working out a way to destroy him. After Professor Dumbledore’s untimely death at the end of the last film the gang must now track down and destroy the ‘Horcruxes’ – the secret to Voldemort’s immortality. They are not alone though. Whilst the acting of the three child ‘prodigies’ still leaves a little to be desired, it’s the talent of the star-studded supporting cast that holds it all together. Superb appearances from Rhys Ifans as Luna Lovegood’s dad and Helena Bonham Carter as the gloriously deranged Bellatrix Lestrange are particular highlights. Dobby the House Elf also makes a very welcome return, proving his eternal gratitude to Harry for freeing him from the Malfoy’s.
One ‘character’ that fails to make much of an appearance though, is Hogwarts. The film starts to feel like an advert for the English Tourist Board at times with scenes set on the streets of London as well as in the English countryside.
Far from being aimed at the middle aged day trippers however, it’s clear that the movie is targeted at those who have grown up with the movies. The script is surprisingly witty and full of innuendos about Ron’s ‘ten inch wand’ and the like, perfect for the ‘Inbetweeners’ generation. A rare chance to see a cross dressing Harry Potter also gets a few laughs.
Love is very much in the air for the horny teenager wizards, with the on-going ‘will they/wont they’ between Ron and Hermione and Harry’s blossoming relationship with Ginny Weasley. We even get a very brief glimpse of a sex scene between Harry and Hermione, but don’t worry it’s only a mind trick to anger Ron.
Now competing with the ‘hotties’ from Twilight, Daniel Radcliffe also takes every opportunity to remove his shirt. Those who still fondly remember him buying his first wand on Diagon Alley, aged 11, will also find it slightly disturbing that he now has chest hair.
For those dedicated fans, the seventh instalment also features several references to the previous films, from Harry’s lingering final goodbye to the ‘cupboard under the stairs’, to several mentions of his fight with the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.
The Deathly Hallows is packed full of drama, with several wand duals and no less than three deaths, one of which is surprisingly moving; it’s very much a broomstick ride of emotion. And of course, there are no prizes for guessing that it ends on a chilling cliff hanger that will have you queuing up to see part two in July 2011.